We have designed the early years curriculum around a thematic approach, with seasonal change at the core of understanding the world. Children learn through play and first-hand experiences starting in the local community whilst exploring the wider world. We aim to continue the learning journeys from children’s home and previous settings with close links forged through visits and regular communication. Weekend books provide an opportunity to include personalised learning and relevant experiences linked directly to children’s interests. The teaching of personal, social and health education is key to our vision for developing well-rounded learners who will grow into good citizens.

Our five Slingsby values for life link to British values and include; honesty and integrity, resilience, often referred to as ‘stickability’ in class 1, high expectations of effort and behaviour, respect towards others, differences, adults, the world around them and property, and caring for each other and our community. Children enter our school with high levels of confidence in social situations but lack resilience when their learning is challenged. They develop understanding of why behaviour rules are in place and recognise the impact that their behaviour has on others. Children are highly motivated and very eager to join in, share and co-operate with each other. They are encouraged to have high expectations of themselves and others by working together as a team.


Beginning with a book and linking personal experiences with stories and information texts, children are taught new experience from a familiar starting point. Themes and texts are chosen to interest and inspire, whilst promoting the acquisition and application of language through phonics, reading and writing. By viewing reading as the key to all learning at our school, teachers model their own interests and love for books throughout the children’s time at Slingsby. Children in the early years learn through areas of continuous provision that provide a balance of child-initiated learning and adult-led focussed activities to develop the key characteristics of learning;

  • playing and exploring
  • active learning
  • creating and thinking critically


By ensuring that the content, sequencing and progression in the areas of learning are matched with high expectations of children we aim to develop happy, inquisitive and hard-working learners. By consolidating and deepening their knowledge, understanding and skills across the areas of learning, we enable children during this stage of their learning journey, whilst preparing them for the next stage