Knavesmire Primary School

Trafalgar Street, York, North Yorkshire YO23 1HY

01904 806545 NEW PHONE NUMBER

Early Years


Our Intent in the Foundation Stage is to provide a safe and secure setting where children’s emotional wellbeing is at the forefront of all other aspects. We understand that building secure relationships with children and their families is key to providing a successful learning experience for children throughout Early Years. We aim to spark the children’s love of learning and create enthusiastic learners who are excited to know more. We aim to develop critical thinking skills and to spark curiosity. We promote independence, positivity and confidence in a wholesome way and each and every child is valued as an individual. We have a child centred approach and through the teams thorough knowledge and understanding of how children learn, we are all able to develop Knavesmire Character and succeed together, as well as enjoying the wonder and awe of childhood.


Our curriculum is implemented through a broad range of experiences to offer every unique child the opportunity to learn. We have a balance of adult led teaching and learning through open-ended continuous provision inside and outdoors, which is continuously reflected on, and is flexible depending on the children’s needs and interests. We appreciate that the children’s prior experiences may vary on entry to Nursery or Reception. It is for this reason that we offer a curriculum derived on cultural capital; a curriculum that offers outstanding and exciting experiences for all children. Our curriculum is based on broader experiences. such as outdoor learning, school trips, visits, Forest School opportunities encouraging choice and independence in daily routines and many more. The children are taught about the wider world and learn through first hand experiences and open-ended areas of provision.  Our curriculum is carefully designed to offer a balance of preparing the children for the demands on year 1, while at the same time, ensuring that children are learning at a pace and in a manner that is suitable to their developmental stage. Our curriculum is driven by our Big Idea approach, which allows the children to take ownership over their learning and encourages creativity. We place huge importance on the development of children’s vocabulary, to enable children to communicate their needs, thoughts, and understanding. This is implemented through a language rich environment, embedded through exciting texts and appropriately planned and modelled communication and language skills.

This year we are an Early Adopter school for the new Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This will become statutory for all Early Years settings from September 2021. This document will be used alongside our exciting and invigorating Knavesmire curriculum to support the Early Years team in providing quality and consistency, a secure foundation for each individual child, a working partnership between practitioners and parents and equality of opportunity. The children will be working towards Early Learning Goals in the following areas; The prime areas: Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development that support and scaffold the four specific areas Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and ‘Expressive Arts and Design. The EYFS is underpinned by the Characteristics of Effective Learning - playing and exploring, creating and thinking critically and to participate in active learning.


The impact of our curriculum is that children feel comfortable and respected, they feel safe and secure to learn in a nurturing and caring environment.


Children demonstrate British Values. Children exercise democracy. They have freedom of expression and all have a say in what happens and why. The children respect the ‘rules’ because they have helped to create them and they understand them; they have respect for authority. All children have a voice and different opinions are discussed, respected and appreciated. The children know that they have the freedom to make choices and they are able to reflect on their own decisions. The children are considerate role models, ready to get through life showing mutual respect for each other. They are good listeners and feel comfortable to share their opinions and views. They respect the views of others and become accepting of differences.

The children are passionate and enthusiastic about their learning. They have a strong desire to learn and they feel interested, eager and compelled to know more. They take ownership of their learning and they feel confident to make choices and learn in a way that suits them. Children are spirited; each in their own individual way. They show energy, enthusiasm and determination in daily life. They take pleasure in coming to school and see that learning is fun. The children are arty and creative learners. They understand that it is the process that matters and the end product is not the only achievement. They know that it is OK to be different and feel confident to use their imagination. The children understand the need for a healthy lifestyle and realise the benefits that this can have. They are sporty and energetic and they enjoy taking part in teamwork; they are team players! Children see the purpose in learning. They have a fixed intention and they show determination in achieving their goals. The children have built the confidence and resilience needed to tackle problems and spring back when things don’t go their way. They are aware that things are not always easy but they have developed the skills needed to tackle everyday life challenges. They ask questions and know that it is ok to take learning risks to work out strategies to achieve. They are independent, critical thinkers who will challenge concepts and question why things happen in certain ways.  The children know that the world extends past their own individual lives and they are keen to find out more!


The children are able to tackle daily living tasks on their own. They use resources to help them to learn in an independent manner. They do not rely on others to guide their learning but instead they take learning risks to work things out for themselves. They have a positive outlook on learning and they are keen to learn more. The children are exuberant, they are full of excitement and energy and they channel this into their daily learning. The children have respect for differences and similarities between individuals. They know that there is no single entity and that everybody has their own unique qualities.  The children are confident to be themselves. They know that differences’ in attitude, experiences, habits, creativity and perspective are what makes us who we are. They are accepting of other cultures, communities and religions. The children have high expectations for their learning. They want the best out of school and also out of life. They have the ambition and desire to achieve and they have aspirational goals.  They have the energy, diligence and focus to be hard working. Children and staff work as a team to succeed together. We are creative, arty and have fun. We take risks in learning and we are enthusiastic and passionate. We are hard working and resilient as well as being exuberant and spirited. We have aspirations and are determined whist having high expectations. We celebrate being unique and individual. We are sporty and healthy. We embrace British Values of democracy, the rule of law, mutual respect and individual liberty.

Please see the Early Years at Knavesmire; Intent, implementation and impact document below for further detail.