Growing Strong Roots Curriculum and Remote Learning

Remote Learning 2021

Although school was closed Jan-March to many of our pupils, we were still continuing to deliver the curriculum but through remote learning.  Please see the document below to find out more about how the school met the DfE requirements for remote learning 2021.

Portreath School- Information_About_Remote_Education 2021

Growing Strong Roots Curriculum

We have been developing our curriculum over the last couple of years.  We have worked closely with other schools in Crofty MAT to create progression maps for different subject which focuses on the knowledge, vocabulary to be covered. Then as a school, we have built on these and created our own unique curriculum called ‘Growing Strong Roots Curriculum’.  Like trees, children need strong roots in order to grow and blossom. We believe that children need to grow a strong base of key knowledge, concepts, skills and personal qualities.  From this they can build upon and grow their branches of knowledge, skills and understanding in a variety of subjects and become lifelong learners.   We feel learning is most effective when learning is linked and contributes to the bigger picture.  The roots continue to grow and act as an anchor, as both staff and children, continue to grow as learners.  Like trees, every child is unique.  Everyone’s experience and learning will be different, but we want to provide certain key nutrients to all children and this is our curriculum.  We have created long term plans for each class and a list of key experiences that we want our children to have whilst at Portreath School. Links to these documents can be found below our curriculum intent statement.

To support parents we have created three information documents: End of year expectations in reading, writing and maths (RWM) for each year group (see below),  class termly/half termly curriculum leaflets and knowledge organisers. The curriculum leaflets for each class, explain some of the learning that will be happening during the term/half term and can be found on the class page. The knowledge organisers contain key vocabulary and information that the children are expected to learn during the topic. Children have one of these at school and one at home. We would really appreciate parents helping their child to learn these words and facts at home too. These can be found on the class pages too.  Each child has a Learning Journey Book that contains all their knowledge organisers.  This is so they can refer back to them.  As a school we understand the importance of revisiting and retrieving knowledge in order for it to be transferred to our long term memories and these books support this work.  The children will be learning more than the things covered on the knowledge organisers and in the leaflets but these contain the key things we plan to cover.  We hope parents will find them useful.  More information about maths and English can be found under the relevant tabs.

Portreath School’s Curriculum Intent Statement


At Portreath Primary School, the curriculum is designed to create lifelong learners with a passion for life and inner confidence.  We want children to grow strong roots of knowledge, concepts, skills and personal qualities in order to blossom as learners. Our intent is to include a range of positive experiences  and a curriculum that enriches the children’s lives, ignites their curiosity and imagination and sparks their interest in all aspects of the world around them.  The spiritual, moral, social and cultural development of our pupils and their understanding of the core values of our society are woven through the curriculum. We believe powerful knowledge opens doors and it is through knowledge that children can make sense of and improve the world we live in. We aim to provide a broad, balanced and creative curriculum that is underpinned by the teaching of basic skills and knowledge to ensure children become confident and effective speakers, readers, writers and mathematicians.

Content and Structure

In Maths we have adopted a mastery approach and use the Whiterose Small Steps planning documents to plan our maths.   There is a focus on using the concrete, visual, abstract system when teaching number and have a calculation policy that demonstrates the journey of maths throughout the school.  In English we have a long-term plan for each class, which includes a variety of genres and follows the National Curriculum and The Crofty reading and writing year group statements. Our English work is linked to our topic whenever appropriate and this enables English work to have context and purpose and allows the children to gather information through the texts explored.  Class Readers (often but not always novels) are an important feature, particularly in Key Stage 2 and whenever possible we use them to enrich the topic work; in turn we use the topic work to help us understand the novel.  We recognise the importance of vocabulary in order to fully access the curriculum and promote a love of language.  We develop academic transferable language (tier 2 vocabulary) as well as knowledge of subject-specific language (tier 3 vocabulary) and promote and develop the rich language found in fiction and poetry. We emphasise the importance of speaking and listening, as we believe great learning ‘floats on a sea of talk’ In Key Stage One we use the ‘Talking the Text’ approach for part of our English work as well as a variety of books.  We use Read Write Inc for phonics and spelling across the school. For specific details of our reading, writing and maths intent and curriculum please see our English and Mathematics policies.

