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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Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School

Malcolm Arnold Prep is committed to ensuring every pupil excels both inside and the classroom and later on in their lives.

Diliges proximum tuum sicut te ipsum
"You shall love your neighbour as yourself"
Mark 12:31


Malcolm Arnold Prep has an innovative curriculum that invites creativity and provides an exciting range of learning experiences. As part of the David Ross Education Trust we are unashamedly academic and driven to ensure all children reach and exceed their full potential.

MAPS Curriculum Vision

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.’ (Harris, 2016) 

At Malcolm Arnold Preparatory Academy, we deliver a carefully sequenced, knowledge-rich curriculum which is inclusive, ambitious for all and aims to inspire pupils to become reflective, compassionate, hopeful and courageous individuals, who are upstanders ready for life in the 21st century.

Our developed, and carefully considered curriculum has been designed, by subject experts, with our pupils needs at the core and from carefully considered curriculum research about how our pupils learn. All subjects are equally valued, and their disciplines respected. The content is carefully sequenced to ensure that it is cohesive and progressive in nature from the Early Years through to Year 6. This accumulation of knowledge enables children to build firm foundations from which they can develop deeper conceptual understanding and subject-specific knowledge and skills.

Knowledge builds upon knowledge; children and adults gain new knowledge only by building upon what they already know. Our ultimate aim is for our children to master the curriculum; we want them to be able to use, apply and reason with their knowledge to enable them to think critically and build well-developed schema.   

Our curriculum is inclusive; it allows all children to overcome inequality of opportunity and promotes aspirational outcomes for all learners. It prepares our children for life beyond primary school and promotes our core values of ambition, aspiration, respect and courage and our virtues compassion and integrity. We rapidly identify and remove barriers so that all children to thrive and succeed. Our goal is to create a safe environment, where we can enable high-quality learning so that all children can reach their full potential every day. We ensure our pupils have transferable skills such as the ability to communicate effectively, think critically, have a broad subject knowledge base and understand the importance of citizenship and their place in the wider community.   

Through our consistent whole-school approach to teaching and learning across our school, we aim:

  • To provide a holistic education, considering the whole child. ‘The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.’ (Harris, 2016)
  • To deliver an engaging and thought-provoking curriculum which promotes children’s wellbeing, involvement, and critical thinking in all subject areas.        
  •  To provide an inclusive education where every child is capable of anything.
  • 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 support teachers in delivering high quality lessons which allow all children to succeed·         
  • To learn from each other, through the collaborative approach to teaching and learning. 

Our subject leaders ensure the implementation and enactment of our curriculum is successful in its aims by:

  • ensuring staff are supported to implement the curriculum.
  • providing CPD parcels for staff to enhance their subject knowledge.
  • providing quality planning from an expert, with a focus on the subject’s discipline.
  • modelling, coaching, and team teaching are part of improving the quality of learning and teaching for each subject area.
  • monitoring and assessment of the subjects in their crew.
  • identifying and addressing areas for development within subjects.

Our Virtues


We try to be the best we can be.

‘He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work.’ 

Exodus 35 v35  

We use our imagination to help our students discover their talents and love of learning through new experiences.



We take action to show we care.

‘And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you’

Ephesians 4:32 

We care for our neighbour, local or global. We act against injustice and inequality with positivity.



Nothing holds us back.

‘Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us’

Hebrews 12 v1 

We encourage all members of our school family to have high expectations. Courage and determination will allow all to achieve.



We make the right choices.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of Lord Jesus…’

Colossians 3:13

We always strive to do the right thing, even when this is not the easy option.



We always lead by example.

‘Do for others what you want them to do for you…’

Matthew 7:12   

We treat others as we would like to be treated ourselves. We are role models to our community.



We always aim high.

‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you might overflow with hope’

Romans 15 v13 

We raise aspirations through inspiring our pupils to be ready for a world that changes rapidly. Through our curriculum and enrichment, we are giving our pupils confidence and knowledge.

Areas of learning


Subject Leader - Miss Miley 

Reading is an integral part of life at MAPS and  a central part of the curriculum. Through reading, children acquire knowledge, broaden their vocabulary, develop empathy, build on what they already know and escape to other worlds. At MAPS, we highly value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers. 

Reading for pleasure

Reading for pleasure is crucial to the success of reading for the children at MAPS and is encouraged and celebrated in many ways. From their first day of school, children share stories with adults and friends and are surrounded by high quality literature from our reading spine. All classes share a class story on a daily basis, and all children choose a reading for pleasure book to take home with them.  Reading areas around the school are stocked with a range of classic and contemporary fiction and non-fiction texts, and staff promote a love of reading within their classrooms. We also hold frequent events such as book fairs, book clubs and book swaps.

