Early Learning Goals

Physical Development

Early Learning Goals Hands-On Education Activity
PD 1 - Gross Motor Skills
    PD/1.1 negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others
    PD/1.2 demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing
    PD/1.3 move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing
    PD 2 - Fine Motor Skills
      PD/2.1 hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases
      PD/2.2 use a range of small tools, including scissors, paint brushes and cutlery
      PD/2.3 begin to show accuracy and care when drawing

      What are the fine motor skills children are expected to develop at the end of the reception year?

      Promoting Physical Development in Children

      Children can develop proficiency, control, and confidence by repeatedly exploring and playing with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts, and practicing using small tools with feedback and support from adults.

      To further enhance fine motor skills, it is essential for children to engage in activities that encourage precision and dexterity. By actively participating in small world activities, such as puzzles and arts and crafts, children can develop the necessary control and confidence in their fine motor abilities. Additionally, the use of small tools under the guidance of supportive adults can foster the proficiency needed to excel in tasks that require precise motor skills. Through these experiences, children can cultivate the foundation for fine motor skills that are crucial for their overall development.

      What are the gross motor skills children are expected to develop at the end of the reception year?

      The expected gross motor skills for children at the end of the reception year, as outlined in EYFS, are as follows:

      • PD/1.1 negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others
      • PD/1.2 demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing
      • PD/1.3 move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing

      Children are expected to develop these skills by safely navigating through space and obstacles, showing strength, balance, and coordination during play, and engaging in energetic activities like running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping, and climbing.

      What is Physical Development according to the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage?

      Promoting Physical Development in Children

      The British government recognizes the importance of physical activity in children's overall development, emphasizing the gradual development of gross and fine motor skills through sensory exploration, strength building, and coordination activities. These skills are crucial for children's physical health, social well-being, and emotional development. By encouraging children to engage in physical activities they enjoy, adults can help them build core strength, balance, coordination, and agility, laying the foundation for a healthy and active lifestyle while fostering social skills and emotional well-being.

      According to the statutory framework for the early years foundation stage, physical development is a fundamental aspect of early childhood education. It encompasses two key areas: gross motor skills and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve activities such as negotiating space safely, demonstrating strength and coordination, and engaging in energetic movements like running and jumping. Fine motor skills, on the other hand, include tasks like holding a pencil effectively, using small tools, and showing accuracy in drawing.

      Gross motor skills lay the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision help with hand-eye coordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Children can develop proficiency, control and confidence by repeatedly exploring and playing with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts, and practising using small tools with feedback and support from adults.

      Encouraging children to engage in physical activity has numerous benefits beyond just physical health. It also helps in developing social skills and emotional well-being. When children engage in physical activities with other children, they learn to cooperate, take turns, and communicate with each other, which helps foster social skills. Physical activity also helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression in children, promoting emotional well-being. Therefore, it is crucial that parents and caregivers encourage children to engage in physical activities that they enjoy, as it not only promotes physical development but also contributes to their overall well-being.

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