Oak Academy: A teacher's guide

Paul Main

How can teachers use National Oak Academy as a curriculum delivery tool to advance pupil progress?

What is National Oak Academy?

Oak National Academy is a learning resource hub created by teachers for teachers of pupils aged from 4 to 16.  Launched by Reach Foundation, in 2020, as a response to the COVID-10 pandemic, the resource hub includes lesson slides, video lessons, worksheets, and quizzes conforming to the national curriculum of England.

The goal of the national Oak Academy is to become the go-to hub for all kinds of learning ranging from grade academics to qualification examinations like GCSE, KS2. It supports both teachers and students by offering revision resources and self-learning resources respectively.

It should go without saying that if we want to improve educational outcomes then we need to give teachers the freedom to adapt their own curriculum and run their classroom according to their pupils needs.

So why do teachers need to be given the freedom to design their curriculum? Because when teachers design their own curriculum, they are able to focus on what really matters to children – their interests, abilities and aspirations.

They can include activities that allow children to develop their creativity and imagination. And they can ensure that all children learn together so that everyone learns from each other.

That's where resources like that of Oak National Academy come into play. With over 10,000 resources, including videos, interactive games and audio files, there's something for every child at any stage of their education.

And because it's designed by teachers, it's always up to date, ensuring that it remains relevant to the needs of children across the country.

How to use access National Oak Academy resources

Oak provides a completely free, sequenced plan of online video lessons and resources for anyone who wants to learn or teach school students.

To access the educational resources you need to visit the national. academy.

The website doesn’t ask for sign-ups, logins, or any on-boarding. It is a hub that is divided into two major sections. One is for teachers and the other for pupils. Each serves a different purpose and the video lessons vary accordingly.

The online classroom layout is much more useful and user-friendly for students. Students can access online lessons at home on their own, or parents could also check frequently what their wards are learning in class. This is a great way to keep your focus and help you see how well you are doing so far. These lessons help guide your students through the curriculum, starting with something completely new each time, or building off of previous material you taught.

Teachers use the resources to support their remote teaching efforts, do lesson planning and lower their workload.

Lesson Formats in Oak Academy

Teaching is universal and each lesson has similar characteristics. This includes multiple choice quizzes, study cards, step-by-step videos, and other accessible formats of the virtual bank of lessons.

All resources are structured lessons with easy-to-follow formats. The first is a quiz where students are asked about their understanding of what they’ve just watched in the video and/or read in the worksheet, then teachers guide them through a demonstration using a whiteboard as a computational laboratory – they work through an example step by step while explaining each action. Finally, the students are sent on their way with another short quiz asking similar questions to the first test.

You can choose the lessons you want your class to take, for example, if you think it should go over the lesson. You can either choose from having them look it over in its entirety or just a part of it – maybe just the video without a worksheet, or turning on or off quizzes based on your plan and teaching style so they see what’s most relevant to them personally.

The downloadable lessons feature allows you to download the slideshow and worksheets so you can also edit them(provided if copyright allows). You’re also allowed to share links to online lessons with your colleagues or with your students.

Plan of video lessons
Plan of video lessons

Accessing the Resource Hub

Search by keyword

Use our curriculum browser search bar to search for lessons relevant to your needs. Let’s say, for instance, that you’re looking for Worksheets Algebra and Linear equations in a Mathematics course. The search bar will narrow down what you are looking for: all material tagged with “algebra,” “linear equations,” and “worksheets.”

Search by key stage

Here you've got all stages from Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) to Key Stage 4. To allow for a more discrete selection of lessons based on the different needs and abilities of pupils, these are grouped by Key Stage rather than Year Group.

Search by subject

By visiting a subject area, you can easily access all the units in that specific category available to students at your school as they progress further into their academic careers. Once you click on an individual unit, an overview of each lesson and its accompanying resources is represented. Clicking on a lesson will provide even more information such as what activities are to be completed within that particular unit.

Oak Academy Curriculum Maps

If you're using Oak to plan ahead for your next lesson, the first thing we would recommend you do is go into your units and map them against the existing curriculum to assess which ones match.

There’s a curriculum map for every subject so you can plan your online lessons effectively. You can access these by visiting our curriculum page or by clicking on the course name at the top of each lesson.

Each map includes a curriculum body, curriculum for pupils, an overview of all topics covered, revision resources, and how many lessons there are for each. The online resources provided information on the prerequisites for each unit, as well as a suggested schedule and order. You're free to use the units in any order that suits your needs.

Finding lessons in Oak academy
Finding lessons in Oak academy

Oak Specialist Curriculum

Oak offers specialist curriculum for students who seek to develop in certain areas like: Communication and Language, Creative Arts, Independent Living, Numeracy and Physical Development, and Therapies (Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Sensory Integration, Speech and Language Therapy)

A new special curriculum called 'Online SEND Curriculum' for pupils with special educational needs and disabilities has been launched online by Oak National Academy. The virtual school offers signed and subtitled lessons for pupils who are hearing-impaired.

Curriculum Maps available under the following categories:

EYFS: Literacy, Maths, Music, RSHE (PSHE), Understanding the World

Primary (Key Stage 1): Art & Design, Design & Technology, Drama, English, Geography, History, Maths, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education, RSHE (PSHE), Science

Primary (Key Stage 2): Art & Design, Computing, Design & Technology, Drama, English, English Grammar, English Reading for Pleasure, English Spelling, French, Geography, History, Maths, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education, RSHE (PSHE), Science, Spanish

Secondary (Key Stage 3): Art & Design, Citizenship, Computing, Design & Technology, Drama, English, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Maths, Music, Physical Education, Religious Education, RSHE (PSHE), Science, Spanish

Secondary (Key Stage 4): Art & Design, Biology, Chemistry, Citizenship, Combined Science, Computing, Computing (Non-GCSE), English, French, Geography, German, History, Latin, Maths, Physics, Religious Education, RSHE (PSHE), Spanish

Frequently Asked Questions about Oak Academy?

Is the Oak Academy a real school ?

Oak National Academy is not a school. It is a resource hub for school students aged 4-16.

Zero Data Costs to Access Oak's Content

Oak's educational content has been awarded zero-rating by eleven major telecom providers in the UK. It means that when students, teachers or parents access Oak's educational content over the Internet, their data allowance is not affected. This means that you don't have to worry about incurring extra charges because of the amount of time spent accessing Oak's content. 

Can I download Oak Academy lessons?

Yes, you can download, share and also edit the video if the copyright is attributed.

How do I access Oak National Academy lessons ?

You have to visit the the national.academy. and you can search for lessons, quiz, worksheets or any other applications through their search bar. It is stated that there are over 130 million resources available.

Who created National Oak Academy?

Oak National Academy was created by teachers from 40 state schools, plus organisations across the education sector. It covers a range from Maths, English, Arts and Languages.

How much does Oak National Academy Cost ?

Oak National Academy resource hub has nearly 10,000 free lessons and resources covering a wide range of subjects, from early years foundation stage to year 11.

Class lessons with Oak Academy
Class lessons with Oak Academy

Final thoughts about Oak Academy

There are many resources available to teachers working with EYFS, Primary and Secondary school students. Oak National Academy offers an extensive collection of online resources which will help you improve your practice as well as save you time and money.

Also, 27% teachers have reported that using Oak Academy for resources has increased their quality of teaching and learning they could offer. Also, 86% are delighted so much that they recommend Oak to a colleague. with the shareable content lessons, explicit resources for SEND