Curriculum & CPD

There have been significant changes to curriculum and assessment in primary and secondary education alongside new accountability measures; all of which have been implemented at a bewildering pace, not to mention the changes in post-16 education and the proposed shift to academic and technical options.

This level of change requires schools to make a huge and sustained investment in teacher development particularly as it can take four or five years for teachers to fully embed curriculum change in the classroom. Support is required for teachers at all stages of their career from newly qualified teachers (NQTs) to leadership positions. This needs to extend to Teaching Assistants and Governors / Trustees. An investment in continuous professional development also encourages teachers to remain with schools and become part of a pipeline of future senior leaders. Collective planning of continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities led by Teaching Schools and Multi Academy Trusts working under the auspices of the Portsmouth Education Partnership (PEP) will support collective curriculum planning, reduce the need for staff to travel out of the city for CPD and maximise the resources that are available.

The Subject Leaders of Education Directory 2019/20 is available here.


Cottage Grove Primary

Led by the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance, there has been a strong focus on English. The Portsmouth English Network (PEN) is gathering pace from its inception in October 2016 and plans are now being implemented to provide a range of training and network opportunities for English leads and teachers across the City.  Additional SLEs from Primary and Secondary settings have been appointed to work with existing SLEs in the city on developing our English provision.

Portsmouth’s School Library Service supports literacy and a love of reading for children of all ages by providing access to the largest collection of children’s books in the region as well as training and advice for school librarians and pupil librarians. For more details of the service on offer see the Portsmouth traded services website.

On 28th March 2018, Year 11’s from secondary schools across the city were invited to the University of Portsmouth for a lecture on GCSE English Literature texts, which made for both a great revision tool and a helpful look into what university study would be like. You can read more on the event here and see some photographs from the event here.

Storytime and activities: Portsmouth School Library Service have compiled a useful list of authors and publishers. View it here.


Led by the Solent Maths Hub there has been a significant investment and focus on maths CPD in Portsmouth in 2017/18 including in Early Years, SEND, Primary, Secondary and Post-16 (Level 2 and Level 3).  There are a number of maths SLEs that are available to provide support across our schools, particularly with respect to primary schools due to the number of inexperienced maths teachers that exist.

Copnor Primary School

Two maths work groups have been established for Early Years led by an experienced practitioner and there are opportunities for staff to complete the NCETM Professional Development Lead Support Programme – Early Years.  This will continue in 2018/19.

We now have 3 mastery specialist teachers in the city who are leading teacher research groups with other schools to develop the collaborative approach to teacher development. This has been extended to secondary, involving three secondary schools in the city.  Primary maths network meetings have focussed on developing maths leadership and changes to moderation.  Secondary twilight networks have been established focusing on the new GCSE curriculum and development of reasoning and problem solving at Key Stage 3 in order to encourage pupils to think mathematically, articulate their reasoning and solve problems in a range of contexts. For post-16 one of the most challenging issues in maths is at level 2 and the issue around GCSE retakes. Two work groups have been established focusing on Developing Reasoning and the NCETM PD Lead programme for FE.

The Solent Maths hub will continue to support our schools in 2018/19.  There will be work groups for SEND, Early Years, Primary, Secondary and Post 16.  More information on these can be found on the solentmathshub webpage.

A network group has been set up for Secondary Heads of Maths that will meet regularly to discuss changes to the curriculum, schemes of work and to support each other.

The Solent Maths Hub will also be working in collaboration with the Education Partnership to support 7 schools on a mastery readiness programme.  The programme will focus on two key areas:

  • The development of effective leadership that will remove barriers and put in place structures to support change and teacher professional development in relation to teaching for mastery.
  • Development of classroom culture and attitudes to mathematics that will support a teaching for mastery approach, both on the part of teachers and their pupils.


The Portsmouth Academy

The Science Hub is in the process of being established, building on the successful STEM project led by a science SLE from St Edmund’s Catholic School. The University Technical College (UTC), which opened in September 2017, has the potential to stimulate and strengthen science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education across the city.

