Physical development is prime area of our curriculum.
We believe that from birth, children are strong, competent, motivated and confident learners who explore and test their ideas, solve problems and try to make sense of their world. We recognise that learning needs to be first hand, experiential and active; it should promote children’s independence and autonomy, encouraging them to take responsibility for their own learning – initiating and making decisions. Learning needs to take place in the social context and we believe ‘talk’ is central to the learning process. We also understand that learning cannot take place unless children’s emotional needs are met and they feel safe to take risks. To ensure we are able to have effective early years provision, we need our teaching team to have a sound knowledge and deep understanding of physical development and the key aspects of health and self-care gross and fine motor skills. They know that fine motor development relies on children having well developed gross motor strength and recognise the strong links between physical development and the ability to control and manipulate writing tools. Within the environment adults actively encourage children to build their strength, stamina, balance, co-ordination and dexterity.
What does teaching of physical development look like?
The revised EYFS 2021 curriculum states the following:
‘Physical Development Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives7. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities for play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.’
We have organised the teaching of physical development into health and self--care and moving and handling.
Moving and handling
Teaches children about gross and fine motor control.
Health and self-care
Teaches children how to physically take care of themselves.
Our sequence of learning, documents the clear learning objectives we are teaching children.
By the end of their time at McMillan children who leave us at aged 4 will be able to do the following:
- Begins to form some recognisable letters such as in their name.
- Travels with confidence and skills around, under, over and through balancing and climbing equipment.
- Uses a pencil to form recognisable letters, most of which are formed correctly.
- Handles tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control.
- Chooses to move in a range of ways with confidence such as hopping, skipping, running and jumping.
- Dresses independently but sometimes may need help with zippers, and fasteners.
- Shows the understanding for the need for safety when tacking new challenges and considers and manages some risk by taking independent action or by giving a verbal warning to others
How do we teach?
We use the characteristics of effective learning to plan our implementation of the curriculum
Each child is Unique
“Every child is a unique child who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and self-assured”. EYFS 2012
- We value each child as an individual, accepting their individual needs and rates of development
- We recognise each child as a competent learner
- We accept and recognise each child’s ability, disability, gender, race, and cultural background, so enabling them to enjoy equality of opportunity and support to reach their full potential.
- We aim to support children in recognising that their views count and that their opinion is valued eg in following children’s interests and ideas for topics in this area.
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