Knavesmire Primary School

Trafalgar Street, York, North Yorkshire YO23 1HY

01904 806545

A Day in the Life of Reception

Current Big Idea Knowledge Organiser

Phonics & Reading Information

Autumn Term Timetable

Phonics Information for Parents

How to say Phase 3 sounds


Our Early Years Knavesmire aims are for children to feel safe and secure and to care for each other. To develop a love of learning and to know more. To develop critical thinking skills and to know more. To promote independence, positivity and confidence and to all succeed together. We believe that these aims should be at the heart of any learning; in school or at home.


There are many ways that you can help and support your child’s learning at home. We feel that parent/teacher communication is key to success and we would encourage any information/interests/issues to be shared with the team. This will allow us to work together to develop encourage the children’s knowledge and understanding through things that interest them and take into account their own unique qualities.


When helping your child at home, remember, they have most probably been at school all day, so learning should always be fun and brief. At this age, children learn best through play and things that interest them, so don’t underestimate the power of play! 


Encouraging your children to become independent in daily life as well as their learning is a large step for children when children first start Reception. One important tip that we would give is to give your child the time to be independent, set aside the extra time needed to allow your child to practice skills for themselves. The following quote is taken from and we feel that is highlights the great importance of allowing children to build confidence by doing things for themselves.

Communication and Language

Communication and language skills build the foundations for further learning such as reading, writing and understanding. Having regular conversation’s with your child and modelling good listening skills will help your child to develop essential skills.


Please visit the Hungry Little Minds Government campaign for further information.



Read, Read, Read! If we can encourage any home learning to be done regularly, it is reading! Reading with your child every day (even if it is just a couple of pages!) will help them to practice their phonic skills and embed the learning that we have been doing in school. Reading books will be matched to the phase/set of sounds that we have been learning.


Your child will bring home a reading book that is matched to their phonic ability, these books will not be a challenge but will be a chance for children to show off their reading ability. The challenge aspect will take place in school. We value reading for pleasure as an invaluable practise so children will also bring home a weekly book for pleasure, that you can read to/or with them.


The following advice is taken from the Reading Guidance 2021 –


How to read a story to your child If you can find the time beforehand, read the read-aloud book to yourself first, so you can think about how you’re going to read it to your child. On the first reading:

  • Make reading aloud feel like a treat. Make it a special quiet time and cuddle up so you can both see the book.
  • Show curiosity about what you’re going to read: ‘This book looks interesting. It’s about an angry child. I wonder how angry he gets…’
  • Read through the whole story the first time without stopping too much. Let the story weave its own magic.
  • Read with enjoyment. If you’re not enjoying it, your child won’t. Read favourite stories over and over again. On later readings:
  • Let your child pause, think about and comment on the pictures.
  • If you think your child did not understand something, try to explain: ‘Oh! I think what’s happening here is that…’
  • Chat about the story and pictures: ‘I wonder why she did that?’; ‘Oh no, I hope she’s not going to…’; ‘I wouldn’t have done that, would you?’
  • Link the stories to your own family experiences: ‘This reminds me of when …’
  • Link stories to others that your child knows: ‘Ah! Do you remember the dragon in ….? Do you remember what happened to him?’
  • Encourage your child to join in with the bits they know. 81
  • Avoid asking questions to test what your child remembers.
  • Avoid telling children that reading stories is good for them.




Phonics can be hard to grasp for some adults that did not learn to read and write through phonics at school. Please see our Phonics power point for detailed information on how you can support your child at home. Please ask if there is anything you are unsure of.


See phonics powerpoint for a list of useful websites.


Before we move onto handwriting, we must ensure that every child has the correct pencil grip. Please see the examples below.  You can support your child in developing the muscles needed for holding their pencil correctly through fine motor activities such as pegging things up, using tweezers for pompoms, careful colouring in, drawing large movements with chalk etc. 


We will send out handwriting practice sheets at the end of each half term and we will keep you updated on the letters that we are practising each week. Your child will be provided with a handwriting strip and pen so that you can practise at home. Please ensure that your child is holding their pen/pencil with the correct tripod grip before they begin writing. Please see the image below for ‘how to form letters.’ We have opted to delay the teaching of pre-cursive handwriting in Reception as we would like to focus on children learning to read print securely before they move on.





Maths is everywhere in your child’s world, weather you notice it or not. It is capacity when playing in the bath with water jugs, it is numerals that they spot on front doors, it is the patterns that they create using shapes. Maths is fun and can be found indoors and out. Giving your child the basic counting principles will lay the foundations for success. Counting objects one by one (that can and cannot be moved) will help your child to understand that numbers represent a certain amount. Counting forward and backwards will help your child to learn 1 more and 1 less. Spotting amounts and then counting them will support subsidising. You can support your child’s mathematical thinking by singing counting songs, recognising numerals in the environment, exploring shapes and generally incorporating maths into everyday play!


Please see the following websites;


Forest school

Forest school is an inspirational process that offers all learners regular opportunities to achieve and develop confidence and self-esteem through hands on learning experiences in the natural environment!

We hope to take the children out regularly throughout the year to explore seasonal change, and enjoy a variety of activities in the local environment!

Reception Curriculum 

We appreciate that the children’s prior experiences may vary on entry to Reception, it is for this reason that we implement a curriculum derived on cultural capital, a curriculum that offers outstanding and exciting experiences for all children. Our curriculum is not based solely on the Early Learning goals, but is based on broader experiences such as gaining independence from making learning and play choices, being offered outdoor learning, school trips, visits, Forest School opportunities and many more. The children are taught about the wider world and independently recycle and make changes to support the fight against climate change. All staff throughout EY share the same drive and understanding of the intent and impact of the Knavesmire EY curriculum and implement this by taking a child cantered approach to suit the children’s learning needs. . Our curriculum is driven by our Big Idea approach, which allows the children to take ownership over their learning and encourages every aspect of the Knavesmire Character. We place huge importance on the development of children’s communication and language skills, to enable children to communicate their needs, thoughts, and understanding and build the skills needed to take them through school. This is implemented through a language rich environment, embedded through exciting texts and appropriately planned and modelled communication and language skills. 


Last year we were an Early Adopter school for the new Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage that has become statutory for all Early Years settings from this September. This document is 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 are 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 Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation stage is based on four overarching principles:

- Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured. 

- Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships

- Children learn and develop well in enabling environments with teaching and support from adults, who respond to their individual interests and needs and help them build their learning over time. Children benefit from a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.

- Importance of learning and development. Children learn and develop at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). 


May 12, 2020 42724. The Department for Education (DfE). 


The Early Learning Goals set out in The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation stage are as followed.  

Prime Areas 

Communication and Language – Listening, attention and understanding, speaking.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development – Self regulation, managing self, building relationships. 

Physical Development – Gross motor skills, fine motor skills.

Specific Areas

Literacy – Comprehension, word reading, writing.

Mathematics – Number, numerical pattern.

Understanding the World – Past and present, people culture and communities, the natural world.  

Expressive Arts and Design – Creating with materials, Being imaginative and expressive.