We employ a linguistic phonics approach throughout the school to teach early reading and spelling. In reading lessons, pupils are exposed to a broad and varied range of aspirational texts, with authors from Julia Donaldson, to William Shakespeare, to George Orwell studied. Pupils are taught to analyse literary elements and techniques to allow them to uncover layers of meaning and a comprehensive understanding of the text. Handwriting, sentence structure, grammar and punctuation are explicitly taught in writing lessons, and learners apply their knowledge within fiction and non-fiction written tasks linked to the texts studied. Children are given opportunities to read, analyse and perform poetry in every year group, with Caged Bird, The Owl and The Pussycat, and The Jabberwocky among our favourites.
A key component of our children’s primary education is the development of their mathematical knowledge. At Angel Oak, our aim is for children to become resilient and confident mathematicians who are able to work fluently, solve problems and explain their reasoning. Through the mastery approach, they will develop a deep and lasting understanding of mathematical procedures and concepts. This includes procedural knowledge of the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division), as well as the development of other mathematical topics (e.g. fractions, geometry and statistics). In every classroom, children are taught to use technical mathematical language to accurately express their understanding. Teachers ensure the cumulative progression of previously taught materials through a consistent whole school approach.
At Angel Oak Academy, we provide a high-quality science education that provides children the foundations of understanding the world around them, through biology, chemistry and physics. In biology, the children will study a broad range of units. This begins in early years when pupils identify common animals and name parts of plants, to studying evolution and plant reproduction in year 6. The children will describe the properties of everyday materials and understand the particle structure in solids, liquids and gases in chemistry. In physics, our pupils will learn about forces, light and electricity. Through investigations, we develop our pupils’ scientific skills of predicting, observing and recording data. This aids our children to apply the knowledge learnt to formulate a conclusion.
Angel Oak Academy believes that every child is musical. This ethos is shared with the children and all children are expected to develop their musical skills as they progress from year to year. Singing is used as a teaching tool across all year groups and music lessons are very practical, giving the children the most opportunity to practise and develop their music-making. There are a range of instruments in school – ukuleles, keyboards, djembe drums, recorders, xylophones, steel pans and even some trumpets and trombones – and all children take part in regular performances. Music trips give children the opportunity to hear performances in venues around London and the academy choir and music clubs also perform out of school.
At Angel Oak Academy, we want all our children to have access to powerful knowledge about our world, the complexity of people’s lives, and how we got where we are today. We have devised a broad and engaging history curriculum that inspires curiosity and develops knowledge and understanding of our past. Children will study significant events such as the World Wars and the Great Fire of London, and learn about the lives and impact of key historical figures. They will investigate how ancient civilisations, such as the Greeks and Romans, changed the course of human development, and investigate how diverse societies around the world expanded upon this knowledge. By revisiting historical concepts such as war and peace, monarchy, government, and civilisation, children will be able discuss the process of change through time and make strong links across their learning. Our history lessons will enable children to ask insightful questions, analyse sources, and discuss cause and effect. We aim for our pupils to become critical thinkers who can engage with their society and the wider world.
At our academy, pupils develop an understanding of both the physical and human world, focusing specifically on the key geographical knowledge pupils need to understand the world around them. Pupils learn geography in a systematic way, starting from their own personal geography and local area, before zooming out to focus on their country, continent, and the wider world. Understanding will be deepened through the study of relevant and significant case studies from across the world. Alongside geographical knowledge, pupils will also learn a range of geographical skills which will be consolidated in each unit and year group through fieldwork studies. This is done with the aim of allowing pupils to understand the importance and relevance of geography in the world beyond the academy.
