The David Ross Education Trust

David Ross Education Trust schools create a rich and exciting learning environment that inspires students to become their confident, academic best.

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The Arbours Primary Academy

We have over 390 children and we are continually improving and developing what we offer our pupils in our drive to become one of the best primaries in the area.


Our  Curriculum has a focus on rigorous and structured teaching of the National Curriculum key skills, which take place throughout school.

In relation to the changes and expectations in the new national curriculum, the team at The Arbours Primary Academy has developed a bespoke curriculum. This engaging curriculum facilitates teachers in delivering high quality lessons and to assess how far children have understood age-related subject content across all subjects.

By adopting this whole-school approach to teaching and learning across our school, we aim:

  • To enable children to deepen their understanding of age-related subject content
  • To give children the knowledge and skills they require to become effective lifelong learners in modern Britain and the wider world
  • To provide an inclusive education where every child is capable of anything
  • To support teachers in delivering high quality lessons which allow all children to succeed
  • To deliver an engaging and thought provoking curriculum which promotes children’s wellbeing and involvement in all subject areas
  • To learn from each other, through the adoption of a collaborative approach to teaching and learning

For further information about the curriculum followed at The Arbours Primary Academy please contact us.

Curriculum Overview knowledge-based curriculum

At The Arbours Primary Academy we offer a curriculum which is broad and balanced and which builds on the knowledge, understanding and skills of all children, whatever their starting points, as they progress through each Key Stage. The curriculum incorporates the statutory requirements of the new National Curriculum and other experiences and opportunities which best meet the learning and developmental needs of the pupils in our school. 

The aim of our knowledge-based curriculum is for pupils to have the requisite knowledge, skills and wider understanding to be successful, independent and motivated learners in readiness for their next stage of education. Within this curriculum the pupils will develop their learning of key facts, important events and will develop their understanding of the world around us. 

Starting with their immediate locality in Geography the curriculum will grow throughout each year ensuring that all children will leave Year Six to begin their next adventures with an understanding of the world in a way that contextualizes events, people and places in relation to their understanding of our locality and the wider world. Each year will also develop their understanding of Great Britain, Europe and the rest of the world through historical events from the Ice Age, Ancient Egyptians, the Crusades and throughout British History until the start of the 1900s.

The knowledge-based curriculum also includes a progressive science element. This is structured to allow clear scientific skills to be developed through scientific enquiry and experimentation, and to encourage pupils to develop lively, enquiring minds.

Alongside these key foci each year group will engage in General Knowledge lessons. These are creative and key knowledge-based lessons where the children will be focusing on developing their understanding of the arts, music and key scientists. Half of this curriculum time is dedicated to the development of a high-quality computing education which will equip the pupils to use computational thinking. All Key stage 2 children will be taught French 

Foundation Stage

At The Arbours Primary Academy, the Foundation Stage is a busy, happy, creative place which also includes areas where the children can be calm and reflective.

We offer continuous provision across all areas of the EYFS curriculum, with each of the seven developmental areas accessible to every child. The seven areas of learning are; Personal Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language, Physical Development, Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Art and Design.

Each day the children have teacher led lessons such as Phonics and Maths, but they are also encouraged to independently complete challenging activities across the curriculum that match their individual requirements and help them achieve their next steps. Our environment promotes independence as the children can take the lead in their own learning and development.


We believe that knowledge, understanding and the successful application of the English language is a fundamental life skill. It develops children’s ability to communicate their experiences, desires and knowledge effectively and successfully in a range of contexts. Throughout our school, we aim to nurture and develop independent readers and writers through purposeful, engaging and developmental lessons which link to our rich and stimulating core knowledge curriculum work.


All children at The Arbours Primary Academy have a reading book to take home to support them with their reading. The reading books are phonetically decodable and link to the sounds they are learning in school. The common misconception regarding reading is that the books should be filled with words and sounds they have not learnt, however this is not supportive of the way we teach reading at the Arbours. We want the children to have a shared love for reading and enjoy reading their books to you at home. Therefore, the books are appropriately pitched at their level, including sounds and words they have already learnt. We ask that your child reads every night to continue to develop their skills, along with building their love for reading. This is logged through our QR code system where top readers are celebrated in assemblies and even prizes may be provided for their success.  

