Curriculum Explained

At Portfield, our curriculum ambition is that all children 'AIM High' in all areas of their lives. We believe that children will reach their potential if they are fully engaged in their learning and working hard. To ensure our pupils have the best possible chance of achieving success in the future, we have developed a broad, moral-focused and knowledge-rich curriculum.

AIM High - Our curriculum develops:

A moral compass

Independent learners

Mastery of core knowledge and techniques

Click on the purple year group boxes to find out what topics our curriculum covers. Click on the green box to find out the moral themes that our pupils explore throughout our curriculum.

If you would like to find out 'how we teach' or would like more information about our curriculum then please see our 'Curriculum and Pedagogy' document (click the grey box) or book an appointment with a member of our senior leadership team through the school office.

a moral compass

where pupils develop their character through philosophical, moral and social debate and actively participate in the world through cultural experiences and authentic learning projects that positively impact their communities

We believe that having a well-developed moral compass is the key to succeeding in the modern world. A strong knowledge of how to treat others and how to 'give our all' are at the core of our school community.

Our school values are a constant reminder to live in a caring, aspirational, resilient and respectful way. All of the decisions we make as a school have these values at the centre so that we are intentionally helping those within our community to develop into well-rounded individuals with a deep sense of duty and responsibility.

independent learners

where pupils learn how to learn and how to work hard so that they can achieve their best

At Portfield, we want everyone in our community to know how to learn well and work hard.


We want our behaviour to be underpinned by positive habits, behaviours that are so ingrained in us that we do them without thinking - they are just ‘who we are’.


However, we understand that this will take time to achieve and so know the importance of the stages of development leading to the end goal. We see it as a priority to help children to move through the stages of development by showing and discussing with them what they are aiming for. We believe that the quicker children master positive learning behaviours, the more effective they will be as a learner.

mastery of core knowledge & techniques

where pupils learn the core building blocks of all subjects through clear instructional teaching, the study of masterpieces and by applying their knowledge to problems that deepen understanding

At Portfield, we believe that having a strong knowledge of the world and secure physical and mental techniques are key for long-term success. We see it as a core responsibility to ensure that our pupils have this knowledge and these techniques firmly embedded in their long-term memories.

Within our curriculum, we refer to two main types of memory - declarative and procedural:


  • Declarative memory refers to the part of memory which stores knowledge that can be declared or communicated in words - this tends to be facts and events. For example, ‘London is the capital city of England’.


Declarative memory also stores memories of experiences or events. For example, looking at a particular painting in an art gallery on a school trip or climbing a certain tree during a forest school session.

  • Procedural memory refers to the part of memory which stores memories of ‘how to’ do something. At Portfield, we refer to these as techniques. For example, 'how to catch a ball' or 'how to use a sculpting knife'.

We have mapped out the knowledge and techniques that we believe are most important for our pupils to learn. All of the knowledge and techniques that we teach are recorded in knowledge & techniques progression documents. Knowledge and techniques are recorded for each subject area so that learning is clear and progressive. This ensures that pupils are building on their knowledge and techniques within specific subject areas. Within our curriculum, we have clearly planned out opportunities for our pupils to revisit previously taught core knowledge and techniques so that they don't forget, but instead remember more over time.


Each subject within the Primary National Curriculum includes a slightly different amount of declarative knowledge and procedural techniques. For example, history requires a strong 'fact-based' understanding (declarative knowledge), whereas physical education (PE) requires a pupil to have a strong understanding of 'how to' physically move their body (procedural techniques).

Our knowledge and techniques progression documents were created using the ‘National Curriculum’ and guidance from several academies/local authorities and lead educational researchers. As a staff team we have tailored them to meet the needs of the children at Portfield. Please see individual subject pages to view our knowledge and techniques progression documents and knowledge organisers.