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Hilldrop Road, East Hunsbury, Northampton, NN4 0PH |  01604 661 011 | 

Aims and Ethos

At Simon de Senlis Primary School, our children are immersed in a curriculum that is broad, balanced and rigorous. Our teaching staff are committed to an innovative and reflective approach to teaching, which provides challenge for all and enables every individual to be a successful learner.

All schools have their own unique identity and we believe that at Simon de Senlis Primary School, we have created a friendly, caring and supportive environment that encourages all pupils to fulfil their true potential. We take pride in the fact that our children are nurtured in a safe, enjoyable and respectful learning environment. We talk about being driven and determined to achieve the best we can, whilst remembering that we have a growth mindset and so will need to use perseverance at times. We each learn at our own pace and children want to achieve the best they can, being guided and supported by exceptional teachers and support staff to do this.


The National Curriculum


In Reception, we follow the Early Years Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This Framework specifies the requirement for learning and development in the Early Years and provides specific areas of learning we must cover in our curriculum.

Years 1 to 6

We follow the National Curriculum which is a set of subjects and standards used by most schools in England. It covers what subjects are taught and the standards children should reach in each subject.

To view our curriculum maps please click on the curriculum tab and select the year group you wish to view.

In collaboration with Northampton Primary Academy Trust, we have developed our wider curriculum to be the best it can be for our children. Our aims and principles for the whole curriculum are deeply rooted in the aims and values of the trust.

Northampton Primary Academy Trust Curriculum - Aims and Principles

A broad, rich and rigorous curriculum is at the heart of Northampton Primary Academy Trust’s vision to achieve educational excellence; creating opportunities and enriching lives. It forms an essential part of the trust’s mission to develop a multi-academy trust of highly effective and sustainable schools. The trust’s aspiration and ambition is for every child to achieve highly, for every school to be a great school and every individual to continually improve. We see access to a well-sequenced and well-planned curriculum, taught by highly skilled, knowledgeable teachers, as the route to educational excellence and an entitlement of every child in NPAT schools. In the trust, a broad, rich and rigorous curriculum is seen as the driver of school improvement, not a casualty of it.

What is the curriculum?

NPAT schools subscribe to a broad and comprehensive definition of ‘curriculum’ as ‘all the learning which is planned and guided by the school’ (Kerr quoted in Kelly 1983). This requires planning and decision making to be intentional across all areas of school life. NPAT schools recognise the following recent definition of curriculum by Ofsted. “The curriculum is a framework for setting out the aims of a programme of education, including the knowledge and skills to be gained at each stage (intent); for translating that framework over time into a structure and narrative, within an institutional context (implementation) and for evaluating what knowledge and skills pupils have gained against expectations (impact/achievement).” (Ofsted 2019)

The Importance of Knowledge

Our curriculum has a clear focus on the acquisition of knowledge content. It is constructed as a narrative over time with clearly planned vertical, horizontal and diagonal links that, over time, will develop the children’s wider understanding of the world. It is based on National Curriculum content. The curriculum is rooted in research about Cognitive Science; its sequencing, coherence and intentional development of pupils’ schema. High quality professional learning opportunities for teachers to develop appropriate subject knowledge will augment the implemented curriculum materials. ‘The vast, accumulated wealth of human knowledge, and what we choose to pass on to the next generation through teaching in our schools (the curriculum), must be at the heart of education. ’Amanda Spielman (HMCI).

Values within the curriculum

Simon de Senlis Primary School shares NPAT’s values of aspiration, collaboration, integrity, community and a genuine commitment to sport and the arts. These values, alongside our school values, permeate school life and are a central part of the planned and enacted curriculum. Throughout the curriculum, children meet and learn about the 'British values' of democracy, the rule of law, liberty, respect and tolerance both explicitly and implicitly.


The school has been following the objectives as outlined by the National Curriculum. In addition, we follow the Talk for Writing approach to develop children who are skilled and able to orally re-tell a story and then write a story using a range of genres. This writing journey begins on the first day of school in Reception, developing children who have a love for writing through to their final day at Simon de Senlis in Year 6 and beyond into adulthood. Grammar and punctuation are also included in all English lessons.

We follow the Kinetic letter handwriting programme which enables children to develop the strength and formation of letters, so becoming fluent and automatic in their writing, freeing up their minds for imagination and content.


Our phonics journey begins in EYFS and is at the heart of everything we do! Phonics is taught systematically and actively to ensure learning is memorable and engaging. Phonics sessions are taught on a daily basis and are made up of learning sounds, using actions, playing games and reading words, following the Letters and Sounds programme.

It aims to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. There are six phases which are taught from EYFS through to Year Two. Children are taught the different sounds that letters make as well as the different combinations. In addition to this, children progress through high frequency word lists that they need to learn to read and spell. Sessions also cover how to segment words into their separate sounds as well as how to blend sounds together to make words (which also supports spelling).