How we teach reading

We aim for all children to be able to read easily, fluently and with good understanding and we teach this in these key ways: 

  • Daily Read Write Inc phonics sessions in Reception and Key Stage One (plus some children in Key Stage Two who may require extra support.) Children take home a phonically decodable reading book which is linked to the Read Write Inc scheme.
  • Daily Talk for Reading sessions in all classes. This is a daily 30 minute lesson for children in Reception and Year one, and an hour-long lesson for children from Y2-6.
  • In Reception and Year one, one quality text from our literature spine is studied each week, and the focus is on oral comprehension and vocabulary.
  • From Year 2-6, each Talk for Reading unit lasts for approx. 2-3 weeks and focuses on a quality piece of fiction, non-fiction or poetry. At the beginning of each unit, lessons focus on fluency, vocabulary and comprehension (the imitation stage.) Once the children know the text well, we focus on developing a deeper understanding of the text  and children are taught how to answer key questions linked to each content domain through modelling and shared write answers (the investigation stage.) At the end of this phase, one key comprehension focus is taught explicitly. Finally, children move on to the independent application stage, where they  apply independently what has been taught and practised.
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Subject Leader – Miss Miley 

At MAPS, we believe that the teaching of Phonics is the fundamental right for all children as it is the core foundation of a child’s learning throughout school. The government are strongly promoting the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is the ability to convert a letter or letter grouped into sounds that are then blended together into a word. 

We teach phonics using the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme produced by Ruth Miskin. This method of learning is centred on letter sounds and phonics, blending them together to read and write words, then using these learnt sounds in their reading and writing. This systematic approach to the teaching of reading enables children to become accurate and speedy readers. 

RWI is a fast-paced, rigorous and structured phonics programme with proven results and develops well rounded readers. It is used for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 who are learning to read and write, children in years 2, 3 and 4 who need to catch up rapidly and struggling readers in years 5 and 6. Phonics is taught daily from 8:50am. 

Through the use of RWI the pupils will:

  • - Learn 44 sounds and the single letter or digraphs that represent them
  • - Learn picture prompts to support early recognition and letter formation
  • - Blend and segment sounds using Fred Talk
  • - Read exciting books using the sounds they have learnt to ensure reading success
  • - Be encouraged to share ideas through partner work and via different feedback  

The children work in pairs to develop skills to answer questions, support their partner to read the texts, take turns and be positive as well as share the teacher praise phrases to celebrate their successes.

In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, children will follow a daily phonics programme to create fluent, enthusiastic readers and able writers. Children are taught based on their abilities rather than their age. For example, pupils in Year 2 who would benefit from a systematic phonics approach may join groups or receive support in RWI intervention groups. These daily sessions allow us to teach to the needs of the children. Our focus is to teach the children to read so they are then able to develop comprehension skills and a life-long enthusiasm for reading! 

Classroom routines are used consistently in all learning spaces and are applied across the curriculum. The ‘Team Stop Sign’ is a powerful management technique used to ensure pace in lessons. The strategies of ‘My Turn Your Turn’ and ‘Turn to your Partner’ are also used alongside phrases to encourage and reward children. 

The children are taught to become independent learners through the use of self and peer marking. The children have phonics writing books which they use to record activities such as ‘Hold a Sentence’ and ‘Red Rhythms’. They are taught how to mark their own work and discuss how to improve what they do. The children are given ownership of their books and are encouraged to look for successes and next steps in their learning. 

Children are assessed every 4-6 weeks by trained reading leads. From this, next steps are identified by the school’s Reading Lead and children are grouped based on their needs. Any children needing extra support are identified and then supported by daily intervention delivered by qualified 1:1 tutoring or have additional support in 1:1 reading sessions.

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Subject Leader – T4W – Miss Boyle 
Spelling and Handwriting – Miss Boyle

At MAPs we believe that the teaching of English is a fundamental right for all children as it underpins children’s learning throughout school and in their wider lives. It develops children’s ability to communicate their experiences, desires and knowledge effectively and successfully. Throughout our school, we aim to nurture and develop independent writers through purposeful, engaging and developmental lessons, which link to our rich and stimulating creative curriculum work.

