Porthleven School's Curriculum

Our aim is to provide all our children with an engaging, exciting and empowering curriculum that equipment them with the skills for success both now and in the future.

The development of our curriculum is based on the following key principles to meet the needs of the children in our community:

  • To provide opportunities for all pupils to progress in their learning
  • To promote spiritual, moral, social and cultural development
  • To develop positive characteristics in our pupils with an emphasis on resilience for learning
  • To provide pupils with a sense of place but to also widen their outlook to the world beyond.
  • To give all pupils, especially disadvantaged pupils, experiences and essential knowledge that broaden their opportunities in life.

We believe the best schools reflect their local communities; we bring the community into our school and we take our pupils out into the community. The best schools also look beyond their local community and we ensure our pupils are part of the national and international conversation. We teach pupils how to be active members of the community and how to be good citizens of the world.

Most of the children start their learning journey at Porthleven School in our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). It is the most important stage of a child’s school life as it covers the development of children from the age of three to end of the Reception year age 5. During this time, children learn to adapt from their home environment to the new experiences and challenges of school. For more information on how we implement learning in the foundation stage through the ‘Seven areas of Learning' please see our EYFS page.


At Porthleven, we don’t only want to teach children to read, we want to create readers, who are confident, fluent and above all, love engaging with reading. To achieve this, children need a solid foundation in phonics and to be immersed in quality picture books and story-telling from an early age. Children need to experience a broad range of quality texts, both fiction and non-fiction, to develop and deepen their understanding of the world in which they live and to open up the school’s curriculum and future learning at secondary school.


At Porthleven School we strive to create a love for literacy. We want every child to leave  year 6 with the skills of an excellent writer who:

• The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.

• A vivid imagination with an authorial voice, which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.

• A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.

• Well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.

• Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat.

• A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.

Children have the opportunity to explore a whole range of different genres, with the focus of using quality texts to imitate, innovate and invent their own texts. Fundamental to our writing process is the communication of high expectations to ensure children develop a critical voice and endeavour to make their writing even better.     



At Porthleven, we believe that every pupil should leave school being numerate and equipped with the mathematical skills to thrive in later life. Our curriculum is rich in skills and knowledge, that take takes pupils on a journey to ensure that pupils have a sound understanding of the structure of mathematics and how this can be used to solve problems and challenges in different contexts.  Lessons weave calculation, reasoning and problem solving throughout, providing opportunities to make links with prior knowledge and challenge pupils’ understanding.

Our aspiration is for every child to see themselves as a mathematician – demonstrating a confident attitude towards tackling problems both in and out of the classroom and understanding the importance of maths in the wider world.  


Religious Education 

The aims of our curriculum is to not only develop pupils’ understanding of people, cultures, faiths and relationships but to encourage children to think theologically by involving pupils in exploring key ideas and crucial inner meanings within the religious material they are studying.  We believe that by gaining knowledge and skills also helps pupils to develop their own understanding of the world and how to live.   It is our aim that pupils have the skills needed to handle questions raised by religion and belief, reflecting on their own ideas and ways of living.  RE makes a significant contribution to pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, as well as important opportunities for exploring British values.



At Porthleven Primary School, we recognise the importance of Science in every aspect of daily life. The focus in our science curriculum is for our pupils to gain knowledge through practical skills and meaningful experiences linked to the real life and the natural world.

Following the National Curriculum and Chris Quigley our Science teaching offers opportunities for children to:

  • Develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding across Biology, Physics and Chemistry topics.

  • Develop understanding of the processes and methods of Science through different types of science enquiries that help them to ask and answer scientific questions about the world around them;

  • Develop the essential practical scientific enquiry skills to deepen their scientific knowledge such as planning enquiries and carrying them out.

  • Use a range of methods to communicate their scientific information and present it in different ways. 

  • Develop a respect for the materials and equipment they handle with regard to their own, and other children’s safety.

  • Above all, develop a passion, enthusiasm and enjoyment of scientific learning and discovery and to be curious learners. 


Children have weekly lessons in Science throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, using various programmes of study and resources. In Early Years, science is taught through the children learning about the world around them in their learning through play.