In June, all Year One children will be expected to undertake a statutory Phonics Screening. The aim is to check that a child is making the expected progress in phonics and using skills to decode unfamiliar words in their reading. The check comprises of a list of 40 words, both real and nonsense, which the child reads one-to-one with a teacher. For any children who do not pass the check, extra support will be given and they will then resit the test in Year 2. If they do not pass the test in Year 2 they will receive specific phonic interventions to meet their individual needs in Year 3.

Moving on, in Year 2 and 3 the children begin a spelling programme continuing to do so throughout the years into Year 6. This programme enables teachers to deliver active lessons for the learning of spelling.  Not only do children gain knowledge, understanding and investigate key spelling patterns, they also activate prior knowledge by revisiting previous linked learning.  This is delivered through a series of well-planned and resourced sessions during the course of the year.  Where children will be introduced to new concepts then given the opportunity to practise, extend, explore and then explain and demonstrate their understanding.


At SdS we are passionate about reading. Your child will have access to a wide and inspiring range of texts within their classroom library, the school library and within the curriculum. These rich texts will open up a world of possibilities for your child and enable them to develop their imagination and their love of reading. We aim for every child at Simon de Senlis to become a fluent and expressive reader and to develop their love of reading now and throughout their lives.
Reading lessons take place at least four times per week and are an extended lesson to enable children from Reception to Year 6 to engage in rich texts, read with fluency and develop a wider knowledge of the content. Children learn to compare and contrast texts and use fiction and non-fiction texts to develop their reading skills. Your child will learn to analyse a wide range of texts and will be able to apply these skills across all areas of the curriculum as we know that excellence in almost all of the other curriculum areas will be achieved by your child being a fluent reader.

Children travel on their individual reading journey from Reception to Year 6, reading engaging texts from our Reading Scheme, at their level of reading ability and interest. Staff are able to track the progress of your child to ensure that they are fully engaging in a rich reading environment. In addition, our ‘100 Books for Everyone’ initiative allows your child to read a further 100 classic books between Reception and Year 6. These books, chosen by authors and reading academics, are the ones that have been decided that all children should read in their early life. Whilst reading these 100 books, your child will receive certificates and rewards as they complete the 100 titles.

As well as a classroom library, your child will have access to our vibrant and well stocked school library which is at the heart of the school. The library has been placed here, at the heart of our school building, as reading is at the heart of our curriculum.


At Simon de Senlis, we believe passionately that every child has the ability to achieve highly and our curriculum and approach to maths are designed to meet this aim.  We know that daily maths lessons are essential to achieving this vision and at Simon de Senlis, every child has five core maths lessons a week as well as sessions to develop their mental arithmetic.

We strive for our children to master mathematics through a consistent, school wide approach.  This means that they develop a deep and sustained understanding of mathematical principles which they are then able to apply to a range of situations.  From the very earliest stages, we enable our children to develop their sense of number through hands on experiences and the exploration of pattern.  This is built upon throughout key stage one and two, where children develop mental strategies to help them master the quick recall of their number facts - initially in addition and subtraction before moving on to learning their multiplication tables. Children start to consider ‘how sensible’ an answer is and whether it is a logical possibility.

At Simon de Senlis, we are passionate about the importance of using concrete and pictorial representations to aid children’s understanding and communication about maths.  When children handle apparatus and talk to their teacher about what they see, they clarify their thoughts and develop a deeper and stronger understanding.  This understanding of why something happens helps children retain their knowledge and retrace their steps should they need to. In addition to this, children are taught to reason and solve problems that are presented in different contexts.

Our maths lessons are engaging, fast paced and taught by highly skilled teachers who carry out ongoing assessments to ensure children receive the challenge and wealth of experience they need in order to fulfill their potential and develop a love for maths. 


Our classrooms are well stocked with devices for children to use to develop their computing skills, along with using them to enhance their learning. As a Microsoft Showcase School, we ensure that all children have their own Office 365 account from Year 1 to Year 6. Children are taught to use the software within Office 365 to enhance their learning at school and at home. Homework is completed online using the Office 365 Class Teams page. In Reception Tapestry is used to track learning and homework is set to be completed within Tapestry.

Our computing curriculum equips children to use computational thinking and fosters children to be competent, confident and creative users of technology and responsible digital citizens.  Children will develop the knowledge and skills needed to be able to express themselves and their ideas clearly through digital media. It will enable them to see how these skills will be useful to them as active participants in both a digital world as well as in the workplace. They may be inspired to pursue further study and career paths in Programming, Engineering and Computer Science. Through the computing curriculum, children will understand and apply core principles and concepts of computer science:  including logic, algorithms and data representation. They will evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies analytically to solve problems. Our computing curriculum is based on the Teach Computing Curriculum supported by Office 365. Children will engage in alternate terms of computing teaching, followed by shorter embedding terms in which computing knowledge and skills are applied to other subject areas.