Across the whole school we use a Talk For Writing approach. Using this method, children learn a range of text types using a model text. These texts are broken down into a series of images on paper. These images can be followed by children of all ages to learn a whole story or text, adding actions to further support retention. Through learning these texts, children are internalising writing structures and language used in each of them before applying them in their own writing. Across the years and stages, children then practise and develop their writing skills by focusing on structural and grammatical features specific to the unit, using and applying these in a range of different writing opportunities.

The next step is for children to use the text map structure but adapt it, generating individual ideas to create their own version of the original text including the language features they have practised throughout the unit. The text mapping approach is also used across the curriculum to support the learning and retention of key knowledge in all of our subjects.

The daily talk for writing lessons are linked to the current national curriculum objectives. The units of work begin with a ‘cold write’, which is an independent piece of writing to assess previous understanding and knowledge. This allows us to identify areas of strength and improvement which inform our planning for the next unit of work. The children are part of this learning process throughout the unit and understand what skills they are developing. At the end of each unit, children are supported to complete an ‘amber write’, encompassing each element taught through the sessions before they complete a final independent ‘hot write’. This is their opportunity to showcase their learning from the unit and celebrate their achievements.

We look at many different forms of writing across the school such as stories with imaginative settings, instructions, recounts, humorous poems and so on. We apply these writing genres across the curriculum to ensure the children gain lifelong skills and are prepared for writing in the wider world. During our Talk for Writing lessons, we support our children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama; as well as non-fiction and media texts.

At MAPS we follow the Read Write Inc spelling programme to ensure that our children become competent and confident spellers building on prior knowledge of spelling rules. Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is also taught as part of the T4W lessons as well as in cross- curricular writing opportunities.

We also teach handwriting through our RWI programme when the children first begin in reception. Throughout the school, children are taught to form cursive letters and high handwriting expectations are modelled and encouraged in every piece of work. At MAPS, children take pride in the presentation of their work and we foster and support this through a consistent handwriting approach throughout the school.


Subject Leader - Mrs Hayes

Our maths lessons are designed so that every pupil reaches their full potential and develops an interest in the subject. Teachers have high expectations of all pupils and believe that every pupil can do maths; our curriculum aims to instill this belief within our pupils too.

At Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School we use Effective Maths as a vessel to deliver our teaching for mastery approach. Lessons are based upon the Singapore/Shanghai models of delivering teaching for mastery in maths, whilst also making solid use of the Rosenshine Principles for direct instruction.

A MAPS pupil will face regular quizzes, have access to quality modelling and structuring of mathematical concepts; concepts that are introduced in small steps. Pupils will also come across many problems and will be encouraged to use reasoning skills as well as a variety of problem-solving strategies.

Effective Maths (our tool for delivering the maths curriculum) is a comprehensive framework for ensuring high quality maths teaching. Lessons are designed carefully to incorporate the principles of maths mastery, this includes:

● Mathematical thinking which includes spotting patterns and drawing on connections
● Procedural and conceptual variation; considering what a concept is and what it isn’t as well as using relationships to deepen understanding
● Fluency: drawing upon further skills learnt as part of our fluency sessions
● Partner tasks which allow for high quality talk and supports chains of reasoning
● Representations that draw out the mathematical structures for the operations, such as: bar models, 10s frames, number lines …

Every child at MAPS has a Times Table Rockstars login which allows all pupils to access the site, it also gives pupils in reception to year 3 access to Numbots, as well as pupils in UKS2 who benefit from the additional practice.
Teachers also access White Rose and NCETM resources to enhance both their knowledge and provide pupil challenges.

Where possible, a MAPS pupil will have opportunities to learn maths in context. We also look for opportunities to use maths across the curriculum, especially in - but not confined to - science. We believe strongly that mathematics is both a life skill and an academic subject. Our teaching reflects both these approaches.

In addition to our main maths lesson, at MAPS we place an important emphasis on our pupils being fluent in mathematical knowledge and recognising connections. All pupils, in all year groups, have regular lessons which focus on developing their fluency skills across the maths curriculum; this includes being flexible and accurate with facts as well as being able to use a variety of efficient strategies for calculation. We participate in the Mastering Number programme (NCETM) which is implemented daily in EYFS and KS1 to support fluency and ensure pupils are secure with additive facts at the end of KS1 which can then be built upon in KS2 and beyond.

As a school we work with the Enigma Maths Hub which places an emphasis on teaching for mastery. Our subject leader is an accredited mastery specialist and workgroup lead for the NCETM as well as being a local leader of maths education. This provides opportunities for teachers to receive regular high-quality CPD to continuously move the teaching of mathematics forwards for the pupils of MAPS.


