Exceptional Education at the Heart of the Community

Curriculum Overview

We are Team Brightstowe. We believe any child can learn anything, if they are taught well, work hard, and feel loved. Our staff excel. Our pupils aim high. Our community works as one.

We want our children and young people to:

  • Be inspired to improve the world around them
  • Have the skills and expertise to thrive in a fast changing, interconnected and communication rich world – skilled in communication, with the confidence and technical expertise to thrive, teaching this is achievable by all
  • Have a network that supports them
  • Be comfortable in who they are and able to continuously explore who they are becoming
  • Be rich in language with a passion for learning
  • Seek to include others, be other-centred and celebrate difference
  • Have a 'values approach' to life and a sense of what is right and wrong through the lived experience of the nine habits.

Therefore, we focus on character, competency and community.

Our BRIGHT attributes are ‘Beauty, Resilience, Independence, Growth, Health and Team’, and we recognise pupils for showing these attributes in lessons as well as around the school.

How we structure our curriculum

Our curriculum is a five-year programme of study where the foundation of Lower School (Key Stage 3) builds concepts and ideas and skills towards Upper School specialism (Key Stage 4/GCSE). 

We want pupils to be exposed to as broad an offer as possible and really value Sports and the Arts, ensuring that foundation subjects get at least one lesson a week, with no ‘carousels’ or short courses. We also support the EBacc subjects and pupils have the opportunity to learn French and Spanish. 

Our lessons are structured around a Do Now for knowledge retrieval and to help pupils feel successful. This is followed by a process of teacher explanation or input (I Do), then a co-construction of learning where teachers model and pupils try things out (We Do), and then pupils apply what they have learned and teachers check what they know and can do (You Do).

We are able to harness the best practice in curriculum, lesson planning and delivery through our links across the Trust. Our subject leaders work with National Lead Practitioners and benefit from national and regional CPD, support, marking, moderation and planning. 

We want pupils to leave us equipped for their next steps and are investing heavily in a programme of careers and enrichment which will enhance the curriculum and link to it, and provide opportunities for real-life application and thinking, so pupils see the purpose in what they are doing. 


Inclusion is at the heart of everything we do and is an essential part of the Oasis ethos, which is reflected in the OCL curriculum design and delivery. As demonstrated by our circle of inclusion, we believe that education is for all and we take every opportunity to promote equality, diversity and inclusion. Our curriculum is ambitious and is based on the latest research into how the brain and memory work, and this is adapted by teachers across the Trust so that it can be accessed by all children and young people (including those with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities), is challenging for all (including the most able and higher prior attainers). We adapt the curriculum to reflect the local context including heritage and experience of our communities. We are champions for inclusion, illustrated by our engagement with the Stonewall programme, which teaches us to seek to understand and value all. All pupils have a BRIGHT Lecture every week, where they learn PSHE related content and have the opportunity to discuss, debate and ask questions.

Strong foundations

A key aim of our OCL curriculum is to ensure that all our children and young people are equipped with literacy, numeracy and other life skills so that they can flourish and be successful inside and outside of the classroom, regardless of starting points. Our OCL curriculum aims to enhance literacy by continually developing their reading skills so that all children and young people become fluent readers, whilst also developing their written communication and oracy. We are working hard so that every child has the skills to access a minimum of age-related reading materials by the time they leave. Every opportunity is also taken to develop our children’s numeracy skills, so that they are fluent mathematically, enhancing their economic wellbeing and strength in functional content. Underpinned by a foundation of essential world knowledge, they will be able to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language, to ensure equality of opportunity for all. Any children and young people not functionally literate or numerate have timely structured intervention as a priority. Our new Oasis Horizons project also has many apps which support this learning at home as well as in school.

Science of learning

Focused learning is the foundation of every lesson and our OCL curriculum is designed to ensure the very best academic outcomes for our children and young people using the latest research in cognitive science. Our curriculum spaces learning so that material is revisited and regular retrieval practice is embedded, which has been shown to improve memory and retention. Our curriculum shows our children and young people how to be successful through modelling and direct instruction and gives students deliberate opportunity to practise so that they can develop a deeper understanding. Regular feedback through instructional coaching supports teachers to improve their practice and successfully implement the curriculum. We develop metacognition by making explicit links between learning, so pupils increase their self-awareness and self-evaluation skills to maximise learning and seek appropriate support. We are introducing learning journeys and knowledge organisers as standard across all subject areas and these will support pupils in understanding their journey through the five year curriculum, and also being able to independently learn and practise knowledge and skills.

Importance of knowledge and skills

Our ambitious and rigorous curriculum places significant emphasis on the importance of knowledge, gradually introducing new knowledge and concepts, which increase in difficulty over time, to expand learner’s schemas by connecting this to prior knowledge held. Knowledge organisers identify the key knowledge that children and young people must know and understand. Our curriculum recognises the importance of skills and aims to support children and young people to access and apply their schema in the real world, developing deep learning and creativity. Knowledge and skills are presented through modelling and direct instruction, and time is built into lessons for deliberate practice. We instil academic learning habits and embed independent learning opportunities outside of lessons to allow students to deepen their understanding. Vertical links between knowledge and skills are deliberately constructed within subjects so that key concepts are repeatedly encountered. These concepts are practised repeatedly through retrieval practice while the unit of work is being taught and the curriculum design provides planned opportunities to revisit the concept in subsequent terms and years. Alongside this, horizontal links between subjects further reinforce knowledge and provide further opportunity for deliberate practise of skills and develop creativity. Our teachers receive regular feedback on their own practice through instructional coaching, so that they are continuously developing as practitioners. With a strong foundation of knowledge and finely developed skills, we bring advantage to the disadvantaged, where barriers to learning are successfully overcome and there are no limits to the achievement and ambition of our children and young people.