The Portsmouth Academy

Primary Engineer Programme:

Primary Engineer is a not for profit organisation and runs the primary engineer programme (KS1 and KS2) which will be running for a second year in Portsmouth in 2018/19.  The programme is free to schools and is funded by industry with match funding from Portsmouth City Council.  20 primary schools participated last year and it is hoped a similar number will be involved in 2018/19.

There is also an Early Years Engineer Programme which seeks to engage children as early as possible in STEM – this will be running for the first time in Portsmouth in 2018/19.


Primary History Network meetings:

This course consists of three practical afternoon sessions.  Places are still available on the following sessions and can be booked via the Portsmouth Learning Gateway:

Session 2 (11.10.18) : Securing your long term plan and developing medium term plans
for all units. Gaining confidence with the 6 steps approach.
Progression in terms of skills in the national curriculum.
Planning and teaching for progression; embedding more exciting activities to teach key historical skills

Session 3 (20.03.19) : Securing the curriculum, long and medium term planning.
Building leadership confidence. Sharing activities.
Planning for visits and visitors.


Primary Modern Foreign Languages Hub

This is part of the network of hubs set up by the Association for Language Learning (ALL)

A Primary Modern Foreign Languages Hub has been established by the University of Portsmouth with expertise from Cottage Grove Primary School as part of the Association for Language Learning network of hubs.

Primary hub meetings are held termly and are open to all colleagues, secondary and primary, who are interested in, or involved in language teaching and learning.

Portsmouth Primary Hub meetings

Portsmouth Primary Languages updates

Primary Languages Resources and News – 2021

  • Eleanor Chettle Cully and Lessons from Lockdown Learning
  • Janet Lloyd of the Primary Languages Network is offering some lovely Spanish ‘spring’ resources, at a minimal cost (April 2021).
  • Claire Seccombe has written a blog recently on different ways to use ‘sentence builders’ in the primary languages classroom.  (This a teaching method very much in vogue in secondary languages classrooms at the moment.)  As always great ideas shared so generously.
  • As a taster of the delights that Suzi Bewell will have in store for the June 21 Primary Hub meeting, here are the Spanish and French cultural calendars for April. To download the calendars, visit Suzi’s website.
  • A report has been published outlining the findings of a survey undertaken by the University of Oxford and University of Reading into teachers’ views about the rationale for teaching languages and the proposed changes.

Secondary CPD

Secondary CPD is also being made available through the University and language upskilling is available through TSST (teacher subject specialist training) which is being run by the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance in conjunction with the University of Southampton.

The University of Portsmouth is offering free language upskilling classes for all local teachers. The languages available for study are: Arabic, British Sign Language, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. Please e-mail Laura Ward at [email protected] if there are any questions. If you are interested please complete this form.



Implementation of statutory relationships education, relationships and sex education and health education (RSHE)

Schools should refer to the DfE statutory guidance to inform their delivery.

In addition, please find below resources designed to support you in your work within schools around implementation of Relationships Education, Relationships and Sex Education and Health Education. It includes the latest links to RSHE resources and trusted national organisations.

PSRHE support for schools

With the much welcomed introduction of statutory PSHE in September 2020 – focussing on mandatory education in the following areas:

  • drug, alcohol and tobacco
  • RSE (relation education including puberty at primary level and sex education at secondary)
  • mental health and wellbeing
  • online safety / internet harms
  • physical activity

We are able to offer our city schools a wide range of support to design, implement and deliver high quality PSRHE across city schools including:

  • Portsmouth specific PSRHE framework written in collaboration with a wide variety of city professionals from services such as educational psychology, Hampshire constabulary, Prevent, PSCB, CAMHS, MABS, Public Health and Educational professionals – written in-line with the DfE statutory guidance on mandatory PSHE.
  • Traded service support
  • Resources
  • Signposting toolkits for each specific area of PSRHE
  • Curriculum planning / mapping tools
  • Multi-professional networking opportunities for shared expertise
  • Subject auditing and subject development tools
  • CPD for school staff in a variety of PSRHE areas
  • YMHFA (Youth Mental Health First Aid) training for schools
  • Starter pack for all new PSRHE Leads
  • Support for PSRHE reports to Governors
  • RSE Governor support
  • PSHE Association memberships *for traded service schools

Portsmouth PSHE traded service offer – 2020/21

Visit the traded services website for more information about the offer outlined below.