Through our quality Science curriculum, we support children in gaining a fascination for, and an understanding of, the world around them. They will become curious about our planet and gain a desire to learn more about the physical and natural phenomena to be found both there and in the wider universe. They will learn about: the physical laws and principles which have shaped our world and maintained the systems found therein; the chemical processes and concepts controlling all forms of matter; the diversity and inter-relatedness of all living things, with particular emphasis on the life processes which are essential to the maintenance and health of the human body. They will learn about the effects that science has on our everyday lives and will develop a sense of responsibility for the care of our world, recognising how an understanding of science is essential in the preservation of our natural and human environments and of how resources can be managed sustainably.


At Simon de Senlis, your child will access a quality art, craft and design curriculum which will engage, inspire and challenge them. It will equip them with the knowledge and skills to experiment, invent and create their own works of art, craft and design. The curriculum is focused on children learning to observe the world around them by being taught the skills of observational drawing and collating their ideas in a sketchbook, in readiness to be able to present their ideas creatively and proficiently through the medium of drawing, painting and sculpture.

Our Art Curriculum is made up of four strands: mastery in drawing, painting and sculpture, experience of other additional art forms, illustration of work and development of art appreciation.  Each year children will be taught to master skills in drawing, painting and sculpture through a series of well-planned lessons within progressional units of work. The emphasis on the teaching of sculpture will be mainly through the medium of ceramics; other media used to create sculpture will aid mastery of this art form. The children will be taught to think critically and develop a more rigorous understanding of art and design by investigating the work of a diverse range of artists, designers, and craftspeople. Through the rigour of the curriculum and by working alongside artists, children will know how art and design both reflect and shape our history, contribute to our culture, creativity, and wealth of the nation.

Children will also be provided with opportunities to experience other additional art forms such as: printmaking, photography, video, textiles, or film making in addition to the planned units of work. These short standalone experiences will be delivered to enhance and broaden the core art curriculum e.g., as part of the annual RSC programme.

Children will use their drawing and painting skills to illustrate pieces of work throughout the curriculum. They will do this as part of the English curriculum three times per year.

During their time in school, children will develop art appreciation by exploring prominent artworks and artists within The National Gallery’s collection. Each year the children will undertake in-depth studies of the life and work of an influential artist and children in Year 4 will work closely with the curators at The National Gallery to develop their art appreciation further.


Our Geography curriculum will support children in understanding the world around them. They will become curious about our planet and fascinated by its many places, people, resources and environments. Through the frequent Geography lessons, children will understand human and physical processes, and their impact on our world. Children will learn how the Earth’s features are formed and how they have changed over time. They will understand the effect that geography has on our everyday lives and that without it, other events and subjects have much less meaning. Children will develop an understanding and appreciation of their local area and the wider world which is around them.

Children will develop a sound locational knowledge of the world and an appreciation of the geographical features and events that make each place unique. They will understand similarities and differences across the world and be able to use geographical vocabulary to discuss these. They will be confident when using a variety of sources, including a range of maps and atlases.

The following high dividend concepts have been identified as part of the Geography curriculum: Sense of Place, Global Links, Diversity, Representations of the World, Sustainability, Change, Travel, Commerce and Trade, Community, Settlement, Locality and Environment. These will form the Big Ideas’ through which all geography will be taught.


Our quality History curriculum will support children in understanding Britain’s past and that of the wider world. They will become curious to know more about the past and will be equipped to ask perspective questions, think critically, weigh evidence, sift arguments, and develop perspective and judgement. They will understand the complexity of people’s lives and the process of change over time. Children will develop an understanding of the diverse societies and relationships between different groups. The curriculum has been carefully constructed to ensure children obtain a solid understanding of key historical concepts and knowledge. This is a knowledge-rich History curriculum with the aim to empower our children and carefully build their understanding of the subject. The knowledge content is specified in detail and is taught to be remembered and applied as part of lessons and learning.

At Simon de Senlis, children will be taught a chronologically secure knowledge of British, local and world history. They will be able to note connections, contrasts and trends over time and will develop the appropriate use of historical terms. The following high dividend concepts have been identified as part of the history curriculum: conflict, community, culture, trade, locality, legacy, change and power (including monarchy). These concepts will form the Big Ideas’ through which all history will be taught. Teachers will make explicit reference to where children have met these concepts before in the curriculum. Knowledge is sequenced and mapped deliberately and coherently so to weave from one term to the next and from one year to the next.


