Physical Development

At Fairfield our principals and intent linked to Physical Development are:

  • To provide opportunities for children to be active and interactive

  • Children to develop their co-ordination, control and movement

  • Children begin to understand the importance of physical activity 


Physical development at Fairfield Nursery School supports the children's:
  • Health and well-being.

  • Confidence and improving their social skills (team games and ring games, working together with challenges and supporting each other to achieve).

  • Opportunities to learn new skills and teaches important life skills, coordination, problem solving, language development, developing fine muscles for early writing and fine manipulative skill and builds strength for gross motor skills.

  • Muscles and bones, enabling them to become strong.

  • Developing coordination.

  • Concentration.

  • Mood and positivity.

  • Tolerance.

  • Lowering of stress and maintaining healthy mental health and well- being.

  • Sleep and energy levels.

  • Overall health and fitness

  • In having a life long positive attitude to enjoying physical activity


We do this through:
  • Our environment being inviting and exciting and linking with the children’s interests.

  • Ensuring resources are available and accessible to the children. We consider their unique needs, age and development.

  • Our enabling environment providing a balance between being safe to explore whilst at the same time challenging children to take risks.

  • The resources being carefully chosen and appropriate to individual children’s needs.

  • Providing the children with a variety of tools, including those that need to be used with adult support

  • Differentiating our environment to enable children who have special education needs or a disability to access all provision.

  • Ensuring there are physical pathways of learning that are integral to our environment.

  • Our outdoors being accessible for all children throughout the nursery session.

  • Having a balance between physical movement and sitting. 


The statutory framework 2021 for the Early Years Foundation Stage states:

"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".

Children at the expected level of development will be working in the Early Learning Goals for Gross Motor Skills:

  • 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. 


Identified key learning in Grosse Motor Skills at Fairfield:
  • Fundamental Movement Skills- run/running fast, travel on feet/feet and hands, underhand throw, underhand roll, catching, vertical jump and land, hop, static balance, balance on body parts and balance using equipment, side roll and rock and roll and pencil roll

  • Gross motor skills/movements-climbing, crawling, skipping, sliding, slithering, shuffling

  • Spatial Awareness- awareness of own space, negotiates space, finds a space, change direction, stop.

  • Safety Awareness- when moving themselves; when travelling on, under, over, through equipment and apparatus, respond to safety instructions

  • Apparatus- control and balance when using equipment for climbing, jumping, scrambling, travelling, swinging, interacts with small equipment – drop, push, throw, roll, catch, kick

  • Language of Movement- linked to body parts and how they move; dynamics and how movements are formed; where in space they move and whom they move with 

The expected levels of development (ELG's) for fine motor skills are that children will:

  • 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, paint brushes and cutlery;

  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing. 


Identified key learning in Fine Motor Skills at Fairfield:
  • Fine motor skills, manipulation and hand-eye co-ordination-dexterity and manipulation when interacting with materials, objects, equipment and toys; manipulation and control when using tools and equipment. 


Key Learning linked to Handwriting
  • Movement of Body Parts-rotation of shoulder, bending, flexing and rotation of elbow and wrist; making a fist; wriggling and stretching fingers

  • Strength- shoulder, elbow, wrist, fingers

  • Pencil Grip-holds writing tools and implements with a mature pencil grip

  • Control of writing tools and equipment- size of letters, correct starting points for different groups of letters, forms letters correctly 


Physical Development Curriculum