At Portfield, we want our children to 'AIM High' in all areas of their lives. We believe that children will reach their potential if they are fully engaged in their learning. As a result, we have created a broad, exciting and progressive curriculum which is based around authentic, community based outcomes that equip children with the knowledge they need to succeed in an ever-changing world. All of our topics are linked to 'essential questions' which lead the children into action. For example, the question, 'What is the cost of war?' might lead to the children to raise money for charities that support refugees.

If you would like to find out more about our curriculum, then please see our 'AIM High Curriculum and Pedagogy Explanation' document or book an appointment with a member of our senior leadership team through the school office.

AIM High - Our curriculum develops:

  • A moral compass
  • Independent learners
  • Mastery of key knowledge


A Moral Compass

where pupils develop their character through philosophical, moral and social debate and actively explore how they can positively affect their local, national and international communities through authentic learning projects

We believe that having a strong moral compass is the key to succeeding in the modern world. A deep sense of how we treat others and how to 'give our all' are at the core of our school community. Our core values are:

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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 at 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.

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Mastery of Key Knowledge

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 have mapped out the knowledge that we believe is most important for our pupils to know. This has been for each subject so that it is clear and progressive. We have done this to ensure that the children are building on their knowledge of specific areas of learning within each subject so that they can remember more over time.

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

  • Declarative knowledge refers to any 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’.
  • Procedural knowledge refers to ‘how to’ knowledge. For example, 'how to catch a ball' or 'how to use a sculpting knife'.

Each subject includes a slightly different amount of declarative and procedural knowledge. 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 knowledge). 

The knowledge progression documents were created using the ‘National Curriculum’ and guidance from several academies/local authorities and lead educational researchers. As a staff we tailored them to meet the needs of the children at Portfield.