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Physical Development

  Physical Development is essentially how young children gain control of their bodies. It also includes how children learn about keeping themselves active and looks into how children learn to use equipment and materials successfully and safely  .

What Physical Development means for children
  • Children learn by being active and Physical Development takes place across all areas of Learning and Development.
  • Physical Development helps children gain confidence in what they can do.
  • Physical Development enables children to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active.
  • Physical Development helps children to develop a positive sense of well-being.
  • Good health in the early years helps to safeguard health and well-being throughout life. It is important that children develop healthy habits when they first learn about food and activity. Growing with appropriate weight gain in the first years of life helps to guard against obesity in later life.



In the Revised Early Years Foundation Stage, Physical Development is broken down into two aspects:

  • Moving and Handling
  • Health and Self-Care
Moving and Handling

At High Down we make sure that we provide equipment and resources that are sufficient, challenging and interesting and that can be used in a variety of ways, or to support specific skills. We also make sure that the children work both on their fine motor skills and gross motor skills daily.


  • We allow sufficient space, indoors and outdoors, to set up relevant activities for energetic play.
  • We provide time and opportunities for children with physical disabilities or motor impairments to develop their physical skills, working in partnership with relevant specialists.
  • Fine motor skills activities are incorporated into the daily routine such as threading, using tweezers, peg boards etc.
  • Use additional adult help, as necessary, to support individuals and to encourage increased independence in physical activities.

Some photographs of fine and gross motor activites in the Foundation Stage

Early Learning Goal for 40 - 60 months:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Health and Self-Care

To promote good health and Self-care at High Down we follow the guidelines in the Development Matters very closely.


  • We talk with children about why we encourage them to rest when they are tired or why they need to wear wellingtons when it is muddy outdoors.
  • We discuss with children about the importance of hand-washing.
  • We acknowledge and encourage children’s efforts to manage their personal needs, and to use and return resources appropriately.
  • Promote health awareness by talking with children about exercise, its effect on their bodies and the positive contribution it can make to their health.
  •  We are sensitive to varying family expectations and life patterns when encouraging thinking about health.
  •  We discuss with children why they get hot and encourage them to think about the effects of the environment, such as whether opening a window helps everybody to be cooler.
  • Plan opportunities, particularly after exercise, for children to talk about how their bodies feel.
  •  Find ways to involve children so that they are all able to be active in ways that interest them and match their health and ability.


Early Learning Goal 40 -60 months:

Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing andgoing to the toilet independently.

Sports Relief 2016- Run a Mile

Football Association (FA)- Term 3 2017


Reception were lucky to have James from the FA come into school on Thursday mornings during term 3 to teach football skills. The children learnt to stop the ball, make small and big movements changing directions with the ball and also strategies to defend and attack. They played together in teams to apply the skills they learnt and to score goals.