Teachers create a positive attitude to science learning within their classrooms and nurture an environment where children can ask questions and being curious about the world. Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of science involves the following;

• Science is taught in classes once a week. Although teachers will endeavour to link it with the termly topics and make connections at other times, it will be discrete from topic work to ensure coverage of the yearly units. Science work is recorded in a separate STEM book.

• Each new science topic will be introduced with a knowledge organiser which will offer a summary of the whole topic such as key facts, vocabulary definitions and key diagrams to aid their learning. These will be used throughout the science topic for reference to ensure key spellings of vocabulary and for any misconceptions. 

• Through our planning, we endeavour to get children asking their own questions and using scientific vocabulary. Lessons may begin with activities to start discussion using resources such as Explorify, Concept Cartoons and other stimulus. These lesson starts are also a great way of recapping previous learning and vocabulary as well as pre-assessment for future learning concepts.

• At other times, lessons will begin with retrieval skill focuses that allow children to revise previous topics from their own and previous years content and engage in low stakes quizzing. 

• Planning involves teachers creating engaging lessons that focus on enquiry skills as a main focus of their tasks: research, identifying and classifying, pattern spotting, and observation over time or comparative/fair testing. 

• We build upon the learning and skill development of the previous year’s making sure to engager prior learning.

• Teachers demonstrate how to use scientific equipment, and the various Working Scientifically skills in order to embed scientific understanding. Teachers find opportunities to develop children’s understanding of their surroundings by accessing outdoor learning whenever possible.

• Teachers asses throughout each science topic through low stakes quizzing and assessments questions in individual lessons to a written assessment test at the end of each unit to gauge their understanding and identify areas that need to be revisited. 



At Porthleven School children explore and develop their skills and creativity using a wide range of media. We believe that Art stimulates creativity, imagination and inventiveness.

“Art is not just a subject you can learn but an activity that you can practise with your hands, your eyes, your whole personality.” Quentin Blake

We plan a range of integrated experiences carefully planned to fit in with our topics. Art should enable children to communicate what they see, feel and think. Children experiment with the use of colour, texture, form, line, shape, pattern and different materials. The children learn to improve their mastery of art and design techniques by learning specific drawing, painting, printing, collage and sculpture techniques. They record their observations and ideas in sketch books and use them to review and evaluate improvements. They take inspiration from nature, design and will also learn about great artists, architects and designers in history. 



We want to develop children’s curiosity and fascination about the world and its people that will remain with them for the rest of their lives. Through our curriculum children will encounter a variety of different places and develop an understanding of their physical and human features and the pattern of relationships between them, for example appreciating how natural resources are used and transported. We are committed to providing children with opportunities to investigate and make enquiries about their local area of Cornwall so that they can develop a real sense of who they are, their heritage and what makes our local area unique and special. We want to provide opportunities for children to think like geographers and develop those essential characteristics:

• An excellent knowledge of where places are and what they are like.

• An excellent understanding of the ways in which places are interdependent and interconnected and how much human and physical environments are interrelated.

• An extensive base of geographical knowledge and vocabulary.

• Fluency in complex, geographical enquiry and the ability to apply questioning skills and use effective analytical and presentational techniques.

• The ability to reach clear conclusions and develop a reasoned argument to explain findings.

• Significant levels of originality, imagination or creativity as shown in interpretations and representations of the subject matter.

• Highly developed and frequently utilised fieldwork and other geographical skills and techniques.

• A passion for and commitment to the subject, and a real sense of curiosity to find out about the world and the people who live there.

• The ability to express well-balanced opinions, rooted in very good knowledge and understanding about current and contemporary issues in society and the environment.



At Porthleven School we aim to offer a high-quality history education that will help pupils gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world. It should inspire pupils’ curiosity to know more about the past. Teaching should equip pupils to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. History helps pupils to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups. It also helps children gain a sense of their own identity within a social, political, cultural and economic background. Because of this, we feel it is important for the subject to be taught discretely as well as incorporated within other curriculum subjects.