As well as reading being a priority at home, it is also a focus within school. Reading is taught daily through Read Write Inc (for EYFS and KS1) and through Talk 4 Reading. Each classroom has an exciting and welcoming book corner where the children are able to access a wide range of books, including fiction and non-fiction texts. We are also very proud to offer a new library which is full of exciting texts which naturally promotes a love for reading across the school.  

A love of reading is developed through the experience of high-quality texts from a variety of authors during the Talk 4 Reading sessions, shared class novels and through use of the school library. Even our classes are named after our favourite children's authors! 

Reading is a subject of such great importance and the Department for Education suggest “Pupils who can read are overwhelmingly more likely to succeed at school, achieve good qualifications, and subsequently enjoy a fulfilling and rewarding career.” This is why we hope you will join us on the exciting journey of promoting a love for reading and enjoying watching the children become successful learners at the Arbours. 


We believe that every child is a writer at The Arbours Primary Academy and we nurture this ability through our daily Talk 4 Writing sessions. During these lessons, we support children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical writers of stories, poetry and non-fiction. Our children also gain an understanding of how language works by looking at the tolls writer have used alongside the patterns, structures and origins of a range of writing. 

Our daily Talk 4 Writing sessions are linked to the current National Curriculum objectives and are planned to be aspirational for all writers, The units of work begin with a cold write which is an independent piece of writing to assess the previous understanding and knowledge as well as their understanding of the style of writing we are focusing on. Lessons are then tailored to meet the needs of the class and individual groups of children to ensure that certain skills are taught and embedded through the use of a high-quality model text, modelled writing and scaffolded sessions. At the end of the unit, the children repeat the cold task, now known as a hot write, at showcase all of the progress and learning that has taken place across the unit. 


The teaching of maths is planned carefully to meet the needs of every child at The Arbours Primary Academy . Effective Maths is used to support and underpin the fundamental skills in mathematics  to help the children progress quickly and develop a mastery understanding of mathematical processes.

Planning is based on the new national curriculum standards and used to facilitate high quality teaching and learning. Encouragement of technical vocabulary is present in every classroom and encouraged through oracy. Every child at Arbours Primary Academy has daily timetables practice and regular maths homework.

Furthermore, where possible, we believe that maths should be taught in context. We particularly value the importance of children understanding the reason why their mathematical learning will be relevant to them in the real world and demonstrate a clear purpose for learning mathematical skills.

Modern Foreign Languages

From 2014, the National Curriculum requires all Key Stage 2 children to learn a language at school and The Arbours Primary Academy has chosen to teach French and Latin.

French is taught in Y3 and Y5, Latin is taught in in Y4 and Y6.



Music plays a central role within the curriculum at The Arbours Primary Academy, as it does in all DRET schools. It is essential to our wider trust mission to create aspirational and knowledge-rich pupils.  

DRET use the Voices Foundation Music Programme which is a structured approach to developing musicianship. It is an aural training using the voice and the skills learned easily transfer to learning an instrument. Pupils perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a variety of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. Pupils also learn to sing and to use their voices, to create and compose music on their own and with others, have the opportunity to learn a musical instrument, use technology appropriately and have the opportunity to progress to the next level of musical excellence. Additionally, pupils will understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the interrelated dimensions (elements of music): pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.  

The DRET Music curriculum aims to ensure that all children: 

  • Sing with a wide range and with a variety of expression. 

  • Sing confidently in parts. 

  • Read staff notation. 

  • Experience playing an orchestral instrument in class ensemble (and to be given the opportunity to continue learning the instrument in smaller groups/one-to-one). 

  • Hear a youth or professional orchestra live. 