Subject Leader- Mrs Summers

At MAPs, Science is an important subject as it allows our children to explore the world around them in detail. Our aim is to teach an aspirational and  knowledge-rich curriculum, allowing our children to develop throughout the school and teaching them skills they can use for the rest of their lives. Looking after the environment is vital in our vision at MAPS and our Science curriculum teaches us to understand the world we live in and how we can each improve to better this for the future. We believe that every child is a scientist; we challenge stereotypes and barriers.  At MAPS, we also recognise the part we play in building Science Capital from an early age to support full engagement with science in education.

There are three main areas to our Science curriculum: 

  • Knowledge and conceptual understanding. This is sequenced and it is vital that children gain a secure understanding of each block of learning to support progression, and a depth of understanding, as they progress through their learning.
  • Nature, process and methods of science (working scientifically). This is not taught as a separate strand but instead is woven through every lesson. This enables children to develop their skills as a scientist through applying their knowledge and understanding. 
  • Critical thinking around big questions that are current and relevant to children in today’s society.  Children understand that applications of science often have ethical, social, economic and political implications and are provided with opportunities to reflect and debate these issues.

Across the curriculum, explicit links are made to other subjects, particularly STEM. Children are exposed regularly to the work of real-life scientists, from the past, and given opportunities to engage with the work of scientists today.  Children are also given opportunities to recognise that scientific explanations, theories and models are those that best fit the facts known at a particular time.

Creating learning opportunities that develop a sense of excitement and curiosity is fundamental to support children’s learning in science.  At MAPS, we introduce many of our topics with an exciting ‘hook’ to engage and excite the children from the very beginning of the unit. Across all year groups, carefully chosen stories are used to support and enhance children’s knowledge and understanding and also to provide opportunities for discussion around real life. We know the importance of making the learning relevant to the children’s lives and incorporate real artefacts, exploration of nature and experiments using easily accessible resources. 

Key knowledge and vocabulary are clearly identified for each section of learning and children are supported to build and remember the knowledge in a number of ways, such as: text-mapping, choral repeating, regular retrieval practice through quizzes, mind mapping and revisiting previous learning. At MAPS, we actively encourage the children to take ownership of their own research and learning and believe this allows them to take pride in their work and become their own expert in specific fields. Discussions are used regularly in Science lessons to support children in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, to allow teachers to remedy their misconceptions.

Our learning in Science is evidenced in a variety of ways and we encourage the children to be creative with their presentation of their learning. This may be through recording oral reports on video, creating double-page spreads to share written information or showcased through posters, handmade books and presentations of the entire unit of work. 


Subject Lead: Mrs Lane

Music plays a central role within the curriculum at Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School and is fundamental to our wider trust mission of creating aspirational and knowledge-rich pupils. Pupils will perform, listen to, review and evaluate music across a range of historical periods, genres, styles and traditions, including the works of the great composers and musicians. Pupils will 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. Pupils will understand and explore how music is created, produced and communicated, including through the interrelated dimensions: pitch, duration, dynamics, tempo, timbre, texture, structure and appropriate musical notations.

Our 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.
  • Hear a youth, church or professional choir 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.


Subject Leader – Miss Boyle

At Malcolm Arnold Prep School we plan Art and Design lessons to ensure all children enjoy and succeed in their learning. We want to nurture an interest and enthusiasm for the subject, whereby children can take their learning forward and use it across the curriculum to enhance their learning, as well as digging deeper to understand art in its own right. We believe that it is important to ensure that children have a good and secure understanding about art history, different periods of art and different artists so that they are able to build up links across these and develop a rich vocabulary for their opinions about art in general. We also endeavour to ensure that children develop the skills and knowledge in order to explore a range of different media and techniques and see how these have been used by other artists. Then we encourage the children to use all of these skills and knowledge to create their own pieces of art that are celebrated and shared within our community.

In addition to the development of all of the subject specific skills, we believe children have the right to be creative and expressive and lose themselves in their art work and explorations. Giving children time and the freedom to express themselves how they choose can be a wonderful opportunity to develop a lifelong interest as well as a channel for developing their own mental wellbeing.

We teach art in a knowledge rich and skill based way which begins by exploring an art movement or an artist, delving deeply into the processes, the history and the techniques that have been used. We then develop the children's skills to enable them to build on what they have learned before, particularly within the areas of drawing, painting, colour theory and sculpture. The children will then utilise the skills as well as their knowledge of an art period or artist to combine these and create a final unit independent piece . Through this process, children are enabled to develop their preferences for mediums and genres of art, as well as analyse pieces in a critical way.