As a school have created our own unique curriculum to meet the needs of our children through a variety of rich and varied experiences.  It is based on the National Curriculum (NC).  We recognise the importance of having a structure to the curriculum in order for it to be coherent.  The subject leads from the Crofty MAT came together and broke the NC statements into smaller progressive steps for the skills, knowledge and each subject.  We have then adopted this document to guide us and ensure progression across the school.  As a small school we have created a two-year rolling programme for children in Year 1-6.  This is because children spend 2 years in 2 classes during their time at the school so we want to build on rather repeat work.  As a school we pride ourselves on offering a rich and deep curriculum and we find by linking subjects together when appropriate and relevant this gives context to learning and makes the learning more meaningful and deeper.   Although we have adopted a cross-curricular topic approach, ensure the integrity of individual subjects is preserved.  We want our children to act and talk like, for example, scientists, historians and artists.  On our website you can find position statements for different subjects that gives more details about how that subject is taught.

A key question for our teachers is “Why am I teaching this?”  We ensure that we make the reasons for teaching particular skills and topics explicit to the children so they understand the purpose of their learning and see how it fits in to the bigger picture. The NC and the Crofty Small Steps provide us with the basics for what we will cover, but we do not let this limit us.  We often go further and wider. We start new topics by not only finding out what children already know, but also asking them about what they want to discover and what would take their learning on further. Rather than cover a wide range of topics superficially, we choose to take our time and cover topics in more depth, usually working on one topic for half or a whole term. We understand the importance of revisiting key concepts and building upon what has come before to create coherence. We like to have an endpoint with a real purpose or audience for the children to work towards e.g. an assembly for the school and parents. There are somethings that we teach in addition to the NC because we feel they are important and relevant to us as a school and reflect our ethos and community.

Our Heritage and The Environment

We feel it is particularly important for children to have a real sense of their heritage and work linked to Cornwall is a feature in someway for every year in each class.  We are guided by the quote, ‘A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.’ Marcus Garvey. The school has achieved ‘Plastic Free Status’ and is involved with #loveportreath to ensure our village is a wonderful place to live now and in the future. We believe that it is very important to learn about environmental issues therefore, this is weaved throughout the curriculum as well.  We are passionate about outdoor learning and helping children to learn to manage risk for themselves.  We want them to remain in touch with the natural world and we make use of the fantastic school grounds and local environment, including the beach and woods.  We give them the knowledge, skills and understanding to be thoughtful citizens who care for each other and the world around them.

Themed Weeks and Days

The importance of coming together and learning together is very important to us.  In the past we have whole school topics we have now developed this instead to have whole school weeks and special days.  The whole school comes together to learn about a theme. In addition to this we have a subject themed week each year, for example a history week.  A key feature of these weeks is sharing our learning with one another.  During the year we also have an annual outdoor learning day, an annual diversity day (Odd Socks Day) and at least one other themed day.  Occasionally on themed days children work with other children across the school in different year groups. The school now has four teams; therefore, the plan is to have occasional days or sessions when teams come together to learn from one another.  We believe there is much to learn from each other and the older children should play a part in the education of the younger children.  Our Year 6 and Reception child buddy system is a core part of this.

