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
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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