The joy of art is that all children can succeed and express themselves through it and it is our job to provide children with a range of experiences of viewing art as well as creating art to establish children’s individual preferences. Over the journey of their school career the children will build up their own reference portfolio in the form of their sketchbook where they can see their skill development as well as refer back and make links across different areas.

Design & Technology

Subject Leader: Ms Davies

At Malcolm Arnold Prep School, pupils have planned opportunities to use their creativity and imagination, to design and make products that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts. Through a variety of creative and practical activities, we teach the technical skills, knowledge and understanding needed to engage in an interactive process of designing and making. When designing and making, we ensure the pupils are familiar with the design cycle:

  • Design – use research and develop design criteria to design for a purpose and communicate their ideas through a range of mediums.
  • Make – use a wider range of tools and equipment with accuracy and use a wider range of materials and components according to their qualities.
  • Evaluate – evaluate their ideas and products against their own design criteria and consider the views of others to improve their work.

The DT Curriculum includes links to designs and designers throughout history, enabling pupils to critically reflect upon and evaluate their own designs.  We aim to, wherever possible, link work to other disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art. This gives the learning purpose, relevance and context to the pupils. 


Subject Leader - Mrs Weston

At Malcolm Arnold Prep 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. 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.

Not only do we access iPads and chrome books, we also make use of video technology to capture learning and use QR codes to ensure video capture is evidenced and shared more widely.


Subject Lead: Mrs Weston

Learning languages plays a vital role within the curriculum at Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School and is one of many subject areas that will help to fulfil our wider trust mission of creating a curriculum that is broadening the horizons of young people within our academy. Learning a foreign language is a liberation from insularity, provides an opening to other cultures and also provides a deeper understanding of the English language through etymology and study of grammar. Our Language curriculum promotes pupils’ curiosity and deepens their understanding of the world around them both now and in the past.  It will enable pupils to express their thoughts and ideas in another language and communicate these in both speech and in writing. We strive to embed the skills of listening, speaking and reading skills necessary to enable children to use and apply their learning in a variety of contexts and lay the foundations for future language learning. 

Our Language curriculum is designed to progressively develop children’s skills in languages. We have chosen to teach an ancient foreign language, Latin. Latin is taught to support and enhance teaching of Ancient Rome; it supports literacy for all children, develops vocabulary and enhances understanding of grammar.  Children progressively acquire, use and apply a growing bank of vocabulary organised around stories and links are made between vocabulary in English and Latin. Children are encouraged and supported to develop their speaking and listening skills through conversational work and games. As confidence and skill grows, children record their work through pictures, captions and sentences. 

The Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School Language curriculum aims to ensure that all children:

  • Understand and respond to spoken and written language from a variety of authentic sources.
  • Speak with increasing confidence, fluency and spontaneity, finding ways of communicating what they want to say, including through discussion and asking questions, and continually improving the accuracy of their pronunciation and intonation.
  • Can write at varying length, for different purposes and audiences, using the variety of grammatical structures that they have learnt.
  • Discover and develop an appreciation of a range of writing in the language studied. 

We teach Latin using Maximum Classics. This program has been chosen as it offers clear grammatical structures which are taught alongside our English curriculum.

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

Origins of Language

Present tense verbs

Subject and object

Simple sentences in Latin

Numerals and to be

Adjectives and agreement


Past continuous tense

Third group nouns

Possessive noun endings

Negatives and conjunctions

Simple past tense

Questions and relative clauses

Passive vs active

Indirect object


Subject leader – Mrs Kaminska Ingall

At MAPS, we see the value in teaching Geography to create aspirational and knowledge-rich children at our school. We understand that by delivering a curriculum which has two Geographical strands of Physical and Human Geography, we are helping children gain a secure and cohesive understanding which we will support throughout their learning with us at MAPS. By providing this fundamental, we are delivering a secure foundation for children’s learning which can be developed further into secondary school and further education. 

To apply this learning in writing, we use cross curricular links with Talk for Writing and text mapping to help us understand key texts or extracts. This allows children to have a depth in the non-fiction information which is required when writing from a Geographical viewpoint. We see this through depth studies and work produced through questioning, essay writing, report writing before moving onto research based non-chronological report writing. All of these will develop not only the writing stamina and vocabulary for children at MAPS but will also help develop their ability of lateral thinking and interpretation of questions. 

