Twyford CofE Academies Trust partners with Oak National Academy

Twyford CofE Academies Trust are partners with Oak National Academy to create lesson resources to support teachers across the country. We are the subject lead for English secondary curriculum, to develop and produce high-quality resources for pupils in Years 7 – 11.

Oak National Academy was set up in April 2020 as a rapid response to the coronavirus outbreak to provide free and accessible electronic lessons for all and has become the new national body supporting curriculum. The government is making a significant investment in Oak to create national resources from KS1 – 4 in core national curriculum subjects over the next three years.

Matt Hood, chief executive of Oak National Academy, said: “Oak’s new curriculum partners will draw from and share with the sector their deep expertise whilst developing high quality curriculum resources for tens of thousands of teachers into the future.”

Dame Alice Hudson, Executive Headteacher of Twyford CofE Academies Trust said, “Our English curriculum is built on a firm foundation of the most up to date research into reading and our commitment to make it accessible to all students. We are delighted to be partnering with Oak on this new venture which builds on the ambition of our talented staff and success of our students.”

Sam Barnsley re-joins the Trust to oversees this exciting project and joins us as Project Manager in charge of the Oak National Academy Partnership. Sam spent nine years at the Twyford CofE Academies Trust, working at William Perkin in a variety of leadership roles. He joined the launch team in 2013 as Head of English, playing a key role in the development of the English curriculum. In 2017, Sam became part of the Senior Leadership Team, undertaking the role of Deputy Headteacher in charge of Curriculum and Assessment for three years. Sam has recently gained experience as Director of Learning in a training company that delivers Diversity, Equity and Inclusion training to global, corporate organisations.

On Friday 1st of September the Twyford Trust entered Phase 2 of their partnership with Oak National Academy. Eight English teachers from across the country joined the Trust’s first remote curriculum development team ready to embark on creating over 1000 online lesson resources which will be available for use by teachers across the country from later this year. The new team have been eagerly undertaking rigorous training, including a two-day residential hosted by Oak National Academy in Leeds and have just started creating their first lessons.

Senior Project Manager, Sam Barnsley, presented at ResearchEd, alongside Oak’s primary English curriculum partners, Fox Federation. Focusing on the transition between KS2 and KS3, the presentation explored how sentence level grammar has been used by Twyford trust schools to create coherence from KS2 to KS4.

Some of the secondary English modules went live on 12th October on Oak's newly designed platform.

The English content is a rich blend of the classic and contemporary. Texts from the literary canon, including Beowolf, Chaucer and Shakespeare, sit alongside contemporary writers Andrea Levy, award winning author of “Small Island”, and Winsome Pinnock, whose play “Leave Taking” has this year been added to the GCSE syllabus.  Particular care has been taken to ensure Oak’s English curricula represents the diversity of modern life. Over one in four authors in the secondary curriculum are writers of colour. It explores contemporary social issues, including women’s rights and immigration, alongside timeless themes such as nature, love and conflict. English also has a specific focus on developing pupils’ oracy - their speaking and listening skills. 

Any jobs relating to this partnership will be published in Vacancies.