Schools in England will be familiar with the Oak National Academy, led and owned by Reach Academy in London.
Oak Academy has funds from the UK government to produce around 10,000 videos of their teachers delivering lessons across most subjects and key stages.
The intention is that Oak National Academy video lessons are available as an emergency backup for schools, should they face localised lockdowns and in these circumstances be unable to use or share their existing resources with their pupils and their families.
Obviously connecting home and school is a key part of the Learning Ladders pedagogy, and so over the summer we will be adding in the Oak National Academy video lessons to the resource bank within Learning Ladders. This way, schools can easily share them with pupils and parents as part of their usual curriculum and home-learning planning should they wish.
There is no need to change your curriculum.
There will be no need to change your existing curriculum structure (although of course this is simple to do within the ‘Creation Zone’ should you wish to) as we will map the Oak resources to your existing curriculum automatically (more on this wizardry to follow over the summer!)
A critical point here is that the Oak Academy resources are simply another option alongside your current resources, certainly not to adopt wholesale. Your subject leaders will want to kick the tyres of the content, which by its nature wont be universal or universally popular. Given the speed of production it would be unfair to expect or rely on Oak to match the quality of school’s existing resources.
So for now the message is not be be in a rush to react to any external curricula, and certainly don’t feel this would be a short cut to Ofsted success as some have suggested.
Oak has some fabulous resources within it, and some great teachers amongst the team, but it is not statutory nor even formally endorsed by the DfE nor Ofsted). Your school and your staff will always know our pupils and their needs best.
I’m running regular webinars on this and a variety of current topics, just click the Events page to join in the discussion, and check back for updates.
Matt is a former teacher and Founding CEO of Learning Ladders. He’s also Chair of EdTech at the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), Co-Founder of the EdTech Evidence Group, a member of the DfE Covid Curriculum (Resources) panel, and guest speaker at Roehampton University in London.