Here at MAPS, we deliver a knowledge-based curriculum for Geography which ensures we teach the relevant knowledge, skills and vocabulary for each unit to help children have a deeper understanding. Our lessons are taught with a practical element through effective questioning where we can allow children to hold their own investigations. Particularly in Early Years with practical, playful and inclusive support is provided with the “Characteristics of Effect Learning” at the hearts of our EYFS. Excellent teaching, within MAPS, is based upon the Rosenshine’s Principles of instructional teaching which is underpinned by three key sources; research in cognitive science, research on the classroom practices of master teachers and research on cognitive supports to help pupils learn complex tasks. 

There is a big focus on developing children’s geographical vocabulary and language. Vocabulary is taught every lesson in a ‘whole class chorus’ and ‘my turn your turn’ with everyday examples included to help children have an understanding within their reality. There are also ‘do now’ tasks included at the start of each lesson; these tasks allow for a recap of learning previously taught which allows the information to begin to move from working memory to long-term memory when constantly revisited. By doing this with each piece of information learnt, children can (in the latter weeks of term) produce a written piece of work with confidence that has Geographical knowledge and vocabulary and is set out as a non-fiction information text. 

By the end of each unit, children will have a deeper understanding which they can take with them to support their learning once that topic is revisited throughout their journey up the school. By providing this knowledge-based curriculum, we are allowing children to take charge of their learning and become inquisitive in their understanding of Physical and Human Geography with the confidence to approach questions with evaluation, reflection and relating to additional topics for an in curricular link. 


Subject leader – Mrs Ireland

Within our curriculum at MAPS, History plays a central role and is fundamental to our wider trust mission of creating aspirational and knowledge-rich pupils. Pupils will secure a significant historical perspective by placing their growing knowledge into different contexts and understand connections between local, regional, national and international history that they study during their time here. We teach an accumulation of essential knowledge for pupils’ cultural capital and historical disciplines that are substantial and will provide a secure foundation that will enable them to succeed in the next stage of their education. 

The MAPS History curriculum aims to ensure that all children: gain a coherent knowledge and understanding of Britain’s past and that of the wider world, which helps to stimulate children’s curiosity to know more about the past. Learn how to ask perceptive questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement.

Begin to understand the complexity of people’s lives, the process of change, the diversity of societies and relationships between different groups, as well as their own identity and the challenges of their time. 

To do this, The MAPS History Curriculum has adopted a ‘big picture’ view of history, allowing our students to step back to see the world as an interconnected whole. It provides details about specific countries and religions, but presents those details in a larger, cross-regional and global context. While highlighting the world’s diversity through the exploration of ancient history, it also makes connections and comparisons across cultures. It examines history from a global perspective, seeking to identify common patterns in historical events around the world. One-way historians identify patterns is by applying themes to the study of the past. 

The MAPS History curriculum has six unifying themes; humans and the environment, cultural develops and interactions, governance, economic systems, system interaction and organisation and technology and innovation. Through using these themes, we can make several cross-curricular links to build knowledge. 



Linked Subjects

Humans and the environment

●        Exploring how the environment shapes human societies

●        As populations grow and change these, in turn, shape the environment both in positive and negative ways


Cultural developments and interaction

●        The development of ideas, beliefs and religions illustrates how societies view themselves

●        The interactions of societies and their beliefs have political, social and cultural implications

Religious Education



●        A variety of internal and external factors  contribute to formation, expansion and decline

●        Governments maintain order through policies and procedures

●        Governments obtain, retain and exercise power in different ways and for different purposes


Economic Systems

●        As societies develop, they affect and are affected by the was that they produce, exchange and consume goods and services

Design and Technology

Social Interaction and Organization

●        The process by which societies group their members

●        The norms that govern the interactions between these groups and between individuals in the group influence political, economic and cultural institutions and organizations 


Technology and Innovation

●        Human adaptation and innovation have resulted in increased efficiency, comfort and security

●        Technological advances have shaped human development and interaction with both intended and unintended consequences. 

Design and Technology


Within our MAPS History Curriculum we include plans for extended written pieces of works. These are historical essays.  An essay is a piece of sustained writing in response to a question, topic or issue. Essays are commonly used for assessing and evaluating student progress in history. History essays test a range of skills including historical understanding, interpretation and analysis, planning, research and writing. These essays are placed carefully within our curriculum following multiple units. These essays set a kind of task or challenge which allows the pupils to use their accumulated knowledge to respond.

