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Development Matters

Prime Areas

The prime areas begin to develop quickly in response to relationships and experiences, and run through and support learning in all other areas. The prime areas continue to be fundamental throughout the EYFS. Prime areas are fundamental, work together, and move through to support development in all other areas.

Personal, social and emotional development

Making relationships, Self confidence and self awareness, Managing feelings and behaviour
Early Learning Goal:
Children play co-operatively, taking turns with others. They take account of one another's ideas about how to organise their activity. They show sensitivity to others' needs and feelings, and form positive relationships with adults and other children.
  • Enjoys the company of others and seeks contact with others from birth.
  • Gazes at faces and copies facial movements. e.g. sticking out tongue, opening mouth and widening eyes.
  • Responds when talked to, for example, moves arms and legs, changes facial expression, moves body and makes mouth movements.
  • Recognises and is most responsive to main carer's voice: face brightens, activity increases when familiar carer appears.
  • Responds to what carer is paying attention to, e.g. following their gaze.
  • Likes cuddles and being held: calms, snuggles in, smiles, gazes at carer's face or strokes carer's skin.
Positive Relationships
  • Make sure babies have their own special person in the setting, who knows them really well and understands their wants and needs.
  • Tune in sensitively to babies, and provide warm, loving, consistent care, responding quickly to babies' needs.
  • Hold and handle babies, since sensitive touch helps to build security and attachment.
  • Ensure that the key person or buddy is available to greet a young baby at the beginning of the session, and to hand them over to parents at the end of a session, so the young baby is supported and communication with parents is maintained.
  • Engage in playful interactions that encourage young babies to respond to, or mimic, adults.
  • Follow the baby's lead by repeating vocalisations, mirroring movements and showing the baby that you are 'listening' fully.
  • Notice when babies turn away, signalling their need for less stimulation.
  • Discover from parents the copying games that their babies enjoy, and use these as the basis for your play.
  • Talk with babies about special people, such as their family members, e.g. grandparents.
Enabling Environments
  • Ensure staff are aware of the importance of attachment in relationships.
  • Ensure the key person is paired with a 'buddy' who knows the baby and family as well, and can step in when necessary.
  • At times of transition (such as shift changes) make sure staff greet and say goodbye to babies and their carers. This helps to develop secure and trusting three-way relationships.
  • Plan to have one-to-one time to interact with young babies when they are in an alert and responsive state and willing to engage.
  • Display photos of family and other special people.
  • Share knowledge about languages with staff and parents and make a poster or book of greetings in all languages used within the setting and the community.
  • Repeat greetings at the start and end of each session, so that young babies recognise and become familiar with these daily rituals.
  • Seeks to gain attention in a variety of ways, drawing others into social interaction.
  • Builds relationships with special people.
  • Is wary of unfamiliar people.
  • Interacts with others and explores new situations when supported by familiar person.
  • Shows interest in the activities of others and responds differently to children and adults, e.g. may be more interested in watching children than adults or may pay more attention when children talk to them.
Positive Relationships
  • Make sure babies have their own special person in the setting, who knows them really well and understands their wants and needs.
  • Tune in sensitively to babies, and provide warm, loving, consistent care, responding quickly to babies' needs.
  • Hold and handle babies, since sensitive touch helps to build security and attachment.
  • Ensure that the key person or buddy is available to greet a young baby at the beginning of the session, and to hand them over to parents at the end of a session, so the young baby is supported and communication with parents is maintained.
  • Engage in playful interactions that encourage young babies to respond to, or mimic, adults.
  • Follow the baby's lead by repeating vocalisations, mirroring movements and showing the baby that you are 'listening' fully.
  • Notice when babies turn away, signalling their need for less stimulation.
  • Discover from parents the copying games that their babies enjoy, and use these as the basis for your play.
  • Talk with babies about special people, such as their family members, e.g. grandparents. sure babies have their own special person in the setting, who knows them really well and understands their wants and needs.
Enabling Environments
  • Ensure staff are aware of the importance of attachment in relationships.
  • Ensure the key person is paired with a 'buddy' who knows the baby and family as well, and can step in when necessary.
  • At times of transition (such as shift changes) make sure staff greet and say goodbye to babies and their carers. This helps to develop secure and trusting three-way relationships.
  • Plan to have one-to-one time to interact with young babies when they are in an alert and responsive state and willing to engage.
  • Display photos of family and other special people.
  • Share knowledge about languages with staff and parents and make a poster or book of greetings in all languages used within the setting and the community.
  • Repeat greetings at the start and end of each session, so that young babies recognise and become familiar with these daily rituals.
  • Plays alongside others.
  • Uses a familiar adult as a secure base from which to explore independently in new environments, e.g. ventures away to play and interact with others, but returns for a cuddle or reassurance if becomes anxious.
  • Plays cooperatively with a familiar adult, e.g. rolling a ball back and forth.
Positive Relationships
  • Involve all children in welcoming and caring for one another.
  • Give your full attention when young children look to you for a response.
  • Enable children to explore by providing a secure base for them.
  • Help young children to understand the feelings of others by labelling emotions such as sadness or happiness.
Enabling Environments
  • Play name games to welcome children to the setting and help them get to know each other and the staff.
  • Regularly evaluate the way you respond to different children.
  • Ensure there are opportunities for the child to play alongside others and play cooperative games with a familiar adult.
  • Provide matching items to encourage adult and child to mimic each other in a cooperative game. e.g. two identical musical instruments.
  • Interested in others' play and starting to join in.
  • Seeks out others to share experiences.
  • Shows affection and concern for people who are special to them.
  • May form a special friendship with another child.
Positive Relationships
  • Ensure that children have opportunities to join in.
  • Help them to recognise and understand the rules for being together with others, such as waiting for a turn.
  • Continue to talk about feelings such as sadness, happiness, or feeling cross.
  • Model ways of noticing how others are feeling and comforting/helping them.
Enabling Environments
  • Make time for children to be with their key person, individually and in their key group.
  • Create areas in which children can sit and chat with friends, such as a snug den and cosy spaces.
  • Provide resources that promote cooperation between two children such as a big ball to roll or throw to each other.
  • Can play in a group, extending and elaborating play ideas, e.g. building up a role-play activity with other children.
  • Initiates play, offering cues to peers to join them.
  • Keeps play going by responding to what others are saying or doing.
  • Demonstrates friendly behaviour, initiating conversations and forming good relationships with peers and familiar adults.
Positive Relationships
  • Support children in developing positive relationships by challenging negative comments and actions towards either peers or adults.
  • Encourage children to choose to play with a variety of friends from all backgrounds, so that everybody in the group experiences being included.
  • Help children understand the feelings of others by labelling emotions such as sadness, happiness, feeling cross, lonely, scared or worried.
  • Plan support for children who have not yet made friends.
Enabling Environments
  • Plan activities that require collaboration, such as parachute activities and ring games.
  • Provide stability in staffing, key person relationships and in grouping of the children.
  • Provide time, space and materials for children to collaborate with one another in different ways, for example, building constructions.
  • Provide a role-play area resourced with materials reflecting children's family lives and communities. Consider including resources reflecting lives that are unfamiliar, to broaden children's knowledge and reflect an inclusive ethos.
  • Choose books, puppets and dolls that help children explore their ideas about friends and friendship and to talk about feelings, e.g. someone saying 'You can't play'.
  • Initiates conversations, attends to and takes account of what others say.
  • Explains own knowledge and understanding, and asks appropriate questions of others.
  • Takes steps to resolve conflicts with other children, e.g. finding a compromise.
Positive Relationships
  • Support children in linking openly and confidently with others, e.g. to seek help or check information.
  • Model being a considerate and responsive partner in interactions.
  • Ensure that children and adults make opportunities to listen to each other and explain their actions.
  • Be aware of and respond to particular needs of children who are learning English as an additional language.
Enabling Environments
  • Ensure that children have opportunities over time to get to know everyone in the group, not just their special friends.
  • Ensure children have opportunities to relate to their key person, individually and in small groups.
  • Provide activities that involve turn-taking and sharing in small groups.
Early Learning Goal:
Children are confident to try new activities, and say why they like some activities more than others. They are confident to speak in a familiar group, will talk about their ideas, and will choose the resources they need for their chosen activities. They say when they do or don't need help.
  • Laughs and gurgles, e.g. shows pleasure at being tickled and other physical interactions.
  • Uses voice, gesture, eye contact and facial expression to make contact with people and keep their attention.
Positive Relationships
  • Show your pleasure in being with the baby.
  • Be close by and available, to ensure that babies feel safe and loved even when they are not the centre of adult attention.
  • Say or sing made-up rhymes or songs while stroking or pointing to the babies' hands, feet or cheeks.
  • Respond to and build on babies' expressions, actions, and gestures. Babies will repeat actions that get a positive response from you.
  • Find out what babies like and dislike through talking to their parents.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide a sofa or comfy chair so that parents, practitioners and young babies can sit together.
  • Give babies toys to hold while you are preparing their food, or gathering materials for a nappy change.
  • Plan to have times when babies and older siblings or friends can be together.
  • Devote uninterrupted time to babies when you can play with them when they are ready to engage. Be attentive and fully focused.
  • Plan time to share and reflect with parents on babies' progress and development, ensuring appropriate support is available where parents do not speak or understand English.
  • Enjoys finding own nose, eyes or tummy as part of naming games.
  • Learns that own voice and actions have effects on others.
  • Uses pointing with eye gaze to make requests, and to share an interest.
  • Engages other person to help achieve a goal, e.g. to get an object out of reach.
Positive Relationships
  • Playfully help babies to recognise that they are separate and different from others, e.g. pointing to own and baby's nose, eyes, fingers.
  • Give opportunities for babies to have choice, where possible.
  • Follow young babies' lead as they explore their surroundings, people and resources.
  • Talk to babies about puzzles they encounter such as how to get their sock back from where it has fallen, asking whether they can do it or if they might need help.
Enabling Environments
  • Place mirrors where babies can see their own reflection. Talk with them about what they see.
  • Offer choices, e.g. different vegetables and fruit at snack time or different toys.
  • Allow enough space for babies to move, roll, stretch and explore.
