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.
Physical development is one of the three prime areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage. We develop their moving and handling skills (e.g. enabling children to show good control and coordination in large and small movements.) and health and self-care skills (e.g. children knowing the importance of good health which includes physical exercise and a healthy diet, managing their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.).
We aim to:
- Acknowledge, value and develop upon the experiences and skills that the child brings from home.
- Build partnerships with parents and value their contributions, sharing information regarding the Physical Development curriculum and their child’s development.
- Promote enthusiasm, enjoyment and confidence in developing and using the physical skills of co-ordination, control, spatial awareness, manipulation and movement.
- Develop levels of fitness, physical skills, confidence and independence.
- Develop skills which enable children to seek out and explore physical challenges safely and with confidence.
- Create a safe, secure yet challenging learning environment where children can develop their co-ordination and creativity alongside awareness of their own safety.
- Respond to their need for active involvement and their urge to discover and solve problems.
- Foster an understanding of the important roles that physical activity, eating, sleeping and hygiene have in promoting good health.
- To offer equal access to opportunities of physical play whilst being sensitive to each child’s individual physical, cultural and emotional needs.