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 providing an inspiring curriculum with rich texts at the heart of learning.

Reading lessons take place at least four times per week and are an extended lesson to enable children from Reception to Year 6 engage in rich texts, read with fluency and develop a wider knowledge of the content. Children learn to comp [are and contrast texts and use fiction and nonfiction texts to develop their reading skills.

In addition, the children travel on a reading journey from Reception to Year 6, reading engaging texts from our Reading Scheme, at their level of reading ability and interest. In addition, staff are able to track the progress of the children to ensure that they are fully engaging in a rich reading environment.

Our vibrant and well stocked library is at the heart of the school and is visited by children throughout the week, as well as after school.


The school has been following the objectives as outlined by Primary Framework for Mathematics.

Please view the download file in the sidebar for the National Curriculum Objectives for Maths.

The school is structured into faculties and we follow objectives outlined by the National Curriculum.


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.

We use the Rising Stars computing scheme which covers the national curriculum objectives.

Please view the download file in the sidebar for the National Curriculum Objectives for Computing.


Please view the download file in the sidebar for the National Curriculum Objectives for Science.


We employ a specialist Art consultant who covers the national curriculum objectives.

Please view the download file in the sidebar for the National Curriculum Objectives for Art.

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

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Hilldrop Road,
East Hunsbury,

01604 661011

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