  • Respond to what babies show you they are interested in and want to do, by providing a variety of activities, stories and games.
  • Explores new toys and environments, but 'checks in' regularly with familiar adult as and when needed.
  • Gradually able to engage in pretend play with toys (supports child to understand their own thinking may be different from others).
  • Demonstrates sense of self as an individual, e.g. wants to do things independently, says "No" to adult.
Positive Relationships
  • Make sure the child can explore from the secure, close-by presence of their key person.
  • Model pretend play.
  • Share children's pleasure when they do something for themselves.
Enabling Environments
  • Making choices is important for all children. Consider ways in which you provide for children with disabilities to make choices, and express preferences about their carers and activities.
  • Display photographs of carers, so that when young children arrive, their parents can show them who will be there to take care of them.
  • Share with children photographs of their activities, talking with them about what they did and how they felt.
  • Separates from main carer with support and encouragement from a familiar adult.
  • Expresses own preferences and interests.
Positive Relationships
  • Recognise that children's interest may last for short or long periods, and that their interest and preferences vary.
  • Value and support the decisions that children make.
  • Talk to children about choices they have made, and help them understand that this may mean that they cannot do something else.
  • Be aware of cultural differences in attitudes and expectations. Continue to share and explain practice with parents, ensuring a two-way communication using interpreter support where necessary.
  • Encourage children to see adults as a resource and as partners in their learning.
  • Teach children to use and care for materials, and then trust them to do so independently.
  • Ensure that key practioners offer extra support to children in new situations.
Enabling Environments
  • Discuss with staff and parents how each child responds to activities, adults and their peers.
  • Build on this to plan future activities and experiences for each child.
  • As children differ in their degree of self-assurance, plan to convey to each child that you appreciate them and their efforts.
  • Consult with parents about children's varying levels of confidence in different situations.
  • Record individual achievements which reflect significant progress for every child.
  • Seek and exchange information with parents about young children's concerns, so that they can be reassured if they feel uncertain.
  • Vary activities so that children are introduced to different materials.
  • Make materials easily accessible at child height, to ensure everybody can make choices.
  • Can select and use activities and resources with help.
  • Welcomes and values praise for what they have done.
  • Enjoys responsibility of carrying out small tasks.
  • Is more outgoing towards unfamiliar people and more confident in new social situations.
  • Confident to talk to other children when playing, and will communicate freely about own home and community.
  • Shows confidence in asking adults for help.
Positive Relationships
  • Recognise that children's interest may last for short or long periods, and that their interest and preferences vary.
  • Value and support the decisions that children make.
  • Talk to children about choices they have made, and help them understand that this may mean that they cannot do something else.
  • Be aware of cultural differences in attitudes and expectations. Continue to share and explain practice with parents, ensuring a two-way communication using interpreter support where necessary.
  • Encourage children to see adults as a resource and as partners in their learning.
  • Teach children to use and care for materials, and then trust them to do so independently.
  • Ensure that key practioners offer extra support to children in new situations.
Enabling Environments
  • Discuss with staff and parents how each child responds to activities, adults and their peers.
  • Build on this to plan future activities and experiences for each child.
  • As children differ in their degree of self-assurance, plan to convey to each child that you appreciate them and their efforts.
  • Consult with parents about children's varying levels of confidence in different situations.
  • Record individual achievements which reflect significant progress for every child.
  • Seek and exchange information with parents about young children's concerns, so that they can be reassured if they feel uncertain.
  • Vary activities so that children are introduced to different materials.
  • Make materials easily accessible at child height, to ensure everybody can make choices.
  • Confident to speak to others about own needs, wants, interests and opinions.
  • Can describe self in positive terms and talk about abilities.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage children to explore and talk about what they are learning, valuing their ideas and ways of doing things.
  • Offer help with activities when asked but not before.
  • Intervene when children need help with difficult situations, e.g. is experiencing prejudice or unkindness.
  • Recognising and enjoying children's success with them helps them to feel confident.
  • Support children to feel good about their own success, rather than relying on a judgement from you such as wanting a sticker.
Enabling Environments
  • Give time for children to pursue their learning without interruption, to complete activities to their satisfaction, and to return to activities.
  • Provide experiences and activities that are challenging but achievable.
  • Provide opportunities for children to reflect on successes, achievements and their own gifts and talents.
  • Provide regular opportunities for children to talk to their small group about something they are interested in or have done.
  • Involve children in drawing or taking photographs of favourite activities or places, to help them describe their individual preferences and opinions.
Early Learning Goal:
Children talk about how they and others show feelings, talk about their own and others' behaviour, and its consequences, and know that some behaviour is unacceptable. They work as part of a group or class, and understand and follow the rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and
  • Is comforted by touch and people's faces and voices.
  • Seeks physical and emotional comfort by snuggling into trusted adults.
  • Calms from being upset when held, rocked, spoken or sung to with soothing voice.
  • Shows a range of emotions such as pleasure, fear and excitement.
  • Reacts emotionally to other people's emotions, e.g. smiles when smiled at and becomes distressed if hears another child crying.
Positive Relationships
  • Find out as much as you can from parents about young babies before they join the setting, so that the routines you follow are familiar and comforting.
  • Use calming processes such as rocking or hugging.
Enabling Environments
  • Learn lullabies that children know from home and share them with others in the setting.
  • Have a cosy, quiet place for babies to be calm.
  • Provide comfortable seating such as a sofa or cushions for baby and key person to be together.
  • Suggest to parents bringing something from home as a transitional (comfort) object.
  • Uses familiar adult to share feelings such as excitement or pleasure, and for 'emotional refuelling' when feeling tired, stressed or frustrated.
  • Growing ability to soothe themselves, and may like to use a comfort object.
  • Cooperates with caregiving experiences, e.g. dressing.
  • Beginning to understand 'yes', 'no' and some boundaries.
Positive Relationships
  • Establish shared understandings between home and setting about ways of responding to babies' emotions.
  • Make sure the key person stays close by and provides a secure presence and a refuge at times a child may be feeling anxious.
  • Support children who are anxious on separating from their parents by acknowledging their feelings and reassuring them.
  • Demonstrate clear and consistent boundaries and reasonable yet challenging expectations.
Enabling Environments
  • Have resources including picture books and stories that focus on a range of emotions, such as 'I am happy'.
  • Keep toys and comforters in areas that are easy for babies to locate.
  • Ensure that children can use their comfort objects from home when in the setting.
  • Share information with parents to create consistency between home and setting so that babies learn about boundaries.
  • Is aware of others' feelings, for example, looks concerned if hears crying or looks excited if hears a familiar happy voice.
  • Growing sense of will and determination may result in feelings of anger and frustration which are difficult to handle, e.g. may have tantrums.
  • Responds to a few appropriate boundaries, with encouragement and support.
  • Begins to learn that some things are theirs, some things are shared, and some things belong to other people.
Positive Relationships
  • Help young children to label emotions such as sadness or happiness, by talking to them about their own feelings and those of others.
  • Be aware of and alert to possible dangers, while recognising the importance of encouraging young children's sense of exploration and risk taking.
  • Reduce incidents of frustration and conflict by keeping routines flexible so that young children can pursue their interests.
Enabling Environments
  • Choose books and stories in which characters help and support each other.
  • Duplicate some materials and resources to reduce conflict, e.g. two tricycles or two copies of the same book.
  • Seeks comfort from familiar adults when needed.
  • Can express their own feelings such as sad, happy, cross, scared, worried.
  • Responds to the feelings and wishes of others.
  • Aware that some actions can hurt or harm others.
  • Tries to help or give comfort when others are distressed.
  • Shows understanding and cooperates with some boundaries and routines.
  • Can inhibit own actions/behaviours, e.g. stop themselves from doing something they shouldn't do.
  • Growing ability to distract self when upset, e.g. by engaging in a new play activity.
Positive Relationships
  • Support children's symbolic play, recognising that pretending to do something can help a child to express their feelings.
  • Help children to understand their rights to be kept safe by others, and encourage them to talk about ways to avoid harming or hurting others.
  • Help children to recognise when their actions hurt others. Be wary of expecting children to say 'sorry' before they have a real understanding of what this means.
Enabling Environments
  • Have agreed procedures outlining how to respond to changes in children's behaviour.
  • Share policies and practice with parents, ensuring an accurate two-way exchange of information through an interpreter or through translated materials, where necessary.
  • Provide areas to mirror different moods and feelings- quiet restful areas as well as areas for active exploration.
  • Provide books, stories, puppets that can be used to model responding to others' feelings and being helpful and supportive to them.
  • Aware of own feelings, and knows that some actions and words can hurt others' feelings.
  • Begins to accept the needs of others and can take turns and share resources, sometimes with support from others.
  • Can usually tolerate delay when needs are not immediately met, and understands wishes may not always be met.
  • Can usually adapt behaviour to different events, social situations and changes in routine.
Positive Relationships
  • Name and talk about a wide range of feelings and make it clear that all feelings are understandable and acceptable, including feeling angry, but that not all behaviours are.
  • Model how you label and manage your own feelings, e.g.'I'm feeling a bit angry and I need to calm down, so I'm going to...'
  • Ask children for their ideas on what might make people feel better when they are sad or cross.
  • Show your own concern and respect for others, living things and the environment.
  • Establish routines with predictable sequences and events.
  • Prepare children for changes that may occur in the routine.
  • Share with parents the rationale of boundaries and expectations to maintain a joint approach.
  • Model and involve children in finding solutions to problems and conflicts.
  • Collaborate with children in creating explicit rules for the care of the environment.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide photographs and pictures of emotions for children to look at and talk about.
  • Use Persona Dolls to help children consider feelings, ways to help others feel better about themselves, and dealing with conflicting opinions.
  • Make available a range of music that captures different moods.
  • Put in place ways in which children can let others know how they are feeling, such as pegging their own photo onto a feelings tree or feelings faces washing line.
  • Provide familiar, predictable routines, including opportunities to help in appropriate tasks, e.g. dusting, setting table or putting away toys.
  • To support children with SEN, use a sequence of photographs to show the routines in the setting.
  • Set, explain and maintain clear, reasonable and consistent limits so that children can feel safe and secure in their play and other activities.