Physical Education

Subject leader – Miss Headworth 

At Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School we believe that physical education and school sport encompasses more than just the physical elements. We know how significant the subject is for our pupil’s well-being, increasing self-esteem, confidence, teamwork and communication skills.
To achieve our desired outcomes, we deliver the unique Horizon PE Curriculum, which encompasses PE teaching, assessment and learning. In EYFS and KS1 we look at units in Stability, Locomotor, Throwing and Catching and Dribbling and Striking. We understand how important it is to develop those key fundamental movements at an early age in order for our pupils to have a strong foundation to build more complex skills upon.
These more complex skills can be found in the sporting units of KS2, where we focus on team sports such as football, hockey, netball/basketball, Rugby and athletics, along with other units in dance, gymnastics, orienteering, tennis and cricket. The curriculum is progressively sequenced so that each unit is built upon in complexity, allowing teachers to move between linked skills in order to be adaptable so that ever pupil can be included within PE lessons.
Along with skill acquisition, our pupils also learn how to use these skills in a game by playing small-sided and conditioned games. We also know that PE is the perfect time to further enhance some of those topics raised in PSHE and Science around the body, and we really try and use the subject to enhance knowledge around why exercise is important, and what’s going on during exercise to the body.
Our overall aim at Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School is to give all of our pupils an ‘Active Start’ with the aspiration that by the time they leave us at the end of KS2, our pupils are well on their way to being ‘Physically Literate’ enabling them to actively engage in PE in KS3 and move towards being able to be ‘Active for Life’.

Religious Education

Subject Leader - Mrs Pheasant

Our RE lessons are planned so that every pupil reaches their full potential and develops an interest in the subject as well as an understanding and respect for all religions and none. 

At Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School we use Understanding Christianity as a curriculum resource and follow the Diocese of Peterborough scheme of work to deliver our RE lessons.  We incorporate God’s Big Story into our Christianity teaching This in turn is linked to our school virtues which are themselves linked to all religions and none.  MAPS vision of ‘Love thy neighbour’ is strongly emphasised, embedded and encouraged in our school community.  This encourages the children to think about the impact their actions have on others, their community, environment and the world.  During lessons children are taught to make sense of the belief they are learning about, to make connections and to understand the impact of these beliefs in everyday life. 

Excellent teaching, within our school, is based upon the Rosenshine’s Principles of instructional teaching which is underpinned by three key sources; research in cognitive science, research on the classroom practices of master teachers and research on cognitive supports to help pupils learn complex tasks.  This means that children at MAPS receive quality first class teaching that is consistent across all subjects and produces pupils who learn to think deeper and are confident to ask ‘why’ to ensure understanding. 

By the end of the curriculum all pupils will have a deep knowledge and understanding of some of the world’s religions and will have acquired the skills of philosophers being able to ask perceptive questions, think critically, consider evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. Pupils will have a broader understanding of the different religions which will reduce prejudice within their community and enable them to respect one another after discovering more about the way they live. Educating pupils about the different beliefs will also help them articulate their own beliefs and enable them to make links and respect the action of others.


Subject Leader – Mrs Hudson

At MAPS we believe that the main elements to the our PSHE Curriculum are:-

  • To provide a holistic approach to education. Our PSHE programme embraces and promotes the physical and mental health of all pupils. This is integral to all units in all year groups and is progressive throughout the curriculum.
  • Knowledge and experiences. We teach new knowledge and provide experiences/examples that are sequenced in a way that allows for reflection on past learning, acknowledgement of current understanding and a progressive deepening of understanding as they move throughout the units of learning. 
  • Skills. We teach children the skills to help them to make healthy choices and have a healthy understanding of themselves and the world around them, enabling them to participate positively in society throughout primary school and beyond. 
  • Whole school, whole curriculum approach. PSHE is not a stand alone curriculum. Each year group undertakes the same unit (to a different degree of depth) at the same time so that it can impact the whole school community. The knowledge, vocabulary and skills which we learn in each lesson are used in all other lessons and activities when appropriate in order to put PSHE into context and provide real-life opportunities to practice making positive, healthy choices for all.  

We place a strong emphasis on emotional literacy. We unambiguously teach new knowledge, vocabulary and skills to children in a way that they can use themselves, first with the support of the adults around them before becoming independent. We believe that we need to prepare our children to independently use their PSHE knowledge to make healthy choices in the real world (both on and offline – see computing statement). 

We allow the children to reflect on their individual experience before broadening to society. We believe that children must have a strong understanding of who they are and how they can both affect and be affected by society. We have the highest expectations for all pupils; we teach British values throughout the PSHE curriculum and explicitly teach the skills children need to contribute positively to the world around them.