Schools buying into the Introductory Package will receive:

  • Access to the PSHE leads’ termly network meetings. These will include multi agency professional input, for example CAMHS, Hampshire Constabulary, Stonewall, Drug and Alcohol Services, sharing of good practice, updates on resources and developments and case work/trouble shooting. In addition Leads also receive support with policy writing and review, RSE Governance, parental engagement and training from specialist providers (e.g Stonewall, CAMHS etc) and resources to support national weeks e.g. anti bullying week, road safety week, neuro diversity week
  • The handbook – A New Lead Starter Pack is available for school staff new to PSHE. This starter pack includes relevant legislation, guidance and supporting documents, planning tools (including cross curricula), policy guidance, a step by step guide on writing subject reports to the governing body and a copy of the framework.

Schools buying the level 2 package will receive all the elements of the level 1 package, plus:

  • Full membership of the PSHE association for 2020/21, the national body that provides extensive resources, training, support and 1:1 advice. The normal cost for schools buying individually is £120 per school.

Schools buying into the level 3 package will receive all the elements of packages 1 and 2, plus:

  • Tailored resources to support CPD sessions on areas of the PSHE Framework of the school’s choice, e.g.:
    • Legislative changes to PSHE and a school’s statutory duties; or
    • Teaching mental health and well-being to children and young people; or
    • Making PSHE accessible to all, including those with neuro-diverse needs; or
    • Substance misuse education; or
    • Sexual health and sexual exploitation.
  • Sign posting to, and quality assurance of, external providers of PSHE support and training, including in some cases access to discounted rates.
  • Resources to support national weeks e.g. anti-bullying week, road safety week, neuro diversity week (this comes from lead meetings see above).
  • Audit tool – A self-auditing RAG rating tool for school PSHE Leads to assess where they currently are in respect of PSHE implantation, areas of strength and areas to improve. This tool is designed for leads to then create a subject improvement action plan.

Priory School

Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) education gives pupils the knowledge, skills, and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe and to prepare them for life and work in modern Britain.

PSHE Education  is a school subject through which pupils develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to manage their lives, now and in the future.

These skills and attributes help pupils to stay healthy, safe and prepare them for life and work in modern Britain. When taught well, PSHE education helps pupils to achieve their academic potential, and leave school equipped with skills they will need throughout later life.

Resources, including Guidance on Preparing to Teach about Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing and a PSHE Education Programme of Study (Key stage 1-5) are available from the PSHE Association.

Teachers may need support to deliver high quality PSHE or relevant topic matter. The PSHE traded offer from Portsmouth City Council is in development, not all schools may buy into this. Strengthening knowledge around these topics within the teaching workforce would be useful e.g. the pastoral leads, or others. There are some useful resources available such as lesson plans on a range of issues such as bullying and cyberbulling, smoking, stress, alcohol, body image and positive relationships – ‘Rise Above’ – launched by Public Health England in September 2017.

The Public Health response to the Education Strategy consultation make clear the links between PSHE and physical health to outcomes for children and young people. This paper also links to useful guidance and resources.

Sex Education Forum (SEF)

The Sex Education Forum (SEF) has developed a poster explaining the need for good quality relationship and sex education (RSE) in schools.

The statements on the poster are based on research evidence and are supported by a wide range of partners, including NSPCC, Barnardo’s, The Children’s Society and NCB, and education unions ASCL, NASUWT, NEU, NAHT and UNISON. They are also supported by an increasing number of MPs and Peers.