  • Use pictures or consistent gestures to show children with SEN the expected behaviours.
  • Provide materials for a variety of role play themes.
  • Provide a safe space for children to calm down or when they need to be quiet.
  • Provide activities that help children to develop safe ways of dealing with anger and other strong feelings.
  • Understands that own actions affect other people, for example, becomes upset or tries to comfort another child when they realise they have upset them.
  • Aware of the boundaries set, and of behavioural expectations in the setting.
  • Beginning to be able to negotiate and solve problems without aggression, e.g. when someone has taken their toy.
Positive Relationships
  • Talk about fair and unfair situations, children's feelings about fairness, and how we can make things fair.
  • Model being fair, e.g. when choosing children for special jobs.
  • Be alert to injustices and let children see that they are addressed and resolved.
  • Affirm and praise positive behaviour, explaining that it makes children and adults feel happier.
  • Encourage children to think about issues from the viewpoint of others.
  • Ensure that children have opportunities to identify and discuss boundaries, so that they understand why they are there and what they are intended to achieve.
  • Make time to listen to children respectfully and kindly, and explain to all the children why this is important. Children will then know that they will be listened to when they raise injustices.
Enabling Environments
  • Plan small group circle times when children can explore feelings, e.g. help children to recall when they were happy, when they were excited, or when they felt lonely.
  • Provide activities that require give and take or sharing for things to be fair.
  • Use Persona Dolls to support children in considering fair ways to share and get on with each other.
  • Involve children in agreeing codes of behaviour and taking responsibility for implementing them.
  • Provide books with stories about characters that follow or break rules, and the effects of their behaviour on others.
  • Carefully prepare children with SEN, such as those with autistic spectrum disorder, for any changes to their routine.

Physical Development

Moving and handling, Health and self care
Early Learning Goal:
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.
  • Turns head in response to sounds and sights.
  • Gradually develops ability to hold up own head.
  • Makes movements with arms and legs which gradually become more controlled.
  • Rolls over from front to back, from back to front.
  • When lying on tummy becomes able to lift first head and then chest, supporting self with forearms and then straight arms.
  • Watches and explores hands and feet, e.g. when lying on back lifts legs into vertical position and grasps feet.
  • Reaches out for, touches and begins to hold objects.
  • Explores objects with mouth, often picking up an object and holding it to the mouth.
Positive Relationships
  • Help babies to become aware of their own bodies through touch and movement, e.g. clapping the baby's hands together, gently shaking baby's foot.
  • Play games, such as offering a small toy and taking it again to rattle, or sail through the air.
  • Encourage young babies in their efforts to gradually share control of the bottle with you.
Enabling Environments
  • Encourage babies to explore the space near them by putting interesting things beside them, such as crinkly paper, or light, soft material.
  • Let babies kick and stretch freely on their tummies and backs.
  • Have well planned areas that allow babies maximum space to move, roll, stretch and explore in safety indoors and outdoors.
  • Provide resources that move or make a noise when touched to stimulate babies to reach out with their arms and legs.
  • Provide objects to be sucked, pulled, squeezed and held, to encourage the development of fine motor skills.
  • Sits unsupported on the floor.
  • When sitting, can lean forward to pick up small toys.
  • Pulls to standing, holding on to furniture or person for support.
  • Crawls, bottom shuffles or rolls continuously to move around.
  • Walks around furniture lifting one foot and stepping sideways (cruising), and walks with one or both hands held by adult.
  • Takes first few steps independently.
  • Passes toys from one hand to the other.
  • Holds an object in each hand and brings them together in the middle, e.g. holds two blocks and bangs them together.
  • Picks up small objects between thumb and fingers.
  • Enjoys the sensory experience of making marks in damp sand, paste or paint.
  • Holds pen or crayon using a whole hand (palmar) grasp and makes random marks with different strokes.
Positive Relationships
  • Engage babies in varied physical experiences, such as bouncing, rolling, rocking and splashing, both indoors and outdoors.
  • Encourage babies to use resources they can grasp, squeeze and throw.
  • Encourage babies to notice other babies and children coming and going near to them.
  • Support and encourage babies' drive to stand and walk.
  • Be aware that babies have little sense of danger when their interests are focused on getting something they want.
  • Use feeding, changing and bathing times to share finger plays, such as 'Round and Round the Garden'.
  • Show babies different ways to make marks in dough or paint by swirling, poking or patting it.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide novelty in the environment that encourages babies to use all of their senses and move indoors and outdoors.
  • Offer low level equipment so that babies can pull up to a standing position, shuffle or walk, ensuring that they are safe at all times, while not restricting their explorations.
  • Provide tunnels, slopes and low level steps to stimulate and challenge toddlers.
  • Provide push along toys and trundle trikes indoors and out.
  • Make toys easily accessible for children to reach and fetch.
  • Plan space to encourage free movement.
  • Provide resources that stimulate babies to handle and manipulate things, e.g. toys with buttons to press or books with flaps to open. Use gloop (cornflour and water) in small trays so that babies can enjoy putting fingers into it and lifting them out.
  • Walks upstairs holding hand of adult.
  • Comes downstairs backwards on knees (crawling).
  • Beginning to balance blocks to build a small tower.
  • Makes connections between their movement and the marks they make.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage independence as young children explore particular patterns of movement, sometimes referred to as schemas.
  • Tell stories that encourage children to think about the way they move.
  • Treat mealtimes as an opportunity to help children to use fingers, spoon and cup to feed themselves.
  • Help young children to find comfortable ways of grasping, holding and using things they wish to use, such as a hammer, a paintbrush or a teapot in the home corner.
Enabling Environments
  • Anticipate young children's exuberance and ensure the space is clear and suitable for their rapid and sometimes unpredictable movements.
  • Use music to stimulate exploration with rhythmic movements.
  • Provide different arrangements of toys and soft play materials to encourage crawling, tumbling, rolling and climbing.
  • Provide a range of wheeled toys indoors and outdoors, such as trundle trikes, buggies for dolls, push carts.
  • Provide items for filling, emptying and carrying, such as small paper carrier bags, baskets and buckets.
  • Provide materials that enable children to help with chores such as sweeping, pouring, digging or feeding pets.
  • Provide sticks, rollers and moulds for young children to use in dough, clay or sand.
  • Runs safely on whole foot.
  • Squats with steadiness to rest or play with object on the ground, and rises to feet without using hands.
  • Climbs confidently and is beginning to pull themselves up on nursery play climbing equipment.
  • Can kick a large ball.
  • Turns pages in a book, sometimes several at once.
  • Shows control in holding and using jugs to pour, hammers, books and mark-making tools.
  • Beginning to use three fingers (tripod grip) to hold writing tools-Imitates drawing simple shapes such as circles and lines.
  • Imitates drawing simple shapes such as circles and lines.
  • Walks upstairs or downstairs holding onto a rail two feet to a step.
  • May be beginning to show preference for dominant hand.
Positive Relationships
  • Be aware that children can be very energetic for short bursts and need periods of rest and relaxation.
  • Value the ways children choose to move.
  • Give as much opportunity as possible for children to move freely between indoors and outdoors.
  • Talk to children about their movements and help them to explore new ways of moving, such as squirming, slithering and twisting along the ground like a snake, and moving quickly, slowly or on tiptoe.
  • Encourage body tension activities such as stretching, reaching, curling, twisting and turning.
  • Be alert to the safety of children, particularly those who might overstretch themselves.
  • Encourage children in their efforts to do up buttons, pour a drink, and manipulate objects in their play, e.g. 'Can you put the dolly's arm in the coat?'
Enabling Environments
  • Plan opportunities for children to tackle a range of levels and surfaces including flat and hilly ground, grass, pebbles, asphalt, smooth floors and carpets.
  • Provide a range of large play equipment that can be used in different ways, such as boxes, ladders, A frames and barrels.
  • Plan time for children to experiment with equipment and to practise movements they choose.
  • Provide safe spaces and explain safety to children and parents.
  • Provide real and role play opportunities for children to create pathways, e.g. road layouts, or going on a picnic.
  • Provide CD and tape players, scarves, streamers and musical instruments so that children can respond spontaneously to music.
  • Plan activities that involve moving and stopping, such as musical bumps.
  • Provide 'tool boxes' containing things that make marks, so that children can explore their use both indoors and outdoors.
  • Moves freely and with pleasure and confidence in a range of ways, such as slithering, shuffling, rolling, crawling, walking, running, jumping, skipping, sliding and hopping.
  • Mounts stairs, steps or climbing equipment using alternate feet.
  • Walks downstairs, two feet to each step while carrying a small object.
  • Runs skilfully and negotiates space successfully, adjusting speed or direction to avoid obstacles.
  • Can stand momentarily on one foot when shown.
  • Can catch a large ball.
  • Draws lines and circles using gross motor movements.
  • Uses one-handed tools and equipment, e.g. makes snips in paper with child scissors.
  • Holds pencil between thumb and two fingers, no longer using whole-hand grasp.
  • Holds pencil near point between first two fingers and thumb and uses it with good control.
  • Can copy some letters, e.g. letters from their name.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage children to move with controlled effort, and use associated vocabulary such as 'strong', 'firm', 'gentle', 'heavy', 'stretch','reach', 'tense' and 'floppy'.
  • Use music of different styles and cultures to create moods and talk about how people move when they are sad, happy or cross.
  • Motivate children to be active through games such as follow the leader.
  • Talk about why children should take care when moving freely.
  • Teach children the skills they need to use equipment safely, e.g. cutting with scissors or using tools.
  • Encourage children to use the vocabulary of movement, e.g. 'gallop', 'slither'; of instruction e.g. 'follow', 'lead' and 'copy'.
  • Pose challenging questions such as 'Can you get all the way round the climbing frame without your knees touching it?'
  • Talk with children about the need to match their actions to the space they are in.
  • Show children how to collaborate in throwing, rolling, fetching and receiving games, encouraging children to play with one another once their skills are sufficient.
  • Introduce and encourage children to use the vocabulary of manipulation, e.g. 'squeeze' and 'prod.'
  • Explain why safety is an important factor in handling tools, equipment and materials, and have sensible rules for everybody to follow.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide time and space to enjoy energetic play daily.
