Our Vision 

At Kirkby-in-Malhamdale Primary School, the Early Years environment is designed to welcome children with a warm smile, recognising that positive relationships are fundamental to their happiness and motivation in school.

We aim to create an enriching atmosphere where children can make independent choices, practice skills, cultivate resilience, and spark curiosity.

The adults actively engage in shared thinking and discussions, guiding learning purposefully and presenting the next significant question for exploration.

The Prime areas of the curriculum, particularly in Nursery and Reception, hold significant importance, and we emphasise the development of these areas.

Real-life experiences are integrated to allow children to apply their skills and knowledge, fostering connections across various learning domains. Our goal is for the youngest learners to see themselves as capable individuals, eagerly anticipating a lifelong journey of learning.

The collaborative efforts of the Early Years team under the leadership of Mrs. Julie Middleton ensure continuity and seamless transitions. 


  • Establish a sense of community, security, and value for all children in the Early Years setting, gradually extending to the wider school community. 
  • Deliver a relevant curriculum that considers children's interests and fascinations, offering practical and purposeful tasks whilst preparing them for National Curriculum readiness.
  • Topics are designed collaboratively with children's input, addressing specific interests and incorporating skill development as well as taking into account the language , vocabulary, skills and progression required for future curriculum learning. 
  • Provide quality opportunities for children to engage in both adult-planned and child-initiated activities, ensuring challenges and enjoyment across all learning and development areas.
  • Recognise the holistic nature of young children's learning, establishing natural links between different curriculum areas, with a focus on play-based learning and the prime areas of the Foundation Stage Curriculum. 
  • Cultivate a learning environment that fosters independence, encourages exploration, and allows children to express their ideas and feelings. The seven interconnected areas of learning and development (as highlighted below) serve as the framework for planning, teaching, and assessing in early years settings.

Our Curriculum

At Kirkby-in-Malhamdale Primary School our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) curriculum is carefully designed to follow the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage. This framework sets out the learning, development and assessment requirements for all EYFS children until the end of their reception year. Our engaging and enriching curriculum is further guided by a document called ‘Development Matters’ and Birth to 5 years. 

The Early Years Foundation Stage is underpinned by four key principles:

A Unique Child
We recognise that all children are different. We identify and celebrate their strengths and support their areas for development.

Positive Relationships
Our pupils interact well with each other and with the adults in the school. We encourage parents to be involved with their child’s education.

Enabling Environments
Our indoor and outdoor areas encourage exploration, investigation, and independent learning. Our displays and resources are well maintained and reflect current learning.

Learning and Development
Pupils achieve well and make good progress from their starting points. Learning is playful, practical, and purposeful and builds upon prior attainment. Our children enjoy coming to school.

The children learn through seven areas:

The Seven Areas of Learning

Prime Areas

Specific Areas

Communication and Language


Physical Development


Personal, Social and Emotional


Understanding the world

Expressive Arts and Design

These seven areas of learning build the foundation of future learning. To see the clear links between these areas of learning and the key stage 1 and 2 curriculum, please see the documents below. 

Our Setting

Class 1 is organised into continuous provision areas. The purpose of continuous provision is "to continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult".  Therefore, the environment is absolutely vital to the development of the children; it is seen as an additional adult in the classroom. Each and every part of our learning environment has been carefully planned to meet and challenge the development needs of our children.

Learning opportunities are carefully planned around the interests of the children, with some direct teaching to meet the needs of our progressive curriculum and also planned to meet the developmental needs identified within our children. We support the children to develop their skills progressively in exciting, fun and creative ways to achieve the highest standards possible. 


Tapestry is our assessment tracker, to record our children’s knowledge, skills and learning dispositions. It is a consistent and reliable way of demonstrating progress through the EYFS.

Through daily observation and interaction we are able to build a rich and accurate understanding of each child across all aspects of learning and development.

Our assessments are meaningful and impact on our children’s learning and development as we use them to inform our children’s next steps which are personalised and challenging. Our observations then inform the assessments we make as children approach the end of each range milestone. 

Parents are invited to contribute to their child’s learning journey, sharing experiences, achievements and learning done out of school. Through sharing this at school, adults are able to celebrate and where appropriate guide ‘home learning’ tailored to each child’s ‘next steps’.