Schools are invited to download and use the statement to make their own commitment to good quality RSE. Whether the school’s RSE is already well established, or needs further improvement, the poster can be displayed, shared with parents, staff and governors and used as a springboard to develop the quality of RSE provision the school is working towards.  For educators and organisations who support RSE, you can can download your own poster of support. Please find both versions of the poster on the SEF website.

The PSHE Association have created dedicated ‘back to school’ support packs for primary and secondary to help schools welcome their students back after closures and get them back on their feet. Download the packs here.

Useful links to guidance and resources

Signposting toolkits:

Contact us

Portsmouth City Council has set up a PSHE mailbox so that workforce leads within Portsmouth City Council (including Chantelle Knight) can manage your enquiries around PSHE, including statutory Relationship, Sex and Health Education. The address is [email protected]

Links to city wide PSRHE projects


Portsmouth has some of the best results in the country in terms of progress and attainment outcomes for pupils with English as an additional language (EAL). In part, this is due to the work of Portsmouth City Council’s Ethnic Minority Achievement Service (EMAS) which offers both school and pupil level support.

Stamshaw Infant School

At school level, EMAS advisers work closely with senior leaders to identify the needs of Black and Ethnic Minority (BME) pupils and those with EAL. They offer a comprehensive range of CPD and support for staff, centrally and in schools, and train in excess of 500 teachers, TAs and ITT students each year.

EMAS produces extensive guidance for schools on relevant themes, including a city-wide assessment framework for pupils with EAL, and keeps staff up to date with current issues and resources through their monthly bulletin. Advisers also offer individual mentoring opportunities to staff and whole school improvement support through learning walks, data analysis, work scrutiny, lesson observations, curriculum audits, Ofsted preparation and development planning.

At pupil level, EMAS employs a large team of Bilingual Learning Assistants (BLAs) who support the twenty or more languages of the pupils most in need in the city. Focusing strongly on improving outcomes, over 500 pupils are supported each week in schools and nurseries. The BLAs also work as interpreters for families in a range of formal and informal meetings and are sometimes called upon to contribute their expertise when considering provision. Advisers also support at pupil level with assessments and specialist identification of additional needs in pupils with EAL and work directly with refugees and asylum seekers in conjunction with the Virtual School for Looked After Children.

Further pupil support is available through the creation of bilingual resources for use in class and display materials which focus on religious, national and cultural themes. All resources are continually added to and updated and sent to schools each year. EMAS also has a library of dictionaries, bilingual books, clothes, artefacts and teacher resources for classroom use or study and holds the city’s SACRE resources.

Working with representatives of Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Councils, EMAS has produced a small Prejudicial Language and Behaviour Toolkit for schools. This pan-Hampshire resource can be used when monitoring and reporting prejudicial comments and/or incidents, as well as to support school self-evaluation in this area.

Support from EMAS is available to schools through a service level agreement (SLA). Membership gives a school resources, updates and advice for an annual fee. Members can then buy in services on an ad-hoc basis. Schools can also buy a General Support Package, based on a proportion of a school’s EAL funding from central government and which gives access to all of EMAS’ services, or an enhanced Adviser Package. Almost every school in Portsmouth currently has an SLA with EMAS.

For further information please contact Karen Thomas (EMAS Manager and Lead Adviser) or visit the EMAS website.


Portsmouth Music Hub: transforming and inspiring lives through high quality music and cultural engagement.

