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.

Learn More

pull-out button for trust tab

The Arbours Primary Academy

Our outstanding school has over 390 children and we are continually improving and developing what we offer to our pupils as one of the best primaries in the area.


At The Arbours we offer an outstanding, well-balanced curriculum that has a focus on the rigorous and structured teaching of the targets set by the Early Years Foundation Stage and the National Curriculum.

We plan our curriculum carefully to provide a meaningful and worthwhile education delivered through high quality lessons enabling children to fulfil their potential. We aim to:

  •         give children the knowledge and skills they require to become effective lifelong learners in modern Britain and the wider world
  •         provide an inclusive education where every child is successful
  •         deliver an engaging and thought-provoking curriculum which promotes children’s wellbeing and involvement in all subject areas
  •         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 teach a carefully sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum which aims to inspire pupils and promote excellent outcomes for all.

The curriculum content has been carefully chosen by our own subject experts and is organised in a coherent way, ensuring children can build on their knowledge from year to year. In this way, the knowledge in the curriculum is cumulative, constructing firm foundations and schema from which children can progress and develop deeper conceptual understanding and subject-specific knowledge and skills over time.

Curriculum coherence ensures that teaching does not jump from topic to topic, but enables children to develop knowledge over time, as well as a love of subjects. Subject content is crucial to this approach- the rich content of the curriculum inspires children and plants the seeds for a lifetime of learning. Lessons are taught with talk and thinking critically at the heart. Children are encouraged to learn in a variety of ways.


Foundation Stage

Foundation Stage Leader – Elise Serrell

At The Arbours, 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, Reading 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.



Subject Leader – Clare Appleby

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.


Subject Leader – Angela Etheridge

The teaching of maths is planned carefully to meet the needs of every child at The Arbours. 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 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 The Arbours 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

Subject Leader – Yvette Hackett


Modern Foreign Language plays a vital role within the curriculum at Arbours Primary Academy and is one of many subjects that will help to fulfil our wider trust mission of creating a curriculum that is broadening the horizons of young people within our academy. The teaching of languages to early learners is now widely recognised as a significant contributory factor in developing literacy, building self-confidence and broadening cultural horizons. Through learning a foreign language there are further benefits in terms of gains in listening and speaking skills, laying the foundations for future language learning. 


Subject Leader – Lisa Page

Our Science Curriculum is sequenced coherently so useful knowledge and skills builds through the three distinct disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. As a result of the accumulation of essential knowledge and skills pupils’ science capital and scientific understanding will be substantial and will provide a secure foundation that will enable them to succeed in the next stage of their education.

At The Arbours Primary Academy, we aim to stimulate children's curiosity by engaging our pupils in science activities that are designed to encourage pupils to plan, observe, predict, investigate and analyse. 

History and Geography

Subject Leader – Victoria Osmond

Our History Curriculum is sequenced coherently so useful knowledge builds through six unifying themes; humans and the environment, cultural development and interactions, governance, economic systems, system interaction and organisation and technology and innovation. As a result of the accumulation of essential knowledge, pupils’ cultural capital and historical disciplines will be substantial and will provide a secure foundation enabling them to succeed in the next stage of their education.

Our Geography Curriculum is designed so that useful knowledge builds through two distinct strands; Locational Knowledge and Human and Physical Geography.  As a result of the accumulation of essential knowledge pupils are provided with the frameworks and approaches that explain how the Earth’s features at different scales are shaped, interconnected and change over time, allowing them to become true global citizens. 

Art and Design

Subject Leader – Sam Barlow

At The Arbours Academy we value art and design and the opportunities it provides for our children to be creative and express themselves. We have carefully designed and structured our art and design curriculum to ensure children develop the knowledge and skills needed to become successful artists.

During their time at The Arbours, children will be given a range of experiences including sketching, painting, printing, textiles and even using 3D programs. As children progress through the school, they will study a variety of different artists and build upon prior knowledge and learning that they can then apply to new concepts.

We believe that children should know how art and design both reflect and shape our history and contributes to culture and creativity around the world.


Subject Leader – Natasha Hollis

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. 


Subject Leader – Kayleigh Beare

At The Arbours, we provide the children with a varied PE curriculum. The children begin in reception developing their fundamental movement skills, which we then develop into more sport specific PE lessons. This allows the children to develop their skills and abilities across a wide variety of sports. Children take part in 2 hours of PE each week, learning new skills and applying these to games and matches.

We encourage each and every child to be a PE star and look to celebrate the children’s achievements by celebrating their effort, attitude and successes in PE sessions.



Subject Leader – Zoe Vason and Ellie Bowes


PSHE helps pupils to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes they need to keep themselves healthy and safe. We use the Jigsaw programme to help us implement our curriculum and it is designed to have an impact on both academic and non-academic performance. Our PSHE curriculum aims to help children know and value who they really are and how they relate to other people in this ever-changing world.

The Arbours Primary Academy is part of strong community and the staff have an unwavering dedication to the health, safety and well-being of all pupils and the families of these pupils. PSHE at The Arbours is taught comprehensively and progressively ensuring coverage of key concepts takes place. This gives pupils relevant learning experiences to help them navigate their world and to develop positive relationships with themselves and others. 



Subject leader - Janet Pinnock

Our Religious Education Curriculum is sequenced coherently so the children develop religious literacy by investigating and understanding religion and beliefs, reflecting and interpreting human experience in relation to identity, belonging, diversity, meaning, purpose, truth, values and commitments. To achieve an outstanding knowledge of Religious Education we have a good balance between learning about religion and belief as well as learning from religion by questioning and reflecting upon purpose, truth as well as belonging.

We plan our Religious Education curriculum around our own community carefully considering the demographic of where we are and considering the beliefs of our children before deciding on what to teach. As well as Christianity we teach the five other major religions, following the Northampton Religious Education Agreed Syllabus.  

We want them to know how religious education promotes tolerance and combats prejudice, producing positive citizens, preparing them for adult life, employment and life-long learning.


At The Arbours Primary Academy School we design computing lessons to ensure all pupils enjoy what technology has to offer as well as ensuring they develop a range of skills. Our aim is to nurture confidence with our pupils so they can access a range of technological devices and programmes – this is vital to their future as we grow in a world of technology!

Our curriculum focuses on the aims of the National Curriculum which ensures pupils are competent with the principles of computer science as well as being creative users with fluency in technology. We also teach beyond this to ensure our pupils are able to access a range of software that will support any future careers, like writing E-Books, creating websites and sending emails - to name a few!

We endeavour to ensure pupils progress through the curriculum and re-visit skills in order to delve deeper and explore further. Computing is not taught as stand-alone, we draw on the ideas developing in our computing sessions within our wider curriculum, such as accessing research to support our rich knowledge focus in other subjects, accessing quiz sites to support our maths skills, using word processing programmes to produce extended pieces of writing and considering the algorithms that supports the science of computers.

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.  


Show list Show Grid

Curriculum Newsletters