Listed below are the subjects in our curriculum with a brief description of what we cover. Our children enjoy a broad curriculum through fun, interactive lessons.


Whether it be the story of Archimedes running down the street shouting “Eureka, Eureka” or the excitement for every one of our students to be competing against fellow pupils around the globe in a Maths Challenge, we try to bring this fundamental subject alive for the children here at The Elms School.

Our pupils are prepared for either the Common Entrance course in Year 8 or follow a robust Scholarship programme; it is our aim for each child to feel comfortable when dealing with numbers, shape, data and algebra, no matter his or her ability. Well-trained staff members teach to challenge and enrich those who are more capable, but also to grow and support those who may find the subject slightly more challenging. We want to instil an enjoyment and a thirst for the subject so that all may feel confident in tackling everyday life in a logical and independent manner.


At The Elms, we foster a love of English. Our aims and objectives are based on the National Curriculum and Common Entrance syllabus, but allow flexibility to ensure pupils experience a broad range of activities to in order develop the essential skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing.  Our small classes facilitate teaching to specific needs and requirements and allow us to focus on pupils as individuals.

We study a variety of texts, allowing us to explore a variety of genres, formats and styles. Our pupils are encouraged to develop a knowledge and understanding of character, plot and themes, as well as assimilate different literary styles into their own writing.

The essential skills of spelling, grammar and punctuation are constantly revised; pupils learn them discretely and as a part of wider tasks. Our phonics-based spelling approach is followed from Pre-Prep through the lower end of the Main School and all pupils are given spelling lists to learn.

Reading should be a pleasurable activity: a mandate we take extremely seriously. We develop our pupils’ love of literature through a commitment to independent reading, as well as class set texts. Our dedicated librarian manages library sessions and promotes new authors and novels, instrumental in guiding pupils towards appropriate books.

Throughout the year, we aim to provide pupils with a variety of literary experiences ranging from visits to literature festivals to inviting authors in to school.  We celebrate World Book Day and National Poetry Day, have an annual visiting book fair and enjoy trips to the local theatres to watch performances relevant to the work studied in class.


We aim to stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment of Science at The Elms. Our enthusiastic and experienced teaching staff provide a practical approach that encourages this curiosity to evolve into understanding. Not only do pupils acquire knowledge of living things, materials and physical processes, but the subject also engages children at many levels in developing scientific ideas, experimental skills and analytical thinking. Scientific enquiry and investigation encourage creative thought. Pupils learn to ask scientific questions and begin to appreciate the way Science will affect their future on a personal and global level.

Rural Studies

Children from Year 3 and above benefit from weekly Rural Studies lessons. The content of these lessons focuses on stockmanship, sustainability, environmental impact of farming and the field-to-fork concept.  Pupils in each year study and take responsibility for a different animal, learning in depth about that animal’s specific needs and characteristics, its breeding cycles, and its economic value in a business sense.


For the children of The Elms, the sense of history is all around, not least in the story of the school itself and its foundation. Crucial battles in both the English Civil War and the Wars of The Roses were fought not far away. The British Camp, a pre-Roman settlement whose fortifications on the Malvern Hills can still clearly be seen, overlooks the school.


The need to understand our beautiful and complex planet and the effect of human activities on it is increasingly urgent. This is the context for the geography syllabus. From rivers to coasts, from mountains to ground-shattering earthquakes and the explosive world of natural disasters, there is something for every child to engage with and embrace.  With a broad mix of dynamic and often practical classroom learning and mini expeditions, it is a very popular subject at The Elms!


Learning another language is scientifically proven to boost brain power, increase life expectancy but also improve pupils’ literacy skills. It builds their self-confidence and broadens their cultural horizons as they develop the means to cross boundaries in the most fundamental way: by communicating with people from other parts of the world.  In order to really develop pupil’s French, we focus on French as our foreign language from Early Years right up to Year 8, honing all aspects including comprehension and oral and written skills.

