Curriculum

At Portland, we ASPIRE in everything we do.

At Portland Spencer Academy we provide high quality teaching and learning for all pupils, every day, so that no-one gets left behind.

Our Connected Curriculum is designed around our ASPIRE VALUES:

A

Achieve greatness through independent learning

S

Succeed together

P

Possibilities are endless

I

Improve through reflection and learning from mistakes

R

Responsible for our choices

E

Everyone is important

Portland Spencer Academy Curriculum Intent  #ASPIRE

These 6 key principles underpin the choices that our teachers make when deciding what are going to be the themes for the children’s learning.  Our ‘Connected Curriculum’ is underpinned with relevant, up-to-date research and represents our high expectations, is challenging and designed to address the disadvantaged gap. Everything that we do is based upon our knowledge of our children and we pride ourselves on our ‘whatever it takes’ ethos.

Our curriculum is progressive with clear links between subject areas.  We continuously build upon previous learning as we expand, broaden and deepen the knowledge and skills of our children using carefully planned sequential learning and regular retrieval practice.  This layered. systematic approach has led to a progressive and diverse curriculum which allows our children to holistically develop their knowledge, vocabulary and understanding of their local area, as well as the wider world.  Our fully inclusive approach allows us to adapt to the learners individual needs and promote challenge.

Reading permeates and strengthens our curriculum.  Each theme is enhanced by quality texts with the children taking home a copy of their own each half term.  This enables children to build their own mini library at home for leaning to be apply their skills and build understanding to support and close the disadvantaged gap.

Subject leaders play a large role in the successful delivery of our ‘connected curricum’ with regular monitoring, evaluation and review of the curriculum.  Our ‘Connected Curriculum’ ensures children leave Portland Spencer Academy with ambition, drive and enthusiasm equipping them with the tools to thrive and ASPIRE in whatever path they choose to undertake.

Our Connected Curriculum allows learning to make sense!

It is…

  • Designed for and by all our children 
  • Underpinned by research around how children learn best (click here to find out more)
  • A passport to the world through a love of books 
  • Enhanced by real life experiences and inspirational people to create lifelong memories
  • A vehicle to promote curiosity whilst having lots of fun!

 

Our curriculum is broad and balanced, with every subject meeting or going beyond the National Curriculum requirements.

Subjects are taught to a high standard – click below for individual subject intents.

Please click here  for more information and to see our Portland library.

 

Overview of Themes from Nursery to Year 6

with main subject drivers indicated

Year

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
F1 Who lives in our family?

PSED/P&C

What changes can we see?

UTW

What is the weather like around the world?

UTW

What is life like around the world?

UTW/P&C

What can we grow?

UTW

How are animals different?

UTW

F2

What does my world look like?

PSED/ P&C

What does our community celebrate?

UTW

How are places around the world different?

UTW

How are places around the world different?

UTW

What changes can we see around us?

P&P/UTW

What does life look like in different places?

PSED/UTW

Y1

How has Nottingham changed over time?

Geography/History

 

How is my childhood different from the olden days?

History 

How are the countries that make up the UK similar and different? 

Geography/DT

What are bridges used for?

DT/ History

What grows in our local environment?

Science 

Is it always sunny in the summer?

Geography

Y2

What damage did the Great Fire of London do? 

History / Geography

How is life a celebration?

RE / Music / DT

Was the Titanic a trip of a lifetime? 

History / Geography

What do plants and animals need to survive? 

Science / Geography

Who helps us to stay healthy?

History / Geography / Science 

Is life different in Africa? 

Geography / Art

Y3

How did our human history all begin?

History/DT

What is the view like from the  top of the world?

Geography

Which Pharaohs helped lead the Ancient Egyptian Legacy?

History/ Art

Why is the Nile at the centre of Egyptian life?

History/ Geography

What is life like around the Mediterranean?

Geography

How do we look after our local wildlife?

PSHE/Geography/Science

Y4

Who were the Ancient Greeks?

History

What are natural disasters?

Science/ Geography

Who were the Romans?

History/Geography

What was Roman Britain like?

History/ Arts

Where does food go?

Science/Geography

Why are interventions important?

Science/PSHE

Y5

Who occupied Britain after the Romans?

History

Are the Vikings that vicious?

History

How unique is our planet?

Geography/ Science/History 

What is out there, beyond Earth?

Science /DT

What is life all about?

Science/PSHE/RE

How has power changed throughout history?

History/RE

Y6 How can we live a healthy lifestyle?

Science

How were the Victorians Victorious?

History

Where did  the war  begin?

History

How does life survive?

Geography / Science

Where did the war end? 

History

Can we form our own enterprise?

DT

 

 

Knowledge Organisers

2022-23

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Nursery Nursery Nursery
Reception Reception Reception
Year 1 Year 1 Year 1
Year 2 Year 2 Year 2
Year 3 Year 3 Year 3
Year 4 Year 4 Year 4
Year 5 Year 5 Year 5
Year 6 Year 6 Year 6

2021-22

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Nursery Nursery Nursery Nursery Nursery Nursery
Reception Reception Reception Reception Reception Reception
Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1
Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2
Year 3 Year 3 Year 3 Year 3 Year 3 Year 3
Year 4 Year 4 Year 4 Year 4 Year 4 Year 4
Year 5 Year 5 Year 5 Year 5 Year 5 Year 5
Year 6 Year 6 Year 6 Year 6 Year 6 Year 6

 

2020-21

Autumn 1 Autumn 2 Spring 1 Spring 2 Summer 1 Summer 2
Nursery Nursery Nursery Nursery Nursery Nursery
Reception Reception Reception Reception Reception Reception
Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1
Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2 Year 2
Year 3 Year 3 Year 3 Year 3 Year 3 Year 3
Year 4 Year 4 Year 4 Year 4 Year 4 Year 4
Year 5 Year 5 Year 5 Year 5 Year 5 Year 5
Year 6 Year 6 Year 6 Year 6 Year 6 Year 6

 

Why we do it…

In recent decades, cognitive scientists have confirmed the need for a knowledge-engaged  curriculum for two reasons:

 

Knowledge frees up your brain’s capacity for thinking

Cognitive scientists have found that our brain works at different speeds, depending on whether we have learned something already, or whether we are relying on “working memory”. Working memory is new information you can keep in your head and is very limited (holding between three and seven pieces of new information). That is why learning your times tables by heart is useful. Completing more complex calculations is made more simple if knowledge of tables is already ‘locked in’. For this reason, we have daily fluency lessons and all lessons begin with a ‘connect back’ to active prior knowledge and free up the brain’s capacity for thinking.

 

We learn new things by connecting them to old things

The way in which the brain stores new information, and makes inferences and discoveries, is by connecting to existing stored knowledge (schema). You cannot have skills without knowledge, because you cannot evaluate something you do not know anything about. You also cannot come up with new ideas without jumping off existing ones.At Portland, to help children make connections to prior learning we have ‘connect backs’ at the start of every lesson, regular retrieval practice and learning journeys with ribbons to make connections to previous learning explicit to our children.

To find out more about our curriculum, please contact Joe Handy, Head of School via: info@portlandspencer.com