Throughout their time at the school, pupils will engage in a variety of different sports during weekly PE lessons. They are taught to master basic movements including running, jumping, throwing and catching, as well as developing balance, agility, and co-ordination, and begin to apply these in a range of activities. They will also participate in team games, developing simple tactics for attacking and defending and perform dances using increasingly complex movements. In Years 3 and 5, pupils learn to swim confidently whilst learning to use a range of strokes. The sports and activities that our children participate in aim to not only improve physical fitness and promote healthy lifestyles, but also to improve pupils’ teamwork, focus, and leadership skills. At Angel Oak, we also offer a selection of after school sports clubs. In many cases, these clubs have represented the school in local and national competitions.
The RE approach at Angel Oak Academy aligns with key religious festivals which take place throughout the academic year. We explore symbols, key figures, places of worship, key texts and religious links to different pieces of art and culture. The children explore a wide variety of different religions, beliefs and rituals. Each of the six main religions are explored at length throughout their time at Angel Oak Academy: Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Judaism and Buddhism. This is so the children become well equipped with a broad understanding of the principles of each faith, as well as their accompanying rituals and practices.
At Angel Oak Academy, we believe that broadening our pupils’ perspectives and enriching their personal culture is vital. It is for those reasons that Latin is taught to all children across Key Stage 2. Latin does not only provide children with an insight into Roman culture and history, but a basic grasp of the ancient language also benefits other subjects, especially English: it helps pupils make connections between Latin and English grammar and vocabulary; it allows pupils understand common concepts and phrases with a Latin origin; and, due to its highly organised grammar, it helps children coordinate ideas and improve their writing.
At Angel Oak Academy, the art curriculum is divided into three broad areas: knowledge, skills, and evaluation. Within the knowledge area, we cover colour theory and art history whereby we aim to expose pupils to the most impactful artists and art movements. Within the skills area we focus on exposing pupils to a wide range of drawing, painting, sculptural and multimedia mediums. This includes stop-motion animation, various types and methods of painting and drawing as well as inventive sculptural mediums. The evaluation area aims to teach pupils the skills required to plan and evaluate their own artwork, as well as the artwork of others. The art curriculum has been thoughtfully designed to develop pupils’ awareness of and exposure to art so that they feel successful and confident in planning, creating, and discussing artwork.
Our children’s personal development is important to us at Angel Oak. Throughout their time at the school, pupils learn about the society they live in, how to make healthy lifestyle choices, and how to be economically prosperous when they become adults. Across the curriculum, the texts our pupils study are thoughtfully chosen to ensure our children are exposed to a variety of cultures and beliefs. PSHE lessons equip learners with essential values such as kindness, tolerance, and respect, and weekly assemblies offer all children a chance to express their own opinions as part of a democratic vote.
Mathematics learning is a crucial component of learning within EYFS. The year begins with a clear focus on early number knowledge. Pupils’ learning will be focused within two key areas: number and shape, space, and measure. We believe in the importance of exposing children to a range of rich texts such as The Gruffalo, Handa’s Surprise and Peter Pan. Children are encouraged to explore the world around them using their senses. Communication and language where skills like listening and attention, understanding and speaking will be developed both in the classroom and outdoor environment. With phonics, we teach the skills of segmenting and blending to help children to read and write. The children use an extensive range of resources to manipulate and create lots of artwork and models. They explore textures using paint, crayons, chalk and pastels on different paper materials, and adapt malleable materials, such as playdough and cornflour to develop their physical fine motor and gross motor skills.
At Angel Oak Academy, we believe in the importance of preparing our children for a society within which technology plays a vital role. During their time at the academy, children will learn the basic principles and processes of computer science such as how to write algorithms and create simulations. Through the information technology strand of the curriculum, children will be taught how to use technology effectively to analyse, evaluate and present data on a range of devices. Using a wide range of thoughtfully chosen resources, our curriculum approach ensure that children are equipped with the digital literacy skills needed to use technology respectfully, safely and responsibly. Children will also be encouraged to recognise the opportunities that computing can offer for communication and collaboration.
Our Key Learning Indicators (KLIs) represent the foundation of our curriculum. As we take a mastery approach to teaching and learning, we teach each of these objectives in great depth, and there is a large amount of subject knowledge and skill which sit behind each one.