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Physical Development



To promote enthusiasm, enjoyment and confidence in developing and using the physical skills of co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement.




To provide a balanced programme of activities to support the physical


development and well being of the children.


To provide sufficient space (indoors and outdoors), time and resources to allow effective physical development.


To provide time, opportunity and support for children with motor impairments or physical disabilities to develop their physical skills.  If appropriate this will include working with outside agencies such as physiotherapists.


Operating Policy


The programme of activities will include such areas as hygiene, healthy eating and exercise. The programme of activities will permeate all areas of the nursery curriculum.


Confidence, self responsibility, enjoyment and enthusiasm will be developed through structured free play and adult directed activities with the emphasis on supporting individual progression.


Provision will be made for the children to manipulate large and small pieces of equipment in order to develop both fine and gross motor control.


They will be encouraged to respond physically to verbal, auditory and visual stimuli such as music, stories, pictures, etc.


The equipment will be organised in order to develop an awareness of issues of health and safety and the children will be encouraged to think about and discuss such aspects.


Skills of co-operation, turn taking and team building will be developed throughout the curriculum with adult support provided where appropriate.


Programme of Work


Programmes of work will be based upon a mixture of general and topic activities. The children may participate in such activities as an individual or as part of a group and in free play or adult directed situations.


The programme will include some or all of the following types of activity:




           Group games involving running, jumping and hopping.


         Group games involving movement followed by stopping.


         Moving to music.


         Balancing activities and games.


         Play on a range of landscapes (e.g. flat/hilly) and surfaces (e.g. grass/sand).


Sense of Space:


Role play activities giving children the opportunity to create pathways.


Giving the children the opportunity to create their own spaces (e.g. tent from blankets).


         Group games that involve following or imitating.


Encourage games and activities that involve sharing resources with other children.


         Discussions about body parts and bodily activity.


         Singing action songs (e.g. Head, shoulders, knees and toes).


Health and Bodily Awareness


      Discussions about keeping safe, fit and healthy.


         Discussions about eating a healthy diet.


Encouraging children to make decisions by choosing between different types of food.


Making and eating food from a range of cultures that can form part of a healthy diet.


         Providing opportunities for children to talk about health issues.


Using Equipment:


Outdoor play using a variety of equipment e.g. slides, climbing frames.


         Play with wheeled toys e.g. push-along trucks, tricycles, bicycles.


         Practicing kicking, throwing and catching large and small balls.


Using Tools and Materials:


      Sand play.


         Water play.


         Modelling with playdough and clay.


         Painting, drawing and colouring.


         Peg games and jigsaws.




         Cutting with scissors.


         Dressing-up, buttoning clothes, doing up zips, etc.


         Dressing of dolls.


         Use of small construction toys (duplo, stickle bricks etc).


         Making ‘junk’ models.


         ‘Reading’ books - page turning.


         ‘Writing’ with pencils and crayons.


         Collage and other pasting activities.


         Use of the computer keyboard.


Planning, recording and assessment


Activities for structured free play are planned on a rotational basis. Each child will have the opportunity to use all items of equipment over the course of a week period.


Topic planning takes place on a monthly or half-termly basis.  Activity planning occurs on a weekly or daily basis.  The topic planning and activity planning sheets used by the nursery are laid out to identify each of the seven areas of development.  This ensures that Physical Development is considered whenever a topic or activity is planned.


Staff are able to observe the children and records of such observations can be made on the children’s personal profile sheets.


Assessment is carried out through a mixture of informal observation, interaction with the child, the use of the information on record sheets and discussion during regular staff meetings.  The information gathered during the assessment process is then used for future planning of activities for each child.


Information gained through recording and assessment will be shared with parents, other school staff and outside agencies as appropriate.