Our History lessons are informed and aligned with the National Curriculum. The history curriculum is designed for children to develop and progress through core disciplinary concepts to ensure that when they leave our school they will think like historians:

  • Change, continuity & development

  • Cause and consequence

  • Significance and diversity

  • Chronological understanding 

  • Interpretations

 Knowledge of abstract concepts (substantive knowledge), such as 'Monarchy' and 'Empire' are built on through the history curriculum through a variety of contexts at local, national and global level.   

We intend for our children to have real life experiences and learn about History in an active and creative way and therefore visitors and trips form a part of our curriculum.  Use of artefacts from local museums also support contextualised learning in the classroom.



Our intention is that when children leave Porthleven School, they will do so with the 

knowledge, understanding and emotions to be able to play an active, positive and successful role in today’s diverse society. We want our children to have high aspirations, a belief in themselves and realise that anything is possible if they put their mind to it. In an ever–changing world, it is important that they are aware, to an appropriate level, of different factors which will affect their world and that they learn how to deal with these so that they have good mental health and well-being.

Our PSHE curriculum develops learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge and skills which will enable children to access the wider curriculum and prepare them to be a global citizen now and in their future roles within a global community. It promotes the spiritual, moral, cultural, mental and physical development of pupils, preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences for later life. Our Relationships and Sex Education enables our children to learn how to be safe, and to understand and develop healthy relationships, both now and in their future lives.


Modern Foreign Languages  

Porthleven School intends to use the Language Angels scheme of work and resources to ensure we offer a relevant, broad, vibrant and ambitious foreign languages curriculum that will inspire and excite our pupils using a wide variety of topics and themes. All pupils will be expected to achieve their full potential by encouraging high expectations and excellent standards in their foreign language learning - the ultimate aim being that pupils will feel willing and able to continue studying languages beyond key stage 2.

The intent is that all content will be continuously updated and reviewed annually, creating a dynamic programme of study that will be clearly outlined in both long-term and short-term planning. This will ensure that the foreign language knowledge of our pupils progresses within each academic year and is extended year upon year throughout the primary phase and, in so doing, will always be relevant and in line with meeting or exceeding national DfE requirements. The four key language learning skills; listening, speaking, reading and writing will be taught and all necessary grammar will be covered in an age-appropriate way across the primary phase. This will enable pupils to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts, laying down solid foundations for future language learning and also helping the children improve overall attainment in other subject areas.

The intent is that all pupils will develop a genuine interest and positive curiosity about foreign languages, finding them enjoyable and stimulating. Learning a second language will also offer pupils the opportunity to explore relationships between language and identity, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and the world around them with a better awareness of self, others and cultural differences. The intention is that they will be working towards becoming life-long language learners.  


Physical Education 

It is our intent that PE inspires, engages and challenges all pupils at Porthleven School, and that our PE curriculum is accessible to all. We strive for all young people to have the opportunity to engage in a variety of sports and physical activities that will equip them with a range of opportunities to get active, enjoy sport, discover new and exciting talents and to lead an active and healthy lifestyle. We aim for all children to develop skills in both play and different sports so that every child has their chance to shine. We want all pupils to understand the importance of physical education and keeping healthy whilst developing lifelong learning skills such as teamwork and perseverance.

At Porthleven School it is our aim to ensure that every child accesses a wide range of physical opportunities. A broad physical education curriculum has been created to ensure that every child will gain access to every objective set out in the National Curriculum, and more. Children in Year 4 and 6 will have the opportunity to have a half-termly swimming slot.

Physical Education lessons have been carefully planned to ensure there is a clear skills progression in each sport and activity for every child as they progress through the school. Each individual lesson has a clear objective that the children are made aware of and they also know how to challenge themselves with more complex skills-based objectives.



At Porthleven School it is our intent that our curriculum inspires pupils to develop a love of music and their talent as musicians, and so increase their self-confidence, creativity and sense of achievement. Our aim is to provide a music curriculum which will enable each child to reach their full potential in music, encourage children to enjoy singing, composing and performing and provide children with the opportunity to perform in front of an audience both within and outside of school.