  • Provide large portable equipment that children can move about safely and cooperatively to create their own structures, such as milk crates, tyres, large cardboard tubes.
  • Practise movement skills through games with beanbags, cones, balls and hoops.
  • Plan activities where children can practise moving in different ways and at different speeds, balancing, target throwing, rolling, kicking and catching
  • Provide sufficient equipment for children to share, so that waiting to take turns does not spoil enjoyment.
  • Mark out boundaries for some activities, such as games involving wheeled toys or balls, so that children can more easily regulate their own activities.
  • Provide activities that give children the opportunity and motivation to practise manipulative skills, e.g. cooking, painting, clay and playing instruments.
  • Provide play resources including small-world toys, construction sets, threading and posting toys, dolls' clothes and material for collage.
  • Teach children skills of how to use tools and materials effectively and safely and give them opportunities to practise them.
  • Provide a range of left handed tools, especially left handed scissors, as needed.
  • Support children with physical difficulties with nonslip mats, small trays for equipment, and triangular or thicker writing tools.
  • Provide a range of construction toys of different sizes, made of wood, rubber or plastic, that fix together in a variety of ways, e.g. by twisting, pushing, slotting or magnetism.
  • Experiments with different ways of moving.
  • Jumps off an object and lands appropriately.
  • Negotiates space successfully when playing racing and chasing games with other children, adjusting speed or changing direction to avoid obstacles.
  • Travels with confidence and skill around, under, over and through balancing and climbing equipment.
  • Shows increasing control over an object in pushing, patting, throwing, catching or kicking it.
  • Uses simple tools to effect changes to materials.
  • Handles tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control.
  • Shows a preference for a dominant hand.
  • Begins to use anticlockwise movement and retrace vertical lines.
  • Begins to form recognisable letters.
  • Uses a pencil and holds it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage children to move with controlled effort, and use associated vocabulary such as 'strong', 'firm', 'gentle', 'heavy', 'stretch','reach', 'tense' and 'floppy'.
  • Use music of different styles and cultures to create moods and talk about how people move when they are sad, happy or cross.
  • Motivate children to be active through games such as follow the leader.
  • Talk about why children should take care when moving freely.
  • Teach children the skills they need to use equipment safely, e.g. cutting with scissors or using tools.
  • Encourage children to use the vocabulary of movement, e.g. 'gallop', 'slither'; of instruction e.g. 'follow', 'lead' and 'copy'.
  • Pose challenging questions such as 'Can you get all the way round the climbing frame without your knees touching it?'
  • Talk with children about the need to match their actions to the space they are in.
  • Show children how to collaborate in throwing, rolling, fetching and receiving games, encouraging children to play with one another once their skills are sufficient.
  • Introduce and encourage children to use the vocabulary of manipulation, e.g. 'squeeze' and 'prod.'
  • Explain why safety is an important factor in handling tools, equipment and materials, and have sensible rules for everybody to follow.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide time and space to enjoy energetic play daily.
  • Provide large portable equipment that children can move about safely and cooperatively to create their own structures, such as milk crates, tyres, large cardboard tubes.
  • Practise movement skills through games with beanbags, cones, balls and hoops.
  • Plan activities where children can practise moving in different ways and at different speeds, balancing, target throwing, rolling, kicking and catching
  • Provide sufficient equipment for children to share, so that waiting to take turns does not spoil enjoyment.
  • Mark out boundaries for some activities, such as games involving wheeled toys or balls, so that children can more easily regulate their own activities.
  • Provide activities that give children the opportunity and motivation to practise manipulative skills, e.g. cooking, painting, clay and playing instruments.
  • Provide play resources including small-world toys, construction sets, threading and posting toys, dolls' clothes and material for collage.
  • Teach children skills of how to use tools and materials effectively and safely and give them opportunities to practise them.
  • Provide a range of left handed tools, especially left handed scissors, as needed.
  • Support children with physical difficulties with nonslip mats, small trays for equipment, and triangular or thicker writing tools.
  • Provide a range of construction toys of different sizes, made of wood, rubber or plastic, that fix together in a variety of ways, e.g. by twisting, pushing, slotting or magnetism.
Early Learning Goal:
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 and going to the toilet independently.
  • Responds to and thrives on warm, sensitive physical contact and care.
  • Expresses discomfort, hunger or thirst.
  • Anticipates food routines with interest.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage babies gradually to share control of food and drink.
  • Talk to parents about the feeding patterns of young babies.
  • Talk to young babies as you stroke their cheeks, or pat their backs, reminding them that you are there and they are safe.
  • Notice individual baby cues when spending special one to one time with them to ensure they are ready to engage.
  • Discuss the cultural needs and expectations for skin and hair care with parents prior to entry to the setting, ensuring that the needs of all children are met appropriately and that parents' wishes are respected.
  • Be aware of specific health difficulties among the babies in the group.
Enabling Environments
  • Plan to take account of the individual cultural and feeding needs of young babies in your group.
  • There may be considerable variation in the way parents feed their children at home. Remember that some parents may need interpreter support.
  • Trained staff can introduce baby massage sessions that make young babies feel nurtured and promote a sense of well being. Involving parents helps them to use this approach at home.
  • Opens mouth for spoon.
  • Holds own bottle or cup.
  • Grasps finger foods and brings them to mouth.
  • Attempts to use spoon: can guide towards mouth but food often falls off.
  • Can actively cooperate with nappy changing (lies still, helps hold legs up).
  • Starts to communicate urination, bowel movement.
Positive Relationships
  • Talk to parents about how their baby communicates needs. Ensure that parents and carers who speak languages other than English are able to share their views.
  • Help children to enjoy their food and appreciate healthier choices by combining favourites with new tastes and textures..
  • Be aware that babies have little sense of danger when their interests are focused on getting something they want.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide a comfortable, accessible place where babies can rest or sleep when they want to.
  • Plan alternative activities for babies who do not need sleep at the same time as others do.
  • Ensure mealtime seating allows young children to have feet firmly on the floor or foot rest. This aids stability and upper trunk control supporting hand to mouth co ordination.
  • Provide safe surroundings in which young children have freedom to move as they want, while being kept safe by watchful adults.
  • Develops own likes and dislikes in food and drink.
  • Willing to try new food textures and tastes.
  • Holds cup with both hands and drinks without much spilling.
  • Clearly communicates wet or soiled nappy or pants.
  • Shows some awareness of bladder and bowel urges.
  • Shows awareness of what a potty or toilet is used for.
  • Shows a desire to help with dressing/undressing and hygiene routines.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage efforts such as when a young child offers their arm to put in a coat sleeve.
  • Be aware of and learn about differences in cultural attitudes to children's developing independence.
  • Discuss cultural expectations for toileting, since in some cultures young boys may be used to sitting rather than standing at the toilet.
  • Value children's choices and encourage them to try something new and healthy.
Enabling Environments
  • Ensure that there is time for young children to complete a self chosen task, such as trying to put on their own shoes.
  • Establish routines that enable children to look after themselves, e.g. putting their clothes and aprons on hooks or washing themselves.
  • Create time to discuss options so that young children have choices between healthy options, such as whether they will drink water or milk.
  • Place water containers where children can find them easily and get a drink when they need one.
  • Feeds self competently with spoon.
  • Drinks well without spilling.
  • Clearly communicates their need for potty or toilet.
  • Beginning to recognise danger and seeks support of significant adults for help.
  • Helps with clothing, e.g. puts on hat, unzips zipper on jacket, takes off unbuttoned shirt.
  • Beginning to be independent in self care, but still often needs adult support.
Positive Relationships
  • Respond to how child communicates need for food, drinks, toileting and when uncomfortable.
  • Support parents' routines with young children's toileting by having flexible routines and by encouraging children's efforts at independence.
  • Support children's growing independence as they do things for themselves, such as pulling up their pants after toileting, recognising differing parental expectations.
  • Involve young children in preparing food.
  • Give children the chance to talk about what they like to eat, while reinforcing messages about healthier choices.
  • Remember that children who have limited opportunity to play outdoors may lack a sense of danger.
Enabling Environments
  • Allow children to pour their own drinks, serve their own food, choose a story, hold a puppet or water a plant.
  • Offer choices for children in terms of potties, trainer seats or steps.
  • Create opportunities for moving towards independence, e.g. have hand washing facilities safely within reach.
  • Provide pictures or objects representing options to support children in making and expressing choices.
  • Choose some stories that highlight the consequences of choices.
  • Ensure children's safety, while not unduly inhibiting their risk taking.
  • Display a colourful daily menu showing healthy meals and snacks and discuss choices with the children, reminding them, e.g. that they tried something previously and might like to try it again or encouraging them to try something new.
  • Be aware of eating habits at home and of the different ways people eat their food, e.g. that eating with clean fingers is as skilled and equally valued as using cutlery.
  • Can tell adults when hungry or tired or when they want to rest or play.
  • Observes the effects of activity on their bodies.
  • Understands that equipment and tools have to be used safely.
  • Gains more bowel and bladder control and can attend to toileting needs most of the time themselves.
  • Can usually manage washing and drying hands.
  • Dresses with help, e.g. puts arms into open fronted coat or shirt when held up, pulls up own trousers, and pulls up zipper once it is fastened at the bottom.
Positive Relationships
  • Talk with children about why you encourage them to rest when they are tired or why they need to wear wellingtons when it is muddy outdoors.
  • Encourage children to notice the changes in their bodies after exercise, such as their heart beating faster.
  • Talk with children about the importance of hand washing.
  • Help children who are struggling with self care by leaving a last small step for them to complete, e.g. pulling up their trousers from just below the waist.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide a cosy place with a cushion and a soft light where a child can rest quietly if they need to.
  • Plan so that children can be active in a range of ways, including while using a wheelchair.
  • Encourage children to be active and energetic by organising lively games, since physical activity is important in maintaining good health and in guarding against children becoming overweight or obese in later life.
  • Eats a healthy range of foodstuffs and understands need for variety in food.
  • Usually dry and clean during the day.
  • Shows some understanding that good practices with regard to exercise, eating, sleeping and hygiene can contribute to good health.
