Curriculum

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

At Portland, we ASPIRE in everything we do.

Our Connected Curriculum allows children to see the links between subjects and their previous learning ensuring learning 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.

 

Our curriculum is progressive with clear links between subject areas in half termly themes.   We use knowledge organisers to support children and parents to grasp the key conceptual knowledge, skills and vocabulary needed for each half term. Our subject curriculum scrolls enable us to continually build upon previous learning and through the use of regular retrieval practice, we ensure children know more, remember more and can do more. 

This layered, systematic approach enables a progressive and diverse curriculum which allows our children to holistically develop their knowledge, skills, vocabulary and understanding of their local area, as well as the wider world across the broad range of subjects.  Our fully inclusive approach allows us to adapt to the learners’ individual needs and promote high expectations, challenge leading to excellent outcomes.

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 learning to be continued. We use carefully selected visits and enrichment opportunities, which includes a fully subsidised residential in Year 6. This is to ensure that all of our children have real life experiences to underpin their knowledge, apply their skills and  build understanding to support and close the disadvantaged gap.

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

How are animals different?

UTW

What can we grow?

UTW/P&C

F2 Who lives in our community?

PSED/ P&C

What is our local area like?

UTW

How is our world different?

UTW

Where in the world do our families comes from?

PSED/P&C

What changes can we see around us?

P&P/UTW

How are we changing?

PSED/UTW

Y1 What is in the wonderful city of Nottingham?

Geography/History

How is my childhood different from the olden days?

History 

 

What is the best of British?

Geography/DT

 

What are the strongest bridges in Nottingham?

DT/ History 

How do plants and flowers grow?

Science 

Where in the world is it the hottest? 

Geography

Y2 Where did the fire start?

History / Geography

Why do different people celebrate different things?

RE / Music / DT

What do plants and animals need to survive?

Science / Geography

Was the Titanic prepared for the voyage?

History / Geography /

Who can we learn important lessons from?

History / Geography / Science /

What does the African culture look like?

Geography / Art

Y3 How did our Human History all begin?

History/DT

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

Geography

Why is the Nile at the center of Egyptian life?

History/Geography

What did the Ancient Egyptians leave behind?

History/ Art

How do we look after our local wildlife?

PSHE/Geography/Science

What is life like around the Mediterranean?

Geography

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

What gives us power?

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 What makes me human?

Science

Why were the Victorians Victorious?

History

Where did  the war  begin?

History

How did the British prevail?

History

How does life survive?

Geography / Science

How can we become a citizen of the world?

Science

 

 

Knowledge Organisers

2022-23

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