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Physical Development



Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. 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.


The Early Learning Goal for Physical Development aims to ensure that all pupils, by the end of Reception:


Develop their Gross Motor Skills so that they can:

  • Negotiate space and obstacles safely, with consideration for themselves and others.

  • Demonstrate strength, balance and coordination when playing.

  • Move energetically, such as running, jumping, dancing, hopping, skipping and climbing.


Develop their Fine Motor Skills so that they can:

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing – using the tripod grip in almost all cases.

  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paintbrushes and cutlery.

  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.



We recognise that we have children at differing stages of development in their Physical Development and we seek to provide suitable learning opportunities throughout our EYFS by matching the challenge of the task to the child’s ability.

We achieve this by:

  • Setting open-ended tasks which can have a variety of responses.
  • Providing a range of resources and learning experiences of different complexity depending on the stage of development of the child.
  • Using different levels of questioning to develop understanding.
  • Modelling and scaffolding learning in different ways.

Take a look at our learning and development throughout EYFS to see the journey

from our earliest starting points to achieving the Early Learning Goals:

Early Learning Goals




At Saint Patrick’s, we believe that the welcoming, respectful environment, enriched in Catholic morals and teachings, continues to enhance the educational and pastoral experience of every individual passing through our doors, to ensure that they develop and become well-rounded individuals within the community, with the ambition to reach their potential and succeed.

We recognise the unique needs of each child and support them in developing the whole child. We have a supportive ethos and our approaches support the children in developing both their collaborative and independent skills. The impact of our teaching of Physical Development is measured in the experiences, confidence and competence of our children within this area of learning. We ensure children receive the experiences they require, both within and beyond the curriculum, to develop their skills and knowledge and become confident in their understanding of the world around them.