  • Shows understanding of the need for safety when tackling new challenges, and considers and manages some risks.
  • Shows understanding of how to transport and store equipment safely.
  • Practices some appropriate safety measures without direct supervision.
Positive Relationships
  • 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.
  • Be sensitive to varying family expectations and life patterns when encouraging thinking about health.
  • 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.
Enabling Environments
  • Plan opportunities, particularly after exercise, for children to talk about how their bodies feel.
  • Find ways to involve children so that they are all ableto be active in ways that interest them and match their health and ability.

Communication and language

Listening and attention, Understanding, Speaking
Early Learning Goal:
Children listen attentively in a range of situations. They listen to stories, accurately anticipating key events and respond to what they hear with relevant comments, questions or actions. They give their attention to what others say and respond appropriately, while engaged in another activity.
  • Turns toward a familiar sound then locates range of sounds with accuracy.
  • Listens to, distinguishes and responds to intonations and sounds of voices.
  • Reacts in interaction with others by smiling, looking and moving.
  • Quietens or alerts to the sound of speech.
  • Looks intently at a person talking, but stops responding if speaker turns away.
  • Listens to familiar sounds, words, or finger plays.
  • Fleeting Attention, not under child's control, new stimuli takes whole attention.
Positive Relationships
  • Being physically close, making eye contact, using touch or voice all provide ideal opportunities for early conversations between adults and babies, and between one baby and another.
  • Encourage playfulness, turn taking and responses, including peek a boo and rhymes.
  • Use a lively voice, with ups and downs to help babies tune in.
  • Sing songs and rhymes during everyday routines.
  • Use repeated sounds, and words and phrases so babies can begin to recognise particular sounds.
Enabling Environments
  • Share stories, songs and rhymes from all cultures and in babies' home languages.
  • Display photographs showing how young babies communicate.
  • Share favourite stories as babies are settling to sleep, or at other quiet times.
  • Plan times when you can sing with young babies, encouraging them to join in.
  • Create an environment which invites responses from babies and adults, for example, touching, smiling, smelling, feeling, listening, exploring, describing and sharing.
  • Moves whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.
  • Has a strong exploratory impulse.
  • Concentrates intently on an object or activity of own choosing for short periods.
  • Pays attention to dominant stimulus: easily distracted by noises or other people talking.
Positive Relationships
  • Being physically close, making eye contact, using touch or voice all provide ideal opportunities for early conversations between adults and babies, and between one baby and another.
  • Encourage playfulness, turn taking and responses, including peek a boo and rhymes.
  • Use a lively voice, with ups and downs to help babies tune in.
  • Sing songs and rhymes during everyday routines.
  • Use repeated sounds, and words and phrases so babies can begin to recognise particular sounds.
Enabling Environments
  • Share stories, songs and rhymes from all cultures and in babies' home languages.
  • Display photographs showing how young babies communicate.
  • Share favourite stories as babies are settling to sleep, or at other quiet times.
  • Plan times when you can sing with young babies, encouraging them to join in.
  • Create an environment which invites responses from babies and adults, for example, touching, smiling, smelling, feeling, listening, exploring, describing and sharing.
  • Listens to and enjoys rhythmic patterns in rhymes and stories.
  • Enjoys rhymes and demonstrates listening by trying to join in with actions or vocalisations.
  • Rigid attention, may appear not to hear.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage young children to explore and imitate sound.
  • Talk about the different sounds they hear, such as a tractor's "chug chug" while sharing a book.
Enabling Environments
  • Collect resources that children can listen to and learn to distinguish between. These may include noises in the street, and games that involve guessing which object makes a particular sound.
  • Listens with interest to the noises adults make when they read stories.
  • Recognises and responds to many familiar sounds, e.g. turning to a knock on the door, looking at or going to the door.
  • Shows interest in play with sounds, songs and rhymes.
  • Single channelled attention. Can shift to a different task if attention fully obtained e.g using child's name helps focus.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage repetition, rhythm and rhyme by using tone and intonation as you tell, recite or sing stories, poems and rhymes from books.
  • Be aware of the needs of children learning English as an additional language from a variety of cultures and ask parents to share their favourites from their home languages.
Enabling Environments
  • Keep background noise to a minimum, e.g. use music or radio briefly only for particular purposes.
  • Use puppets and other props to encourage listening and responding when singing a familiar song or reading from a story book.
  • Encourage children to learn one another's names and to pronounce them correctly.
  • Ensure all staff can pronounce the names of children, parents and other staff members. Make sure that shortened names and nicknames are not substituted instead.
  • Listens to others one to one or in small groups, when conversation interests them.
  • Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall.
  • Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories.
  • Focusing attention, still listen or do, but can shift own attention.
  • Is able to follow directions (if not intently focused on own choice of activity).
Positive Relationships
  • Model being a listener by listening to children and taking account of what they say in your responses to them.
  • Cue children, particularly those with communication difficulties, into a change of conversation, e.g. 'Now we are going to talk about...'
  • For those children who find it difficult to 'listen and do', say their name before giving an instruction or asking a question.
  • Share rhymes, books and stories from many cultures, sometimes using languages other than English, particularly where children are learning English as an additional language. Children then all hear a range of languages and recognise the skill needed to speak more than one.
  • Introduce 'rhyme time' bags containing books to take home and involve parents in rhymes and singing games.
  • Ask parents to record regional variations of songs and rhymes.
  • Play games which involve listening for a signal, such as 'Simon Says', and use 'ready, steady...go!'
  • Use opportunities to stop and listen carefully for environmental sounds, and talk about sounds you can hear such as long, short, high, low.
  • Explain why it is important to pay attention when others are speaking.
  • Give children opportunities both to speak and to listen, ensuring that the needs of children learning English as an additional language are met, so that they can participate fully.
Enabling Environments
  • When making up alliterative jingles, draw attention to the similarities in sounds at the beginning of words and emphasise the initial sound, e.g. "mmmmummy", "shshshshadow", "K K K KKaty".
  • Plan activities listening carefully to different speech sounds, e.g. a sound chain copying the voice sound around the circle, or identifying other children's voices on tape.
  • Help children be aware of different voice sounds by using a mirror to see what their mouth and tongue do as they make different sounds.
  • When singing or saying rhymes, talk about the similarities in the rhyming words. Make up alternative endings and encourage children to supply the last word of the second line, e.g. 'Hickory Dickory boot, The mouse ran down the...
  • Set up a listening area where children can enjoy rhymes and stories.
  • Choose stories with repeated refrains, dances and action songs involving looking and pointing, and songs that require replies and turn taking such as 'Tommy Thumb'.
  • Plan regular short periods when individuals listen to others, such as singing a short song, sharing an experience or describing something they have seen or done.-Use sand timers to help extend concentration for children who find it difficult to focus their attention on a task.
  • Maintains attention, concentrates and sits quietly during appropriate activity.
  • Two channelled attention, can listen and do for short span.
Positive Relationships
  • Model being a listener by listening to children and taking account of what they say in your responses to them.
  • Cue children, particularly those with communication difficulties, into a change of conversation, e.g. 'Now we are going to talk about...'
  • For those children who find it difficult to 'listen and do', say their name before giving an instruction or asking a question.
  • Share rhymes, books and stories from many cultures, sometimes using languages other than English, particularly where children are learning English as an additional language. Children then all hear a range of languages and recognise the skill needed to speak more than one.
  • Introduce 'rhyme time' bags containing books to take home and involve parents in rhymes and singing games.
  • Ask parents to record regional variations of songs and rhymes.
  • Play games which involve listening for a signal, such as 'Simon Says', and use 'ready, steady...go!'-Use opportunities to stop and listen carefully for environmental sounds, and talk about sounds you can hear such as long, short, high, low.
  • Explain why it is important to pay attention when others are speaking.
  • Give children opportunities both to speak and to listen, ensuring that the needs of children learning English as an additional language are met, so that they can participate fully.
Enabling Environments
  • When making up alliterative jingles, draw attention to the similarities in sounds at the beginning of words and emphasise the initial sound, e.g. "mmmmummy", "shshshshadow", "K K K KKaty".
  • Plan activities listening carefully to different speech sounds, e.g. a sound chain copying the voice sound around the circle, or identifying other children's voices on tape.
  • Help children be aware of different voice sounds by using a mirror to see what their mouth and tongue do as they make different sounds.
  • When singing or saying rhymes, talk about the similarities in the rhyming words. Make up alternative endings and encourage children to supply the last word of the second line, e.g. 'Hickory Dickory boot, The mouse ran down the...
  • Set up a listening area where children can enjoy rhymes and stories.
  • Choose stories with repeated refrains, dances and action songs involving looking and pointing, and songs that require replies and turn taking such as 'Tommy Thumb'.
  • Plan regular short periods when individuals listen to others, such as singing a short song, sharing an experience or describing something they have seen or done.
  • Use sand timers to help extend concentration for children who find it difficult to focus their attention on a task.
Early Learning Goal:
Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer 'how' and 'why' questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
  • Stops and looks when hears own name.
  • Starts to understand contextual clues, e.g. familiar gestures, words and sounds.
Positive Relationships
  • Look at the baby and say their name. Make eye contact and wait for them to react.
  • Interpret and give meaning to the things young babies show interest in, e.g. when babies point to an object tell them what it is.
  • Talk to babies about what you are doing and what is happening, so they will link words with actions, e.g. preparing lunch.
  • Use actions to support your words, e.g. waving when you say 'bye bye'.
  • Speak clearly. Babies respond well to a higher pitched, sing song voice.
  • Use and repeat single words, so the baby can gradually link the word to its meaning.
Enabling Environments
  • Let babies see and hear the sequence of actions you go through as you carry out familiar routines.
  • Provide resources that stimulate babies' interests such as a shiny bell, a book or a mirror.
  • Display lists of words from different home languages, and invite parents and other adults to contribute. Include languages such as Romany and Creole, since seeing their languages reflected in the setting will encourage all parents to feel involved and valued.
  • When you use nursery rhymes, help children understand the words by using actions as well.
  • Developing the ability to follow others' body language, including pointing and gesture.
  • Responds to the different things said when in a familiar context with a special person (e.g. 'Where's Mummy?','Where's your nose?').