Latin and Greek

The classical world and its languages lie at the heart of so much of what we say, think and do. Almost every sentence we speak contains words which come from Latin and Greek. Key ideas and terms in science, medicine, religion, philosophy and politics (all words borrowed from Greek or Latin!) have their roots in the civilisations of ancient Greece and Rome. The buildings around us often include features taken from ancient architecture, and the mythology and literature of the Greeks and Romans have never ceased to inspire writers and artists, up to the present day.
Learning Latin and Greek not only unlocks the fascinating and hugely influential cultures of the ancient world, but also provides a key to understanding the languages, literature, thought, history and art of later societies across a vast range of times and places, thanks to the important role of the Classics in education over many centuries. The study of the ancient languages offers a training in mental discipline and problem solving, an understanding of the workings of languages, historical and cultural awareness, opportunities for creativity and imagination, the excitement of exploring other worlds – and plenty of fun along the way!


Throughout their time at The Elms, pupils will have the opportunity to explore the three different elements of TPR: the study of theology through analysing key biblical texts; the study of philosophy through the discussion of basic human questions about value and meaning; the study of religion through exploring the major world religions. We aim to inspire our pupils to become inquisitive about the bigger questions and to equip them with the skills required to make reasoned and informed judgements about religious and moral issues. Further to this, we aim to enhance their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and to encourage them to develop positive attitudes of respect towards other people who hold views and beliefs different from their own.


The aim of RSHE (Relationships, Sex and Health Education) is to provide pupils with age-appropriate information, to explore attitudes and values and develop skills to empower them to make positive decisions about themselves. This will help pupils respect themselves and others and allow them to move with confidence from childhood through adolescence into adulthood by putting in place the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds, starting with family and friends, and moving out to other kinds of relationships, including online.
Encompassed in RSHE is learning about money, how to be safe at home and in our familiar environments, British values, how to stay healthy and all about people that help us.  All sessions are designed to help children become critical thinkers about the world around them.  We encourage all children to ask questions and these discussions may naturally continue at home.


Unleash imagination, explore the visual world, be curious and creative.

By offering the opportunity to use a variety of materials, discover new techniques and engage individuality, whilst in a supportive environment, the Art department enables and encourages the children to learn, develop and be inspired about Art.

Our ultimate aim is that Art plays an intrinsic part of the lifelong learning undertaken. Art will instill qualities of inquisitiveness, independence and visual communication, enhancing and enriching all who embrace it.


Drama is a key component of both learning and enrichment at The Elms; our creative curriculums are designed to teach fundamental skills for life as well as instil a lifelong love of the performing arts. We aim to encourage and nurture confidence, self-expression and imagination. As a subject, Drama gives the opportunity to be adventurous and to learn from mistakes in a safe environment whilst enjoying the work of our peers.


Music is a thriving subject at The Elms.  We aim to help children to feel that they are musical and to develop a life-long love of music.  Through the study of music the children develop transferable skills including team-work, leadership, creative-thinking, problem-solving and decision-making, which have a wider application in their lives both at school and beyond.  The children explore their voices, listening skills, keyboard skills and the language of music.  Most children learn at least one instrument with our excellent team of peripatetic teachers who offer a broad range of instrumental lessons from musical theatre to orchestral percussion.

Design and Technology

At the Elms, Design and Technology is an inspiring, creative and practical subject. We encourage the children to use their imagination to design and make products and systems that respond to real problems, based on their own and others’ needs and values. In our DT workshop, they learn to use traditional and modern tools and technologies ranging from use of hand tools to computer aided design, so giving them an insight into the challenges involved in designing aesthetically pleasing and functional objects. They learn to think creatively, solve problems and take risks as individuals and as members of a team to produce high quality practical results.

We use a broad range of materials including textiles, wood, metal, plastic to develop an understanding of material properties and function. Using these materials, skills and techniques such as felting, stitching, sawing, drilling, heat manipulation, metal casting, construction and many more are learned, developed and built on as the children progress through school.

Our aim is to inspire our Elms children and hope that they leave the school with a life-long enthusiasm and interest in the subject having gained skills which encourage them to be inquisitive in both their academic life and the environment around them.