Our Curriculum Design and Learning Characteristics

At The Oaks CE Learning Federation we are committed to developing a curriculum that engages and motivates children, facilitating thinking and learning, problem solving and creativity. The curriculum allows children to develop the skills, knowledge, and personal qualities that will enable them to be confident, successful learners and responsible citizens throughout their lives.

We have an integrated approach to planning the curriculum, so that where possible we integrate the individual subjects into interesting and engaging projects. These vary in length and have a clear context for learning. It is vital that children enjoy their learning and understand the purpose and context regarding why they are learning about something. We make clear links between subjects and teach the key knowledge, skills and concepts required.

Every integrated project has a hook to inspire the children and captivate their interest at the start of the project. Each project also has an outcome which is reflected within the hook e.g. they might receive a letter from someone who is thinking about moving to the area so they have to find out all about where they live and produce exhibition to showcase their findings. Outcomes are always for real audiences, often parents, which give purpose to the children’s learning.  Home learning is also linked to the project and encourages children and their carers to work together on a project at home. 

The projects have lead subjects (of which English is always one) and applied subjects. We balance these across the whole year to ensure a balance and appropriate coverage of the National Curriculum. Having English as a lead in all projects is fundamental to enable the children to develop skills for reading, writing, speaking and listening. Writing tasks can be linked and purposeful and often have an audience.

Children are involved in the planning and assessment process. They discuss with their teacher what they already know and what they would like to find out. They are actively involved in assessing and improving their own learning and helping others to improve too.

Each project is evaluated to identify where it had been successfully and where improvements can be made. Parents are often invited to the outcome and have the opportunity to feedback which supports the planning and review process. Projects are altered and improved and sometimes replaced depending upon the review process and as a need to respond to national changes to the curriculum.


Our curriculum is designed to help our children  develop these learning characteristics:



Emotional Intelligence




Click on each value to find out more.



These characteristics are introduced to our children through a set of “characters” which help them to understand what these mean.


Dash Dog (feelings)


I know I have different feelings, like being happy or sad, and that other people do as well.

I am good at managing my feelings and always stop and think before I act.

I understand that sometimes it is difficult to get on with other people however I always try to be a good friend.

I am very good at thinking about how other people might be feeling.

I know I can because I believe I can!

 Eric  Elephant (thinking)


I love to use my imagination to come up with lots of ideas. I try to think of different ways to solve problems.

I am always looking for ways to improve my learning.

I know that my first idea is not always the best one so I have to think again and come up with another idea.

I know that thinking can sometimes be easier if you do it with a friend.

I can use a thinking tool to organise my ideas and share them with other people.


Octavia Octopus (creative)


I am very creative and love using my imagination to ask and answer questions about the world around me and things that happen.

I am very curious so I am always asking “What if?” I use what I know to find an answer to what I don’t know.

I really enjoy a challenge and love coming up with ideas no one else has thought of.

I am a creative, confident learner.

                                                                 Bertie Bee (team work)


I can work in a team by listening to other people. I know that their thoughts are important and that sometimes my idea may not be the best one.

I am good at sorting out problems with others, finding ways to include everyone’s ideas.

I work hard to make or do something as part of a group and know that we all join in and do our best.

I know what I am good at doing.

I know what my class friends are good at doing.

Watch Bertie’s video here


Barry Butterfly (spiritual)


I am interested in the world around me and know that there are some things that make me say “wow”.

I know some little things are amazing and huge things can be wonderful too.

I like to ask questions, even big ones that might not have an answer.

I can think about my ideas, sometimes quietly on my own and sometimes I share them with others.

I know what’s important to me and think about this when making choices.


                                                                    Kitty Cat (on my own)


I am confident and keep trying, even when things are difficult. I like the challenge of tackling problems and enjoy talking about how I might solve them.

I can organise myself and the equipment I might need to get the job done.

I like to talk about the things I have done and learnt and I can explain how I could make them even better next time.

I can use a skill that I have learnt before when taking part in another activity.