  • Understanding of single words in context is developing, e.g.'cup', 'milk', 'daddy'.
Positive Relationships
  • Look at the baby and say their name. Make eye contact and wait for them to react.
  • Interpret and give meaning to the things young babies show interest in, e.g. when babies point to an object tell them what it is.
  • Talk to babies about what you are doing and what is happening, so they will link words with actions, e.g. preparing lunch.
  • Use actions to support your words, e.g. waving when you say 'bye bye'.
  • Speak clearly. Babies respond well to a higher pitched, sing song voice.
  • Use and repeat single words, so the baby can gradually link the word to its meaning.
Enabling Environments
  • Let babies see and hear the sequence of actions you go through as you carry out familiar routines.
  • Provide resources that stimulate babies' interests such as a shiny bell, a book or a mirror.
  • Display lists of words from different home languages, and invite parents and other adults to contribute. Include languages such as Romany and Creole, since seeing their languages reflected in the setting will encourage all parents to feel involved and valued.
  • When you use nursery rhymes, help children understand the words by using actions as well.
  • Selects familiar objects by name and will go and find objects when asked, or identify objects from a group.
  • Understands simple sentences (e.g. 'Throw the ball.')
Positive Relationships
  • Be aware that young children's understanding is much greater than their ability to express their thoughts and ideas.
  • Recognise young children's competence and appreciate their efforts when they show their understanding of new words and phrases.
Enabling Environments
  • Plan play activities and provide resources which encourage young children to engage in symbolic play, e.g. putting a 'baby' to bed and talking to it appropriately.
  • Use pictures, books, real objects, and signs alongside your words.
  • Identifies action words by pointing to the right picture, e.g., "Who's jumping?"
  • Understands more complex sentences, e.g. 'Put your toys away and then we'll read a book.'
  • Understands 'who', 'what', 'where' in simple questions (e.g. Who's that/can? What's that? Where is.?).
  • Developing understanding of simple concepts (e.g. big/little).
Positive Relationships
  • Use talk to describe what children are doing by providing a running commentary, e.g. 'Oh, I can see what you are doing. You have to put the milk in the cup first.'
  • Provide opportunities for children to talk with other children and adults about what they see, hear, think and feel.
Enabling Environments
  • Include things which excite young children's curiosity, such as hats, bubbles, shells, story books, seeds and snails.
  • Provide activities, such as cooking, where talk is used to anticipate or initiate what children will be doing,e.g. "We need some eggs. Let's see if we can find some in here."
  • Understands use of objects (e.g. "What do we use to cut things?")
  • Shows understanding of prepositions such as 'under', 'on top', 'behind' by carrying out an action or selecting correct picture.
  • Responds to simple instructions, e.g. to get or put away an object.
  • Beginning to understand 'why' and 'how' questions.
Positive Relationships
  • Prompt children's thinking and discussion through involvement in their play.
  • Talk to children about what they have been doing and help them to reflect upon and explain events, e.g. "You told me this model was going to be a tractor. What's this lever for?"
  • Give children clear directions and help them to deal with those involving more than one action, e.g. "Put the cars away, please, then come and wash your hands and get ready for lunch".
  • When introducing a new activity, use mime and gesture to support language development.
  • Showing children a photograph of an activity such as hand washing helps to reinforce understanding.
  • Be aware that some children may watch another child in order to know what to do, rather than understanding it themselves.
Enabling Environments
  • Set up shared experiences that children can reflect upon, e.g. visits, cooking, or stories that can be re enacted.
  • Help children to predict and order events coherently, by providing props and materials that encourage children to re enact, using talk and action.
  • Find out from parents how children make themselves understood at home; confirm which their preferred language is.
  • Provide practical experiences that encourage children to ask and respond to questions, e.g. explaining pulleys or wet and dry sand.
  • Introduce, alongside books, story props, such as pictures, puppets and objects, to encourage children to retell stories and to think about how the characters feel.
  • Responds to instructions involving a two-part sequence.
  • Understands humour, e.g. nonsense rhymes, jokes.
  • Able to follow a story without pictures or props.
  • Listens and responds to ideas expressed by others in conversation or discussion.
Positive Relationships
  • Ask children to think in advance about how they will accomplish a task. Talk through and sequence the stages together.
  • Use stories from books to focus children's attention on predictions and explanations, e.g. "Why did the boat tip over?"
  • Help children to identify patterns, e.g. what generally happens to 'good' and 'wicked' characters at the end of stories, draw conclusions: 'The sky has gone dark. It must be going to rain', explain effect: 'It sank because it was too heavy', predict: 'It might not grow in there if it is too dark', speculate: 'What if the bridge falls down?'.
Enabling Environments
  • Set up displays that remind children of what they have experienced, using objects, artefacts, photographs and books.
  • Provide for, initiate and join in imaginative play and role play, encouraging children to talk about what is happening and to act out the scenarios in character.
Early Learning Goal:
Children express themselves effectively, showing awareness of listeners' needs. They use past, present and future forms accurately when talking about events that have happened or are to happen in the future. They develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events.
  • Communicates needs and feelings in a variety of ways including crying, gurgling, babbling and squealing.
  • Makes own sounds in response when talked to by familiar adults.
  • Lifts arms in anticipation of being picked up.
  • Practises and gradually develops speech sounds (babbling) to communicate with adults; says sounds like 'baba, nono, gogo'.
Positive Relationships
  • Find out from parents how they like to communicate with their baby, noting especially the chosen language.
  • Ensure parents understand the importance of talking with babies in their home language.
  • Encourage babies' sounds and babbling by copying their sounds in a turn taking 'conversation'.
  • Communicate with parents to exchange and update information about babies' personal words.
Enabling Environments
  • Learn and use key words in the home languages of babies in the setting.
  • Provide tapes and tape recorders so that parents can record familiar, comforting sounds, such as lullabies in home languages. Use these to help babies settle if they are tired or distressed.
  • Uses sounds in play, e.g. 'brrrm' for toy car.
  • Uses single words.
  • Frequently imitates words and sounds.
  • Enjoys babbling and increasingly experiments with using sounds and words to communicate for a range of purposes (e.g. teddy, more, no, bye-bye.)
  • Uses pointing with eye gaze to make requests, and to share an interest.
  • Creates personal words as they begin to develop language.
Positive Relationships
  • Try to 'tune in' to the different messages young babies are attempting to convey.
  • Share the fun of discovery and value babies' attempts at words, e.g., by picking up a doll in response to "baba".
  • When babies try to say a word, repeat it back so they can hear the name of the object clearly.
  • Find out from parents greetings used in English and in languages other than English, and use them in the setting.
  • Recognise and equally value all languages spoken and written by parents, staff and children.
Enabling Environments
  • Find out from parents the words that children use for things which are important to them, such as 'bankie' for their comfort blanket, remembering to extend this question to home languages.
  • Explain that strong foundations in a home language support the development of English.
  • Copies familiar expressions, e.g. 'Oh dear', 'All gone'.
  • Beginning to put two words together (e.g. 'want ball','more juice').
  • Uses different types of everyday words (nouns, verbs and adjectives, e.g. banana, go, sleep, hot).
  • Beginning to ask simple questions.
  • Beginning to talk about people and things that are not present.
Positive Relationships
  • Build vocabulary by giving choices, e.g. 'apple or satsuma?'
  • Model building sentences by repeating what the child says and adding another word, e.g. child says 'car', say 'mummy's car' or 'blue car'.
  • Show children how to pronounce or use words by responding and repeating what they say in the correct way, rather than saying they are wrong.
  • Accept and praise words and phrases in home languages, saying English alternatives and encouraging their use.
  • Encourage parents whose children are learning English as an additional language to continue to encourage use of the first language at home.
  • Support children in using a variety of communication strategies, including signing, where appropriate.
Enabling Environments
  • Allow time to follow young children's lead and have fun together while developing vocabulary, e.g. saying 'We're jumping up', 'going down'.
  • Plan to talk through and comment on some activities to highlight specific vocabulary or language structures, e.g. "You've caught the ball. I've caught the ball.
  • Provide stories with repetitive phrases and structures to read aloud to children to support specific vocabulary or language structures.
  • Uses language as a powerful means of widening contacts, sharing feelings, experiences and thoughts.
  • Holds a conversation, jumping from topic to topic.
  • Learns new words very rapidly and is able to use them in communicating.
  • Uses gestures, sometimes with limited talk, e.g. reaches toward toy, saying 'I have it'.
  • Uses a variety of questions (e.g. what, where, who).
  • Uses simple sentences (e.g.' Mummy gonna work.')
  • Beginning to use word endings (e.g. going, cats).
Positive Relationships
  • Wait and allow the child time to start the conversation.
  • Follow the child's lead to talk about what they are interested in.
  • Give children 'thinking time'. Wait for them to think about what they want to say and put their thoughts into words, without jumping in too soon to say something yourself.
  • For children learning English as an additional language, value non-verbal communications and those offered in home languages.
  • Add words to what children say, e.g. child says 'Brush dolly hair', you say 'Yes, Lucy is brushing dolly's hair.'
  • Talk with children to make links between their body language and words, e.g. "Your face does look cross. Has something upset you?"
  • Introduce new words in the context of play and activities.
  • Use a lot of statements and fewer questions. When you do ask a question, use an open question with many possible answers.
  • Show interest in the words children use to communicate and describe their experiences.
  • Help children expand on what they say, introducing and reinforcing the use of more complex sentences.
Enabling Environments
  • Display pictures and photographs showing familiar events, objects and activities and talk about them with the children.
  • Provide activities which help children to learn to distinguish differences in sounds, word patterns and rhythms.
  • Plan to encourage correct use of language by telling repetitive stories, and playing games which involve repetition of words or phrases.
  • Provide opportunities for children whose home language is other than English, to use that language.
  • Help children to build their vocabulary by extending the range of their experiences.
  • Ensure that all practitioners use correct grammar.
  • Foster children's enjoyment of spoken and written language by providing interesting and stimulating play opportunities.
  • Beginning to use more complex sentences to link thoughts (e.g. using and, because).
  • Can retell a simple past event in correct order (e.g. went down slide, hurt finger).