Assessment is an essential part of the curriculum for both academic and character education. The purpose of academic assessment in the OCL curriculum is to identify gaps in knowledge and understanding so that teachers can promptly address these by adapting their lessons using a deep understanding of the related pedagogy. We assess children's character and personal development and identify where children require development, support and guidance. Purposeful character development will enable children and young people to have the skills and attributes needed for academic success. Responsive feedback is the process by which we provide our children and young people with meaningful, concise and impactful advice or challenges which shape the direction of their work and provides the framework for eventual independence of these skills. Formative assessment, including knowledge quizzing and checking for understanding, takes place in every lesson. Graded summative assessments are less frequent and assess cumulative understanding, giving us a national comparator across Oasis to ensure in depth analysis from all stakeholders and forensic distribution of support and best practice. Children and young people working significantly below their peers or new to English are assessed in detail with personalised targets followed to maximise progress. We are also able to benchmark pupils nationally through the GL Assessment

Digital fluency

The OCL curriculum aims to improve digital fluency by innovative use of IT and digital media so that they can be successful in a world where technology is constantly changing and advancing. Assistive technology further enables access for all. Our curriculum develops digital fluency by explicitly teaching digital skills and developing understanding of relevant programmes and technology. With the Horizons project, embracing technology as part of everyday teaching, we are taking a new approach to digital tools, and starting to embed their use within our curriculum. Through the Horizons project, all our children and young people have access to a device that allows them to use technology, alongside excellent teaching, to provide an outstanding education, packed with opportunity. We provide children and young people with access to online learning, using an appropriate blended learning approach, individualised to suit their needs, considering place, time, path and pace of learning, for a fully inclusive approach.

Academy community

We want all our children and young people to be role models for others and to be active members of their academy community. Key to this is the relationships we hold between all members of our academy community. This culture and ethos is founded in our character approach and explored through the lens of our BRIGHT attributes and the Oasis 9 Habits. We provide opportunities for children and young people to work with their peers beyond the classroom and to become student representatives, leaders and mentors so that they help shape, influence and improve their academy community. Other elements of our fundamental offer include being part of an academy production or team to develop talents and skills in Drama, Sport, Art, Music and many other areas to enhance our holistic focus.

Local community

To transform learning and ensure equal opportunity for all, we believe that we must work with the local community. The OCL curriculum is adapted by us to ensure that children and young people can learn about their local community and heritage both past and present, and contribute to a hub project as part of the fundamental offer. We believe that they must be given opportunities to connect with and explore their local community so that they can understand their place in it and how they can positively influence from within. We provide opportunities for children and young people by engaging them with the work of the OCL Local Hub, the OCL Hub Council and Oasis Community Partnerships.

National citizenship

Our children and young people also need to be able to look beyond their local community so that they become model national citizens. The OCL curriculum gives students opportunities to learn about Britain, both past and present, and how it has changed over time and become the diverse, multi-cultural and multi-faith society it is today through critical pedagogy. Every opportunity is taken for students to explore the Fundamental British Values of democracy, rule of law, respect and tolerance. Their roles as student representatives, leaders and mentors in their academy prepares our children and young people to influence and advocate change at a national level. Students are encouraged to engage with a range of national organisations and charities through the curriculum. There are also opportunities for children and teachers to collaborate with other academies within and beyond the Oasis family, therefore deepening our understanding of the communities we work with.

Global citizenship

The unique opportunity offered by being part of the Oasis Global organisation is woven into the curriculum, bringing a meaningful connection with who we are and our place in the world. Through our curriculum, our children and young people will develop an understanding of the history of civilisation by considering how the world has changed over time and how it continues to do so through critical thinking and debate. Every opportunity is taken for them to develop their understanding of a diverse range of cultures and practices. The OCL curriculum also supports children and young people to deepen their understanding of sustainability and encourages them to engage with a range of international organisations and charities through the curriculum, including the work of Oasis Global. By developing a deep sense of hope and perseverance, in line with our character approach and ethos, our children and young people enter adulthood with a sense of social responsibility and collective identity, acting as a force for good and positive role models for generations to come. In previous years, pupils from our school have visited Oasis primary schools in Uganda and engaged in charitable projects and awareness raising.

Beyond the classroom

Our fundamental offer includes a promise to all children and young people for opportunities which further broaden the curriculum. These include playing an active part in a hub project, playing a musical instrument, attending a residential trip, visiting theatres, art galleries, museums and universities and places of work. In addition to the agreed curriculum content, this further supports the development of a solid foundation of essential world knowledge to ensure equality of opportunity for all. These opportunities are carefully planned into the curriculum to ensure maximum impact. They are authentically linked to the taught curriculum to strengthen both episodic and semantic memory structures, and open children‘s eyes to the opportunities available to them to be able to make connections to fully explore their potential.

“The school is an orderly place where learning takes place effectively” Ofsted 2018

Curriculum Details