Academic Overview

Oakwood Pupil in class

Academic Overview

In the Prep School we believe in the concept of lifelong learning and the idea that everyone can learn new things every day.  We maintain that learning should be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for all and it should be fun.  Through our teaching we equip each child with the skills, knowledge and understanding necessary to be able to make informed choices about the important things in their lives.  We believe that appropriate teaching and learning experiences help children to lead happy and rewarding lives.

Teaching and learning are the core purposes of what we do at Oakwood.  High quality learning outcomes and achievement are what we want for every child in our school.  Across our school the expectation is that all pupils are provided with high quality learning experiences that lead to consistently high levels of personal academic achievement.  Above all the curriculum at Oakwood is designed to provide access and opportunity for all children who attend the school.

In the Prep School a greater emphasis is placed on core and foundation subjects with pupils usually taught in mixed ability classes of no more than 19, by subject specialists in art, computing, DT, drama, food technology, humanities, PE and games, modern foreign languages, music, PSHE and science. The English and maths departments set their pupils into three ability groups. Our small class sizes ensure that each child receives individual attention which supports and stretches each pupil.  Specialist teaching ensures quality learning and a passion for all aspects of the curriculum.  Year 3 is a transition year for pupils where they remain for the most part classroom based, receiving specialist teaching for certain aspects of the curriculum.

We acknowledge that children learn in many different ways and we recognise the need to develop strategies that allow all children to learn in ways that best suit them. Through our teaching we aim to:

  • Help children to achieve their personal best;

  • Enable children to become confident, resourceful, enquiring and independent learners;

  • Foster children’s self-esteem and help them build positive relationships with other people;

  • Develop children’s self-respect and confidence and encourage children to respect the ideas; attitudes, values and feelings of others;

  • Help children grow into reliable, independent and positive citizens.

We strive to build positive links with the parents of each child by keeping them informed about the way in which the children are being taught and how well each child is progressing.  Informal day to day contact is encouraged.  Our use of effective assessment provides information to improve teaching and learning and raise pupil outcomes.  We give our children regular feedback on their learning so they can understand what they need to do in order to make progress; assessment and tracking underpins our aims of making each pupil a happy, motivated and extended child.  We give parents regular feedback on their child's progress so that teachers, children and parents are all working together.  Assessment for learning is embedded in everyday practice and is used to inform teaching and learning.

Our children are regularly assessed in both English and maths, providing information about children's progress and the next steps needed to develop their learning.  This is formative assessment and teacher led at appropriate levels in class.  In addition to this ongoing tracking we use summative assessment to measure progress and attainment.  Above all at Oakwood we are committed to understanding each individual's academic profile in full to enable them to achieve their absolute best.

Oakwood effort grade descriptors

Leavers & Scholarships

"The quality of the pupils' academic and other achievements is excellent."  ISI, 2017

One of the strengths of Oakwood's teaching staff and the Headteacher is their in depth and personal knowledge of the wide range of senior schools available to our families after Year 6 at Oakwood.  Our ability to guide parents in choosing the most suitable school for their child ensures a smooth well-prepared transition from prep school to secondary school. Our Year 6 pupils leave us ready for this exciting step in their educational journey, both academically and emotionally.  

Oakwood aims to ensure that both parents and pupils are given clear supportive guidance in order to choose their next school, starting in Year 5 with parent transition meetings, senior school exhibitions, comprehensive details of open days and one to one meetings with families to discuss next steps.  Alongside thorough academic preparation pupils have an opportunity for individualised interview practice.

Popular Destination Schools  

Bishop Luffa School 

Chichester Free School

Churcher’s College 

Ditcham Park School

Dunhurst (Bedales)

Portsmouth High School for Girls 

Seaford College 

St John’s College 

The Portsmouth Grammar School 

Oakwood Scholarships & Awards 2019Oakwood Scholarships & Awards 2018

"Oakwood pupils are typically bright, confident and lovely young people who make a full contribution to the life of our school. We feel very lucky to have such a strong relationship between our two schools."  James Priory, Former Headmaster, The Portsmouth Grammar School