  • We provide high quality musical and cultural opportunities
  • We evaluate provision to plan for excellence
  • We support children, young people and staff to achieve their potential
  • We expect high standards from our children, young people and ourselves
  • We inspire children and young people to develop a life-long enjoyment of music
  • We promote the positive and enjoyable aspects of musical and cultural engagement
  • We work collaboratively with partners for mutual benefit
  • We support partner organisations to achieve their goals
  • We are open, honest and effective in our communications
  • We listen to our customers and actively seek feedback
  • We take ownership of our responsibilities
  • We ensure best value for our services and clients.
  • To provide high quality, inspirational music education for children, young people and learners in and around the diverse Portsmouth community
  • To reach all sectors of children and young people, including the hard to reach and those in challenging circumstances, enriching their lives through exciting music and cultural activities.
  • To offer opportunities for all children and young people to sing and play a musical instrument
  • To build sustainable progressive pathways and nurture musical talent encouraging children and young people to access and participate in an exciting range of targeted musical and cultural learning programmes
  • To promote innovation, creativity and originality in musical and cultural activities
  • To support all children and young people to achieve their potential through music and cultural engagement
  • To provide opportunities for musical excellence to flourish through maximising the potential of collaborative working with diverse partner organisations
  • To reflect the musical diversity of Portsmouth’s community
  • To celebrate the musical and cultural achievement of children and young people across the city
  • To engage with all schools and partners, supporting them to deliver the Schools’ Music Education Plan.

Core roles:

  • Ensure that every child aged 5-18 has the opportunity to learn a musical instrument through whole-class ensemble teaching for a minimum of a term of weekly tuition
  • Provide opportunities to play in ensembles and perform from an early stage: i.e. from age 5
  • Ensure that clear progression routes are available and affordable to all children and young people
  • Develop a singing strategy to ensure that every pupil sings regularly and that choirs/vocal ensembles are available in the area.
  • Offer Continuous Professional Development (CPD) to school staff, particularly in supporting schools to deliver music in the curriculum
  • Provide an instrument loan service, with discounts or free provision for those on low incomes
  • Provide access to large-scale and / or high quality music experiences for pupils, working with professional musicians and / or venues. This may include undertaking work to publicise the opportunities available to schools, parents/carers and students.

In addition to these roles, PMH will:

  • Work in partnership with other public and private sector organisations
  • Broaden the opportunities and maximise the potential through collaborative partnership working
  • Seek to generate additional income to further extend musical opportunities for children and young people in Portsmouth and to cover the full management and administrative costs of the Hub.

Save the date:

Primary Music Co-ordinator’s Network meeting
Wednesday 12 May 2021 at 4.15pm
The meeting will be held on Zoom. If you have any questions about the meeting please email [email protected].

Connect with Portsmouth Music Hub on social media:


The Global Learning Programme

The Global Learning Programme (GLP) is building a national network of like-minded schools, committed to equipping their pupils to make a positive contribution to a globalised world by helping their teachers to deliver effective teaching and learning about development and global issues at Key Stages 2 and 3.

Priory School

All Portsmouth School and are encouraged to register with the Global Learning Programme. This free online registration only takes a few minutes to complete and will create your own personal GLP account, where you can find a wide range of free support and teaching materials, as well as access to funding, free training and a local GLP network. Please use your school email address for registering.

Admiral Lord Nelson School is a Global Learning Programme expert centre. They are able to support, run INSET and are outward facing with their Global Work. (Global Learning at ALNS.)

Working in Partnership with the British Council.

Through the Portsmouth Education Partnership, we are seeking to develop a strong relationship with the British Council to realise the benefits that the British Council can bring to Portsmouth through international education work. We know from research how beneficial global learning can be to pupils, teachers, schools and local communities.

Engaging in international activities within the curriculum can motivate pupils by helping children and young people of all ages to develop an appreciation of cultural diversity, reinforcing the value of learning a language and allowing learners to enjoy a better understanding of the world.
Teachers benefit from professional learning through collaboration with colleagues in other countries, enabling the sharing of expertise and discovery of innovative and inspirational practices from around the world which can be implemented in the classroom.


On 2nd February 2018, the Department for Education launched a Commonwealth Education Pack. This is a new resource for teachers working with 11 to 14 year olds and contains information on the Commonwealth and its values, accompanied by a range of classroom activities relating to topics including citizenship, geography, general studies and history. You can find this here.