  • Uses talk to connect ideas, explain what is happening and anticipate what might happen next, recall and relive past experiences.
  • Questions why things happen and gives explanations. Asks e.g. who, what, when, how.
  • Uses a range of tenses (e.g. play, playing, will play, played).
  • Uses intonation, rhythm and phrasing to make the meaning clear to others.
  • Uses vocabulary focused on objects and people that are of particular importance to them.
  • Builds up vocabulary that reflects the breadth of their experiences.
  • Uses talk in pretending that objects stand for something else in play, e,g, 'This box is my castle'.
Positive Relationships
  • Wait and allow the child time to start the conversation.
  • Follow the child's lead to talk about what they are interested in.
  • Give children 'thinking time'. Wait for them to think about what they want to say and put their thoughts into words, without jumping in too soon to say something yourself.
  • For children learning English as an additional language, value non-verbal communications and those offered in home languages.
  • Add words to what children say, e.g. child says 'Brush dolly hair', you say 'Yes, Lucy is brushing dolly's hair.'
  • Talk with children to make links between their body language and words, e.g. "Your face does look cross. Has something upset you?"
  • Introduce new words in the context of play and activities.
  • Use a lot of statements and fewer questions. When you do ask a question, use an open question with many possible answers.
  • Show interest in the words children use to communicate and describe their experiences.
  • Help children expand on what they say, introducing and reinforcing the use of more complex sentences.
Enabling Environments
  • Display pictures and photographs showing familiar events, objects and activities and talk about them with the children.
  • Provide activities which help children to learn to distinguish differences in sounds, word patterns and rhythms.
  • Plan to encourage correct use of language by telling repetitive stories, and playing games which involve repetition of words or phrases.
  • Provide opportunities for children whose home language is other than English, to use that language.
  • Help children to build their vocabulary by extending the range of their experiences.
  • Ensure that all practitioners use correct grammar.
  • Foster children's enjoyment of spoken and written language by providing interesting and stimulating play opportunities.
  • Extends vocabulary, especially by grouping and naming, exploring the meaning and sounds of new words.
  • Uses language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences in play situations.
  • Links statements and sticks to a main theme or intention.
  • Uses talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.
  • Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.
Positive Relationships
  • Support children's growing ability to express a wide range of feelings orally, and talk about their own experiences.
  • Encourage conversation with others and demonstrate appropriate conventions: turn-taking, waiting until someone else has finished, listening to others and using expressions such as "please", "thank you" and "can I...?". At the same time, respond sensitively to social conventions used at home.
  • Show children how to use language for negotiating, by saying "May I...?", "Would it be all right...?", "I think that..." and "Will you...?" in your interactions with them.
  • Model language appropriates for different audiences, for example, a visitor.
  • Encourage children to predict possible endings to stories and events.
  • Encourage children to experiment with words and sounds, e.g. in nonsense rhymes.
  • Encourage children to develop narratives in their play, using words such as: first, last, next, before, after, all, most, some, each, every.
  • Encourage language play, e.g. through stories such as 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' and action songs that require intonation.
  • Value children's contributions and use them to inform and shape the direction of discussions.
Enabling Environments
  • Give time for children to initiate discussions from shared experiences and have conversations with each other.
  • Give thinking time for children to decide what they want to say and how they will say it.
  • Set up collaborative tasks, for example, construction, food activities or story-making through role play.
  • Help children to talk about and plan how they will begin, what parts each will play and what materials they will need.
  • Decide on the key vocabulary linked to activities, and ensure that all staff regularly model its use in a range of contexts.
  • Provide opportunities for talking for a wide range of purposes, e.g. to present ideas to others as descriptions, explanations, instructions or justifications, and to discuss and plan individual or shared activities.
  • Provide opportunities for children to participate in meaningful speaking and listening activities. For example, children can take models that they have made to show children in another group or class and explain how they were made.

Specific Areas

The specific areas include essential skills and knowledge. They grow out of the prime areas, and provide important contexts for learning. Specific areas include essential skills and knowledge for children to participate successfully in society.

Literacy

Reading, Writing
Early Learning Goal:
Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
  • Enjoys looking at books and other printed material with familiar people.
Positive Relationships
  • Use finger play, rhymes and familiar songs from home to support young babies' enjoyment.
Enabling Environments
  • Collect a range of board books, cloth books and stories to share with young babies.
  • Handles books and printed material with interest.
Positive Relationships
  • Notice and support babies' developing responses as they learn to anticipate and join in with finger and word play.
Enabling Environments
  • Let children handle books and draw their attention to pictures.
  • Tell, as well as read, stories, looking at and interacting with young babies.
  • Make family books using small photo albums with photos of family members, significant people in the child's life, familiar everyday objects.
  • Interested in books and rhymes and may have favourites.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage and support children's responses to picture books and stories you read with them.
  • Use different voices to tell stories and encourage young children to join in wherever possible.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide CDs of rhymes, stories, sounds and spoken words.
  • Provide picture books, books with flaps or hidden words, books with accompanying CDs and story sacks.
  • Provide story sacks for parents to take them home to encourage use of books and talk about stories.
  • Has some favourite stories, rhymes, songs, poems or jingles.
  • Repeats words or phrases from familiar stories.
  • Fills in the missing word or phrase in a known rhyme, story or game, e.g. 'Incy wincy spider climbed up the water ...'.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage children to use the stories they hear in their play.
  • Read stories that children already know, pausing at intervals to encourage them to 'read' the next word.
Enabling Environments
  • Create an attractive book area where children and adults can enjoy books together.
  • Find opportunities to tell and read stories to children, using puppets, soft toys, or real objects as props.
  • Provide stories, pictures and puppets which allow children to experience and talk about how characters feel.
  • Enjoys rhyming and rhythmic activities.
  • Shows awareness of rhyme and alliteration.
  • Recognises rhythm in spoken words.
  • Listens to and joins in with stories and poems, one to one and also in small groups.
  • Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories.
  • Beginning to be aware of the way stories are structured.
  • Suggests how the story might end.
  • Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall.
  • Describes main story settings, events and principal characters.
  • Shows interest in illustrations and print in books and print in the environment.
  • Recognises familiar words and signs such as own name and advertising logos.
  • Looks at books independently.
  • Handles books carefully.
  • Knows information can be relayed in the form of print.
  • Holds books the correct way up and turns pages.
  • Knows that print carries meaning and, in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom.
Positive Relationships
  • Focus on meaningful print such as a child's name, words on a cereal packet or a book title, in order to discuss similarities and differences between symbols.
  • Help children to understand what a word is by using names and labels and by pointing out words in the environment and in books.
  • Provide dual language books and read them with all children, to raise awareness of different scripts. Try to match dual language books to languages spoken by families in the setting.
  • Remember not all languages have written forms and not all families are literate either in English, or in a different home language.
  • Discuss with children the characters in books being read.
  • Encourage them to predict outcomes, to think of alternative endings and to compare plots and the feelings of characters with their own experiences.
  • Plan to include home language and bilingual story sessions by involving qualified bilingual adults, as well as enlisting the help of parents.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide some simple poetry, song, fiction and non fiction books.
  • Provide fact and fiction books in all areas, e.g. construction area as well as the book area.
  • Provide books containing photographs of the children that can be read by adults and that children can begin to 'read' by themselves.
  • Add child made books and adult scribed stories to the book area and use these for sharing stories with others.
  • Create an environment rich in print where children can learn about words, e.g. using names, signs, posters.
  • When children can see the text, e.g. using big books. model the language of print, such as letter, word, page, beginning, end, first, last, middle.
  • Introduce children to books and other materials that provide information or instructions. Carry out activities using instructions, such as reading a recipe to make a cake.
  • Ensure access to stories for all children by using a range of visual cues and story props.
  • Continues a rhyming string.
  • Hears and says the initial sound in words.
  • Can segment the sounds in simple words and blend them together and knows which letters represent some of them.
  • Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.
  • Begins to read words and simple sentences.
  • Uses vocabulary and forms of speech that are increasingly influenced by their experiences of books.
  • Enjoys an increasing range of books.
  • Knows that information can be retrieved from books and computers.
Positive Relationships
  • Discuss and model ways of finding out information from non fiction texts.
  • Provide story sacks and boxes and make them with the children for use in the setting and at home.
  • Encourage children to recall words they see frequently, such as their own and friends' names.
  • Model oral blending of sounds to make words in everyday contexts, e.g. 'Can you get your h a t hat?'
  • Play games like word letter bingo to develop children's phoneme grapheme correspondence.
  • Model to children how simple words can be segmented into sounds and blended together to make words.
  • Support and scaffold individual children's reading as opportunities arise.
Enabling Environments
  • Encourage children to add to their first hand experience of the world through the use of books, other texts and information, and information and communication technology (ICT).
  • Help children to identify the main events in a story and to enact stories, as the basis for further imaginative play.
  • Provide story boards and props which support children to talk about a story's characters and sequence of events.
  • When children are ready (usually, but not always, by the age of five) provide regular systematic synthetic phonics sessions. These should be multisensory in order to capture their interests, sustain motivation and reinforce learning.
  • Demonstrate using phonics as the prime approach to decode words while children can see the text, e.g. using big books.
  • Provide varied texts and encourage children to use all their skills including their phonic knowledge to decode words.
  • Provide some simple texts which children can decode to give them confidence and to practice their developing skills.
Early Learning Goal:
Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
  • Children's later writing is based on skills and understandings which they develop as babies and toddlers. Before they can write, they need to learn to use spoken language to communicate. Later they learn to write down the words they can say. (See the roots of Writing in Communication and language). Early mark-making is not the same as writing.It is a sensory and physical experience for babies and toddlers, which they do not yet connect to forming symbols which can communicate meaning.(See roots of mark-making and handwriting in Playing and exploring and Physical Development).
Positive Relationships
Enabling Environments
  • Distinguishes between the different marks they make.
Positive Relationships
  • Listen and support what children tell you about the marks they make.
Enabling Environments
  • Draw attention to marks, signs and symbols in the environment and talk about what they represent. Ensure this involves recognition of English and other relevant scripts.
  • Provide materials which reflect a cultural spread, so that children see symbols and marks with which they are familiar, e.g. Chinese script on a shopping bag.
