Physical Development

Young children learn through being active and interactive and need to develop physical skills in order to be able to learn effectively and so fulfil their potential. Physical development not only focuses on co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement but also helps children to gain confidence, support their learning across other areas of learning and allows them to feel the benefits of being healthy including a healthy diet and exercise.

At Douglas Valley we offer children opportunities to develop movement, coordination, control and manipulation in both the indoor and outdoor learning environments with practitioners who encourage, support and extend children’s play to help children gain confidence and independence.

Children have opportunities to:

  • Move confidently and imaginatively
  • Develop their awareness of space and coordination
  • Use a wide range of large and small equipment to develop gross and fine motor skills
  • Use construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control
  • Use a variety of tools and objects safely and for different purposes
  • Become aware of healthy practices relating to exercise, hygiene, seeping and eating
  • Develop pre writing skills such as upper body strength, hand-eye co-ordination and fine manipulative control


Practitioners encourage the development of physical skills in both the indoor and outdoor learning environments using a wide range of equipment and resources. Both environments give opportunities to develop both large scale and small scale movements. Children can move between the indoor and outdoor environments for most of the session.

Planned adult led activities take place alongside child initiated activities which practitioners support and extend. Practitioners encourage children to gain confidence by providing support and encouraging children to become independent.

The areas of continuous provision give children opportunities to handle and manipulate construction and small objects, malleable materials and a range of tools and equipment. Resources are organised for children to access them independently and make choices.

Routines at snack/dinner time, using the toilet and during cooking activities encourage children to become independent in looking after their own needs in terms of eating, hygiene and rest and these are regularly reinforced by practitioners.

Healthy eating is promoted through the curriculum including healthy choices at snack time, growing fruit and vegetables and cooking activities. Children are taught the benefits of a healthy diet, regular exercise and good hygiene.

The progress children make in physical development is judged against the development matters statements in the Early Years Foundation Stage.