Oak National Academy expands programme portfolio as second lockdown looms

With the UK plunging into a second lockdown from Thursday 5 November, remote teaching and learning is set to steer the sector through the nation’s second COVID wave

Oak National Academy is expanding its programme offering, promising a greater breadth and depth of subjects as the UK’s second lockdown looms.

With new restrictions coming into play from 5 November, the ongoing pandemic is set to cause further disruption before the end of the year, with the UK recording at least 1,034,900 confirmed cases as of 2 November. The new lockdown will be enforced to help stop the spread of the virus, with brand-new rules including:

  • People being told to stay at home – except for education, work (if it can’t be done from home), exercise and recreation, medical appointments, grocery shopping and other essentials, or to care for others
  • All pubs, restaurants and hospitality venues being forced to close – but takeaways and deliveries may continue
  • All non-essential shops will be closed, but supermarkets are allowed to sell non-essential goods
  • Households will not be allowed to mix with others indoors or in private gardens
  • People can meet one person from outside their household in an outside public space
  • Support bubbles for people who live alone and households made up of single parents and children can continue
  • Children will be able to move between homes if their parents are separated
  • Schools, colleges and universities will stay open
  • Workplaces will be ask to stay open if people can’t work from home – including construction and manufacturing
  • Outdoor exercise and recreation will be allowed, but gyms will have to close
  • Clinically vulnerable are advised not to go to work if they’re not able to work from home

You might also like: Oak National Academy to stay open to support teachers for the 2020/21 academic year

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In light of this, the academy has built on its offering for January 2021, with it’s e-learning portfolio now set to include PE; drama; relationship, health and sex education; design and technology; languages; and the arts.

It seems that the growth is timely, with the academy citing a surge in user sign-ups throughout October. As reported by TES, the platform welcomed 370,000 users in the week prior to half term, a 50% rise on the figures recorded just 14 days before.

TES also reports that user numbers increased in UK regions that were under Tier 3 lockdown measures (with Tier 3 harbouring the most serious preventative restrictions of all). In the last week alone, for example, the platform saw a 25% rise in sign ups across Manchester, and a 27% user increase in Sheffield.

Informed by industry experts, Oak’s new curriculum includes:

  • Design and Technology – KS1–3, produced alongside The Design and Technology Association
  • Drama – KS1–3, designed with National Drama, the professional association for drama teachers and theatre educators
  • PE – KS1–2, informed by the Association for Physical Education
  • PE – KS3, produced alongside YouthSport Trust
  • French and Spanish – KS2, created with Research in Primary Languages
  • Art, Craft and Design – KS1–2, informed by the National Society for Education in Art and Design
  • RSHE – KS3-4, designed alongside Bright Futures Educational Trust
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