In addition, there are opportunities for those children showing musical aptitude to be able to develop their musicianship through singing in choirs, playing in instrumental ensembles and joining local (and national) musical groups. The school’s Music Lead, guided by a DRET Primary Music Specialist, will direct these children to such ensembles


David Ross Education Trust and British Values

The Trust is very supportive of the ethos of promoting British Values, and preparing our pupils for success in a modern Britain. A heavy reliance is placed upon broadening horizons for each and every child and this includes developing the core skills of tolerance, respect, teamwork, resilience and building self esteem. These are all values and qualities that we feel are relevant in order to play a full and meaningful role in society, and are promoted via our extensive house system that lends itself to cultural and sporting competition, democratic principles, social mixing, the development of greater pastoral care and enhanced PSHE.

At The Arbours Primary Academy we uphold and teach pupils about the British Values which are defined as:

  • democracy
  • rule of law
  • individual liberty
  • mutual respect
  • tolerance of those of different faiths and beliefs

These values are taught explicitly through Personal, Social, Health and Emotional (PSHE), and Religious Education (RE).  We also teach the British Values through planning and delivering a broad and balanced curriculum, and the way we run our Academy (embodying respect, democracy and tolerance of all).

The school takes opportunities to actively promote British Values through our whole school themed assemblies, whole school systems and structures such as our tea and cake sessions with the head teacher. We also actively promote the British values through ensuring that our curriculum planning and delivery includes real opportunities for exploring these values. Actively promoting British Values also means challenging pupils, staff or parents expressing opinions contrary to fundamental British Values, including ‘extremist’ views.

Download our British Values Document

These values are reinforced regularly and in the following ways:


Democracy is an important value at our school. Pupils have the opportunity to have their voices heard through school council as well as whole school elections.

The children have also worked together to agree our school rules and behavior policy. These are available in each classroom and actively used by children and adults influencing what is an agreed acceptable behaviour. In addition some assemblies and whole school focus events teach children about democracy.

The Rule of Law

The importance of laws and rules, whether they are those that govern the class, the school or the country, are consistently reinforced throughout regular school days. Our behaviour codes are clear and children are given verbal warnings supported by the coloured stages display. Children are asked to identify which aspect of the rules they have broken to ensure that this connection is made and understood. Perfect Purple has been introduced to reward children for expected behaviour and following the chosen set of rules. Pupils are taught the value and reasons behind laws, that they govern and protect us, the responsibilities that this involves, and the consequences when laws are broken. Visits from authorities such as the police, fire service, ambulance etc. are regular parts of our calendar and help reinforce this message.

Individual Liberty

Pupils are actively encouraged to make choices at our school, knowing that they are in a safe and supportive environment. As a school we provide boundaries for our children to make choices safely, through the provision of a safe environment and planned curriculum. Pupils are encouraged to know, understand and exercise their rights and personal freedoms and are advised how to exercise these safely, for example through our e-Safety teaching and PSHE lessons. Pupils are given the freedom to make choices, e.g. signing up for extra-curricular clubs, choose the level of challenge in lessons and are becoming increasingly more involved in child–led learning, e.g. planning and delivering child led assemblies and evaluating assemblies, influencing how adults deliver content in future assemblies.

Mutual respect

Our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around core Christian values such as ‘respect’ and ‘responsibility’ and these values determine how we live as a community at The Arbours Primary Academy. Assemblies are led by staff and children as well as visitor speakers from our community on a regular basis. Anti-bullying assemblies and programmes on human rights teaching, all reflect our commitment to mutual respect. Equally our charity work and links with the local community helps in teaching mutual respect. Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen in posters, certificates and as part of our agreed codes.

Tolerance of those Different Faiths and Beliefs

Our school ethos and behaviour policy are based around core Christian values such as ‘respect’ and ‘responsibility’ and these values determine how we live as a community at The Arbours Primary Academy. Assemblies are based on the Jigsaw PSHE scheme and are central to how we expect everyone to go about their life at our school. Anti-bullying assemblies and programmes on human rights teaching, all reflect our commitment to mutual respect. Equally our charity work and links with the local community helps in teaching mutual respect. Children and adults alike, including visitors, are challenged if they are disrespectful in any way. Values are highly visible around the school and can be seen in posters, certificates and as part of our agreed codes.  

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