At Simon de Senlis we believe that our RE curriculum should provide a rich study of religious and non-religious worldviews. The RE curriculum at Simon de Senlis creates a space for respect, exploration and understanding of the diversity of world views and belief systems. Through our RE curriculum, children will learn about religion and worldviews which will help them to develop respect, understanding and empathy for others. Across the school and within the curriculum, children will explore and develop their knowledge and understanding of beliefs and practices of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and those of no faith.

The RE curriculum has been carefully constructed to ensure children acquire a rich, deep knowledge and understanding of belief and practice. Thus, enabling children to make connections between differing faiths and beliefs and their own lives and ways of understanding the world.


At Simon de Senlis, we encourage children to express themselves through musical appreciation, musical composition and musical performance. We teach the Charanga Musical School Programme which enables children to understand musical concepts through different musical activities which enable a secure, deep learning and mastery of musical skills. Over time, children will develop new musical skills and concepts, and re-visit established musical skills and concepts. We work closely with Northampton Music and Performing Arts Trust (NMPAT) with music teachers teaching classes of children to play instruments in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6. These range from a woodwind instrument, to a brass instrument, a stringed instrument and a percussion instrument. Thereafter, chidlren can then choose to learn to play an instrument in more detail and to a greater level from peripatetic music teachers. The range of instruments taught include: drums, guitar, violin, saxophone, flute, clarinet, keyboard and vocal lessons.

At Simon de Senlis we teach all children to sing and to develop their ability to harmonise, develop their pitch, tone and timbre. Our weekly whole school singing assembly enables these skills to be developed, whilst allowing chidlren to take enjoyment from the songs they learn and perform. Our three choirs in school (Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2 and Rap Choir) allow children to develop their performance of singing further.

Our Annual Performing Arts Evening allows the children, families and community to come together to celebrate the music being taught and to enjoy the performances of the children as they demonstrate their developing skills.


At Simon de Senlis we teach French to children in Key Stage 2. We believe that learning a foreign language provides an opening to other cultures and enables children to understand and communicate ideas, facts and feelings in speech and writing. We employ two French teachers who work with children across the Key Stage 2 classes, allowing them to foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. Our teaching of French enables pupils to express their ideas and thoughts in another language and to understand and respond to its speakers, both in speech and in writing. We aim for the teaching of French to provide the foundation for learning further languages.

In Year 6, our annual trip to France allows children to practise in a real-life context the French vocabulary, speaking and listening skills they have been taught and have learnt.

Physical Education

The school employs two specialist PE teachers across the week. Children are taught one lesson by a specialist PE teacher and the second by their class teacher. We use the Real PE scheme which covers the national curriculum objectives – please see attached National Curriculum Objectives for Computing.

Please view the download file in the sidebar for the National Curriculum Objectives for Physical Education (PE).

In addition, we employ a performing arts teacher who teaches dance across the school throughout the year.

If you would like more information on the Curriculum at SdS, please email


Curriculum Support Files

Title Download
pdf National Curriculum Objectives - English Download
pdf National Curriculum Objectives - Mathematics Download
pdf School Data Pupil Performance 2019 Download
pdf Curriculum Special Unit Download
pdf SdS SU Curriculum 2023-24 website version Download
pdf Year 1 Curriculum map 2023-24 Download
pdf Year 2 Curriculum Map 2023-24 Download
pdf Year 3 Curriculum Map 2023-24 Download
pdf Year 4 Curriculum map 2023-24 Download
pdf Year 5 Curriculum map 2023-24 Download
pdf Year 6 Curriculum map 2023-24 Download
pdf NPAT Art Long Term Map 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf NPAT Computing Long Term Map 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf NPAT Geography Long Term Map 2023-24 Download
pdf NPAT History Long Term Map 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf NPAT RE Long-Term Map 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf NPAT Science Long-Term Map 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf DT Long Term Curriculum Map 2023-24 Download
pdf French Long Term Curriculum Map 2023- 24 Download
pdf Music Long term Map 2023-24 Download
pdf PE Long Term Map 2023-24 Download
pdf PSHE Jigsaw Long Term Map 2023-24 Download
pdf SDS NPAT Reception Communication and Language Curriculum Framework 2023-2024 Download
pdf SDS NPAT Reception Expressive Arts and Design Curriculum Framework 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf SDS NPAT Reception Literacy Curriculum Framework 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf SDS NPAT Reception Personal, Social and Emotional Development Curriculum Framework 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf SDS NPAT Reception Understanding the World Curriculum Framework 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf SdS Reception Framework Maths 2023 2024 Download
pdf SDS Reception Physical Development Curriculum Framework 2023 - 2024 Download
pdf Critical Reading long term plan Reception Download
pdf EYFS Intent document Download

About Us

Our Contact Details:

Hilldrop Road,
East Hunsbury,

01604 661011

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