Secondary RE Network

A Secondary RE Network meeting takes place at Horndean Technology College every term, bringing together Secondary RE leads in Portsmouth as well as in the South East area of Hampshire. A key element of the first meeting in the Autumn Term will be to explore the impact of the new GCSE and to share good practice ensuring high achievement. Dates are 27 Nov 2018, 11 March 2019 & 19 June 2019.  All meetings run from 1.00 p.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Booking is through this link:

The Hampshire and Wessex Secondary RE Conference will take place on 18th October 2018 in the Botley Area. At this conference the findings of the final report from the Commission on RE (CoRE will be discussed which are due to be published on 12th September 2018. One of the Key Speakers will be Dr Joyce Miller who has extensive understanding of RE in plural contexts and has been one of the CoRE commissioners.

Booking for the Secondary RE Conference can be done through this link:

Primary RE Network

These sessions are designed to enable RE managers to explore, share and develop good practice in RE in their schools.  The sessions will focus on helping other staff to understand the cycle of enquiry, know the range of concepts in the Living Difference III syllabus, create and amend planning for RE and help understand assessment issues across the school.

Sessions take place at Medina Primary School and run from 16:00 – 18:00.  Places can be booked via the Portsmouth Learning Gateway on the following dates:

19 November 2019
26 February 2020
17 June 2020

What is a SACRE?

The acronym SACRE stands for Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education.

Why is there a SACRE?

Every local authority (LA) has to have a SACRE by law.  In 1944, local education authorities (LEAs) were given the chance to set up a SACRE, if they so wished.  In 1988, all Local Authorities were required to have a SACRE.  It is now the Children’s Services directorate of the LA that is responsible for making sure there is a SACRE.

What does a SACRE do?

There is no other group anywhere else like the SACRE; it is unique.  The law says that RE must be taught in all schools and a SACRE’s role is to advise its local authority on what needs to be done to improve religious education (RE) and collective worship for schools in its area.

Who attends the SACRE meeting?

A SACRE is set up to represent a balance of all the interests of the local community.  You are likely to find elected councillors, representatives of faith communities, and members of the education community, including teachers and head teachers, at a SACRE meeting.  There may also be people representing teacher training in RE.

The Composition of a SACRE – There are four groups or committees, as below:

A: The Christian denominations and other religious and their denominations, reflecting the principal religious traditions of the area.
B: The Church of England
C: Teacher and head teacher associations
D: The Local Authority

Portsmouth SACRE meets once a term.

Portsmouth SACRE Annual Report 2018-19

Portsmouth SACRE Annual Report 2017-18

Portsmouth SACRE Annual Report 2016-17 (with Action Plan)

Outdoor Education

Trailblazer is an outdoor learning scheme from Hampshire County Council for young people of all ages in Portsmouth. Trailblazer supports and develops schools’ work in outdoors learning with training, ideas, resources and experience sharing opportunities.

The Trailblazer newsletters are available below:


As well as the statutory training for external moderators to support KS1 and KS2 assessment and moderation in the city, a range of CPD opportunities were arranged in 2017/18 including Richer Reading for Greater Depth for KS1 and KS2 English leads; phonics transition training for KS2 and KS3 English leads; and English subject enhancement training led by SLEs from all phases. More information about KS1 and KS2 moderation services in Portsmouth is available here.


Through the Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance support is being provided to Teaching Assistants through the Maximising the Impact of Teaching Assistants Programme  (MITA) , a national programme which is supported by the Education Endowment Foundation.


Miltoncross Academy

The city already has a very successful NQT programme delivered by The Portsmouth Teaching School Alliance with over 100 NQTs in the city having regular training sessions. 97% of NQTs in 2016/17 successfully completed the NQT induction period. In addition there are a series of well-attended twilight workshops specifically targeting recently qualified teachers (RQTs) who also enjoy the networking opportunities.