 Learning Behaviour and Learning to Learn

Our curriculum is designed to foster a love of learning. As well as preparing the children for life in the 21st century, we also want to celebrate the joy of learning in its own right. We believe that a child needs to know how to learn and so characteristics of effective learning and behaviours for learning are emphasised.  As part of this the school promotes five key learning behaviours: we want children to be brave, ready, responsible, resilient and happy so the curriculum is about giving children opportunities to develop these qualities.  We teach our children to become independent so even from EYFS we look at how routines, expectations and the environment enable them to do this.  We encourage them to develop a growth mind-set and to do this we teach what this means and introduce the pupils to people who have achieved great things due to their growth mind-set.  We explicitly teach children that mistakes are not bad but a natural and important part of learning.  Children are taught about metacognition and are expected to be reflective learners. Our curriculum allows children to be challenged, we want them to grapple with problems and ideas and achieve a sense of satisfaction from overcoming difficulties

 Mental Health and Personal, Social and Health Education

Personal, social and health development is a strength of the school because it is interwoven into all we do. Our ethos promotes it and is taught in a variety of ways.  We have tried to capture this in our PSHE curriculum coverage grid.  We have a relationship policy which guides how we treat each other and this influences how the children treat each other. We want our children to understand some of the basic principles behind how the brain works so our curriculum includes learning about emotions.  It is guided by Trauma and Mental Health Informed School (TISUK) principles. We want to give everyone the skills and understanding to build happy, healthy and trusting relationships. We expect everyone to show tolerance and understanding; we teach that diversity and difference are to be celebrated. We also promote the importance of expressing yourself and exercise in order to have a healthy mind.

The Arts and Sport

Being creative and developing a good imagination are vital life skills; our curriculum includes opportunities for children to experience the creative arts.  We believe it is important for children to work with professional artists and make use of our creative community. As well as including at least one annual professional theatrical experience, the school prides itself on the performances the children regularly stage.  We are currently collecting pieces of art from local artists to display in our school to enrich the children’s experience of art.  Each half term a composer and an artist are chosen and work by them is shared in the assemblies.

Sport is an important element of school life and we teach the children how important it is to have a healthy body and mind.  The school is involved in a variety of competitive sporting events but also offers a range of experiences to engage all children in physical activity.  We have a sports specialist that teaches much of our PE. Every year we have a healthy mind and body week.

 Cultural Capital

We aim to help our pupils to appreciate and be interested in the wider world around them; we introduce them to a diverse range of art, music, historical events.  We explicitly encourage them to value diversity.  We like to take advantage of experiences and opportunities that arise; these might link to local, national or international events.  We use these to supplement and direct our teaching.  Enrichment is provided through off-site trips, visitors and special experiences.  We have created a list of key experiences we strive to provide for each child during their time at the school.


We understand that a primary school is only one stage of a child’s learning journey and, as such, the curriculum, or what a child experiences whilst at Portreath, needs to be carefully thought through, planned and implemented.  Through high quality teaching, the aim is for our pupils to develop transferable skills together with the knowledge, enthusiasm, concepts and values that will help them to thrive not only in secondary school but also in life as global citizens. Our curriculum promotes our motto:  Believe, work hard, succeed.

Key Experiences for the Children of Portreath School

Class Long Term Plans:

Rowan Long Term Plan from 2020

Sycamore Long Term Plan from 2020

Oak Long term plan from 2020

Cherry Long term plan from 2020


The Early Years Statutory Framework is used to support an integrated approach to learning and care. The planning of learning follows the children’s interests and learning needs. Close tracking of individual children’s progress, through the use of the Early Years Foundation Profile, is carefully monitored to ensure all children make progress.  For more details please see the EYFS tab under curriculum.

Maple Medium Term Plan from 2020


Please use the links below to look at the year group expectations for reading, writing and maths:

Parent-Leaflet-Year-1 end of year expectations RWM Portreath

Parent-Leaflet-Year-2  end of year expectations RWMPortreath

Parent-Leaflet-Year-3 end of year expectations RWM Portreath

Parent-Leaflet-Year-4 end of year expectations RWM Portreath

Parent-Leaflet-Year-5 end of year expectations RWM Portreath

Parent-Leaflet-Year-6 end of year expectations RWM Portreath

Each class has at least one curriculum leaflet each term to explain the coverage for the term. These can be found on the class pages.  Each class also has at least 2 knowledge organisers each term which state the key information and vocabulary to be covered.  These too can be found on the class pages.

Please use the links below to access each class’s page: