Bristol Early Years Research and Development

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Knowle West Children's Centre

Children play at Knowle West Childrens Centre

As a Birth to Three Centre of Excellence, Knowle West Children’s Centre prides itself on a calm, nurturing environment which welcomes families from the very earliest days of their lives.

Latest Research News

Gender and Identity

Gender and identity research at Knowle West Children's CentreAs a research question, Knowle West Children's Centre has been carrying out research around gender and identity.  We have set initial questions in each of our rooms, gathered data, analysed it and then found ourselves also following other avenues of research.  Particularly in the baby room we have been looking less at gender and more at identity and connectedness.  We have been asking ourselves and parents about how much influence we have, both consciously and (more importantly) unconsciously and how this might be exerted over babies from the very youngest age.  This has resulted in interesting conversations, outcomes for how we set out the environment and how we can unlock a baby's potential.

Birth to Three Planning Pack

Over the past year the Birth to Three SLEs and Birth to Three Leaders have been working on a support pack for practitioners around planning for the under 3s. We wanted to put learning at the centre of any planning process and wanted to celebrate the role of reflective practice.  Much of what is planned for in Under 3s currently is an environment plan, and we wanted to focus on the deep thinking and sustained involvement that we see in the youngest children in our settings.  The pack provides examples of planning and a format to start settings' own development of how to plan successfully and reflectively.  It will be available on this website soon - watch this space!

Matt Caldwell, Knowle West Children's Centre,  April 2015

Get in touch with Matt.


We have a dedicated team in our space for babies, Early Years 1, which ensures a high standard of care and who are Hanen trained in the early development of communication and language.  The individualised planning, learning opportunities and feedback to parents is of the highest quality. Our innovative work with the Five to Thrive program means we can share information between staff and parents so that they understand that the basic cornerstones of ‘talk, play, relax, cuddle, respond’.  This results in babies’ development being especially supported and celebrated.

2 to 3 Year Olds

The Early Years 2 space is for our 2-3 year olds, and we provide excellent language and emotional support in particular in this room. We like to underpin this by our work with AcE (Accounting Early for Lifelong Learning) which is an assessment tool we use to measure life skills that our children are developing. This environment is led by reflective practice and a whole team approach to asking questions within an action research framework.

Children play at Knowle West Childrens CentreWe also work incredibly hard to ensure that although the two settings have opportunity to be separate, discreet spaces,  our vision and ethos is very much an ‘Under 3’s’ setting.  We show this most successfully in our outside area which is multi levelled, challenging and designed from the point of view of a child whether a young baby or 2 year old. With a mud kitchen, water wall, dens and hidey holes, it is an intriguing and adventurous place to play and discover!

Please contact us if you would like to hear more about:Children play at Knowle West Childrens Centre

  • Five to Thrive
  • Researchful practice
  • Attachment
  • Enabling environments
  • Outside environments
  • Early Language & Communication
  • AcE

Visit the Knowle West Children's Centre website

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