Oaklands Autism Base offers the full National Curriculum. Wherever possible, pupils participate in statutory tests and many pupils excel in these, within their areas of strength. Delivery of the foundation subjects is balanced with the need to provide an enhanced social curriculum.
In the base, academic lessons are differentiated for the needs of pupils with autism. In comparison to a mainstream classroom environment, the primary difference is the use of 'structured teaching'. This involves using a consistent format and set of cues for each lesson which pupils can easily learn to predict. Timetables and routines for lessons are kept as regular as possible to reduce anxiety caused by change and the unknown. Wherever possible, any necessary change within the daily learning routine is carefully prepared for.
Learning is broken into small blocks and adult-led time is interleaved with frequent periods of 'low demand' time during which pupils may pursue their own interests. Feedback methods are adapted to support those who are very sensitive to perceived failure or criticism. Learning is carefully designed to be high challenge, but risk-free. Alternative recording methods are used for those with motor-control and perceptual barriers to handwriting. Each pupil is supported as an individual to be able to access the specialist teaching delivered to their group. Individual (1:1) teaching is avoided as much as possible, although it is occasionally necessary for specific, time-limited interventions.