At MAPS we do all that we can to ensure that our children feel safe to talk about the topics involved in PSHE within their class environment. Each class follows the same set of ground rules which must be adhered to during our PSHE lessons and these are referred to in other lessons throughout the school day. These are recapped at the beginning of every lesson with praise and encouragement given to remind the pupils of their importance.

We think carefully about the unique child. Our PSHE curriculum involves exploring topics which are significant to pupils and will overlap with their experiences outside of school, including home life. Lessons are supplemented where needed to support needs of groups or of cohorts. Careful consideration will be given to each individual pupils’ circumstances and teaching staff will tailor teaching to these accordingly. Special consideration will be given to pupils who are particularly vulnerable, including those with SEN. 

Early Years 
Our PSHE curriculum supports and promotes the majority of the Early Learning Goals but particularly: 

  • personal, social and emotional development,
    •  understanding the world, and
    • physical development.

The provision in our Reception classes supports the development of PSHE through taught lessons, the environment, and the expertise of the adults within the environment. Pupils engage in teacher facilitated PSHE lessons, are supported by adults within the setting to put new knowledge, vocabulary and skills into practise and are given opportunities to do so independently through high quality continuous provision. 

KS1 and KS2 
Throughout KS1&2, teaching allows children to assess and reflect on their current understanding, builds upon children’s prior knowledge and understanding and allows them to make connections and see different points of view. 

Pupils are challenged to think and reflect independently throughout both key stages. They increase their curiosity and empathy as they move through the key stages until they are discussing and exploring more complex ideas and experiences. 

What will you see in a PSHE lesson at Malcolm Arnold Preparatory school:

  • Lessons have a specific PSHE learning objective and a specific emotional literacy/social skill learning objective
  • Each lesson of the PSHE curriculum will go through the following processes:
  • Improve social skills to better enable collaborative learning (Connect us)
  • Relax bodies and calm minds to prepare for learning (Calm me)
  • Help the brain to focus on specific learning intentions (Open my mind)
  • Initiate new learning (Tell me or show me)
  • Facilitate learning activities to reinforce the new learning (Let me learn)
  • Support in reflecting on learning and personal development linked to our whole school virtues and the child as an individual (Help me reflect)
  • Pupils work in mixed attainment groups and in mixed attainment learning partners. We work with the assumption that all pupils are capable of achieving a high standard in PSHE. By doing this we are not putting a ceiling on the potential learning of any pupil and as such all of our pupils access the same curriculum at the same pace. Group discussion is facilitated and the methods in which children share their views are varied to encourage all pupils to feel comfortable to share their pupil voice.
  • Learning is differentiated according to the needs of the individual child. This level of differentiation for each individual child will change according to the learning objective of the PSHE lesson and is dependent on strong relationships between pupils and teachers and good knowledge of the child and their individual pastoral situation.  
  • Evidence is collected from the lesson and stored in the PSHE floorbooks. This may take a variety of forms such as: Teacher recordings, mind maps, photos, QR codes, work completed by the children, reflections recorded on post it notes or small pieces of paper or shared group work.


At Malcolm Arnold Prep School we are passionate about children making the very best start they can to their school life. We believe in offering them an ambitious curriculum that will provide firm foundations for their ongoing learning.

We place a strong emphasis on Communication and Language and recognise how the development of this, along with Personal Social and Emotional Development and Physical Development will have a major impact on a child’s success in all other areas.
We have high expectations for all the children in our care and are reflective in our practise to make sure we are meeting the needs of all our children.

At MAPS we ensure that we focus not only on what the children learn, but also on how the children learn, using the Characteristics of Effective Learning as a guide. We are passionate about the process that children go through in order to become successful learners and we encourage exploration, ‘having a go’, persevering if difficulties are encountered as well as critical thinking, where children will be encouraged to develop their own ideas and strategies.

We know that children learn and develop best within enabling environments with teaching and guidance from interested adults. Our classrooms and outdoor environment are set up to inspire this learning, to encourage creativity and problem solving, to promote exploration and investigation and most of all to encourage enthusiasm for learning and a thirst to find out more.

Throughout their Reception year, the children will experience a mixture of instructional teaching, adult directed play/group work, adult intervention in play and exploratory learning led by the child.
The balance of instructional teaching and play based learning will change as the year progresses to ensure the children leave Reception ready to cope with the demands of year 1. 

All children follow the locally agreed syllabus for Religious Education. This is a vital part of the prep school curriculum due to its partnership with the Peterborough Diocese and the school’s distinctive Christian ethos.

For further information about the curriculum followed at Malcolm Arnold Preparatory School please contact us.

Curriculum Overviews

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.

Click here to find out more about British Values at our academy