  • Sometimes gives meaning to marks as they draw and paint.
  • Ascribes meanings to marks that they see in different places.
Positive Relationships
  • Notice and encourage the marks children make and the meanings that they give to them, such as when a child covers a whole piece of paper and says, "I'm writing".
  • Support children in recognising and writing their own names.
  • Make books with children of activities they have been doing, using photographs of them as illustrations.
Enabling Environments
  • Write down things children say to support their developing understanding that what they say can be written down and then read and understood by someone else. Encourage parents to do this as well.
  • Model writing for a purpose, e.g. a shopping list, message for parents, or reminder for ourselves.
  • Model writing poems and short stories, writing down ideas suggested by the children.
  • Provide activities during which children will experiment with writing, for example, leaving a message.
  • Include opportunities for writing during role-play and other activities.
  • Encourage the children to use their phonic knowledge when writing.
  • Gives meaning to marks they make as they draw, write and paint.
  • Begins to break the flow of speech into words.
  • Continues a rhyming string.
  • Hears and says the initial sound in words.
  • Can segment the sounds in simple words and blend them together.
  • Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.
  • Uses some clearly identifiable letters to communicate meaning, representing some sounds correctly and in sequence.
  • Writes own name and other things such as labels,captions.
  • Attempts to write short sentences in meaningful contexts.
Positive Relationships
  • Talk to children about the letters that represent the sounds they hear at the beginning of their own names and other familiar words.
  • Demonstrate writing so that children can see spelling in action.
  • Demonstrate how to segment the sounds(phonemes) in simple words and how the sounds are represented by letters (graphemes).
  • Expect them to apply their own grapheme/phoneme knowledge to what they write in meaningful contexts.
  • Support and scaffold individual children's writing as opportunities arise.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide word banks and writing resources for both indoor and outdoor play.
  • Provide a range of opportunities to write for different purposes about things that interest children.
  • Resource role-play areas with listening and writing equipment Ensure that role-play areas encourage writing of signs with a real purpose, e.g. a pet shop.
  • Plan fun activities and games that help children create rhyming strings of real and imaginary words, e.g. Maddie, daddy, baddie, laddie.
  • When children are ready (usually, but not always, by the age of five) provide regular systematic synthetic phonics sessions. These should be multisensory in order to capture their interests, sustain motivation and reinforce learning.

Mathematics

Numbers, Shape, space and measures
Early Learning Goal:
Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halv
  • Notices changes in number of objects/images or sounds in group of up to 3.
Positive Relationships
  • Sing number rhymes as you dress or change babies, e.g.'One, Two, Buckle My Shoe'.
  • Move with babies to the rhythm patterns in familiar songs and rhymes.
  • Encourage babies to join in tapping and clapping along to simple rhythms.
Enabling Environments
  • Display favourite things so that a young baby can see them.
  • Provide a small group of the same objects in treasure baskets, as well as single items, e.g. two fir cones or three shells.
  • Create a mobile, occasionally changing the number of items you hang on it.
  • Collect number rhymes which are repetitive and are related to children's actions and experiences, for example, 'Peter Hammers with One Hammer'.
  • Use song and rhymes during personal routines, e.g.'Two Little Eyes to Look Around', pointing to their eyes, one by one.
  • Collect number and counting rhymes from a range of cultures and in other languages. This will benefit all children and will give additional support for children learning English as an additional language.
  • Develops an awareness of number names through their enjoyment of action rhymes and songs that relate to their experience of numbers.
  • Has some understanding that things exist, even when out of sight.
Positive Relationships
  • Sing number rhymes as you dress or change babies, e.g.'One, Two, Buckle My Shoe'.
  • Move with babies to the rhythm patterns in familiar songs and rhymes.
  • Encourage babies to join in tapping and clapping along to simple rhythms.
Enabling Environments
  • Display favourite things so that a young baby can see them.
  • Provide a small group of the same objects in treasure baskets, as well as single items, e.g. two fir cones or three shells.
  • Create a mobile, occasionally changing the number of items you hang on it.
  • Collect number rhymes which are repetitive and are related to children's actions and experiences, for example, 'Peter Hammers with One Hammer'.
  • Use song and rhymes during personal routines, e.g.'Two Little Eyes to Look Around', pointing to their eyes, one by one.
  • Collect number and counting rhymes from a range of cultures and in other languages. This will benefit all children and will give additional support for children learning English as an additional language.
  • Knows that things exist, even when out of sight.
  • Beginning to organise and categorise objects, e.g. putting all the teddy bears together or teddies and cars in separate piles.
  • Says some counting words randomly.
Positive Relationships
  • Use number words in meaningful contexts, e.g. 'Here is your other mitten. Now we have two'.
  • Talk to young children about 'lots' and 'few' as they play.
  • Talk about young children's choices and, where appropriate, demonstrate how counting helps us to find out how many.
  • Talk about the maths in everyday situations, e.g. doing up a coat, one hole for each button.
  • Tell parents about all the ways children learn about numbers in your setting. Have interpreter support or translated materials to support children and families learning English as an additional language.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide varied opportunities to explore 'lots' and 'few' in play.
  • Equip the role play area with things that can be sorted in different ways.
  • Provide collections of objects that can be sorted and matched in various ways.
  • Provide resources that support children in making one to one correspondences, e.g. giving each dolly a cup.
  • Selects a small number of objects from a group when asked, for example, 'please give me one', 'please give me two'.
  • Recites some number names in sequence.
  • Creates and experiments with symbols and marks representing ideas of number.
  • Begins to make comparisons between quantities.
  • Uses some language of quantities, such as 'more' and 'a lot'.
  • Knows that a group of things changes in quantity when something is added or taken away.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage parents of children learning English as an additional language to talk in their home language about quantities and numbers.
  • Sing counting songs and rhymes which help to develop children's understanding of number, such as 'Two Little Dickie Birds'.
  • Play games which relate to number order, addition and subtraction, such as hopscotch and skittles and target games.
Enabling Environments
  • Make a display with the children about their favourite things. Talk about how many like apples, or which of them watches a particular TV programme at home.
  • Provide props for children to act out counting songs and rhymes.
  • Provide games and equipment that offer opportunities for counting, such as skittles.
  • Plan to incorporate a mathematical component in areas such as the sand, water or other play areas.
  • Uses some number names and number language spontaneously.
  • Uses some number names accurately in play.
  • Recites numbers in order to 10.
  • Knows that numbers identify how many objects are in a set.
  • Beginning to represent numbers using fingers, marks on paper or pictures.
  • Sometimes matches numeral and quantity correctly.
  • Shows curiosity about numbers by offering comments or asking questions.
  • Compares two groups of objects, saying when they have the same number.
  • Shows an interest in number problems.
  • Separates a group of three or four objects in different ways, beginning to recognise that the total is still the same.
  • Shows an interest in numerals in the environment.
  • Shows an interest in representing numbers.
  • Realises not only objects, but anything can be counted, including steps, claps or jumps.
Positive Relationships
  • Use number language, e.g. 'one', 'two', 'three', 'lots','fewer', 'hundreds', 'how many?' and 'count' in a variety of situations.
  • Support children's developing understanding of abstraction by counting things that are not objects, such as hops, jumps, clicks or claps.
  • Model counting of objects in a random layout, showing the result is always the same as long as each object is only counted once.
  • Model and encourage use of mathematical language e.g. asking questions such as 'How many saucepans will fit on the shelf?'
  • Help children to understand that one thing can be shared by number of pieces, e.g. a pizza.
  • As you read number stories or rhymes, ask e.g. 'When one more frog jumps in, how many will there be in the pool altogether?'
  • Use pictures and objects to illustrate counting songs, rhymes and number stories.
  • Encourage children to use mark making to support their thinking about numbers and simple problems.
  • Talk with children about the strategies they are using, e.g. to work out a solution to a simple problem by using fingers or counting aloud.
Enabling Environments
  • Give children a reason to count, e.g. by asking them to select enough wrist bands for three friends to play with the puppets.
  • Enable children to note the 'missing set', e.g. 'There are none left' when sharing things out.
  • Provide number labels for children to use, e.g. by putting a number label on each bike and a corresponding number on each parking space.
  • Include counting money and change in role play games.
  • Create opportunities for children to separate objects into unequal groups as well as equal groups.
  • Provide story props that children can use in their play, e.g. varieties of fruit and several baskets like Handa's in the story Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne.
  • Recognise some numerals of personal significance.
  • Recognises numerals 1 to 5.
  • Counts up to three or four objects by saying one number name for each item.
  • Counts actions or objects which cannot be moved.
  • Counts objects to 10, and beginning to count beyond 10.
  • Counts out up to six objects from a larger group.
  • Selects the correct numeral to represent 1 to 5, then 1 to 10 objects.
  • Counts an irregular arrangement of up to ten objects.
  • Estimates how many objects they can see and checks by counting them.
  • Uses the language of 'more' and 'fewer' to compare two sets of objects.
  • Finds the total number of items in two groups by counting all of them.
  • Says the number that is one more than a given number.
  • Finds one more or one less from a group of up to five objects, then ten objects.
  • In practical activities and discussion, beginning to use the vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting.
  • Records, using marks that they can interpret and explain.
  • Begins to identify own mathematical problems based on own interests and fascinations.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage estimation, e.g. estimate how many sandwiches to make for the picnic.
  • Encourage use of mathematical language, e.g. number names to ten: 'Have you got enough to give me three?'
  • Ensure that children are involved in making displays, e.g. making their own pictograms of lunch choices. Develop this as a 3D representation using bricks and discuss the most popular choices.
  • Add numerals to all areas of learning and development, e.g. to a display of a favourite story, such as 'The Three Billy Goats Gruff'.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide collections of interesting things for children to sort, order, count and label in their play.
  • Display numerals in purposeful contexts, e.g. a sign showing how many children can play on a number track.
  • Use tactile numeral cards made from sandpaper, velvet or string.
  • Create opportunities for children to experiment with a number of objects, the written numeral and the written number word. Develop this through matching activities with a range of numbers, numerals and a selection of objects.
Early Learning Goal:
Children use everyday language to talk about size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities and objects and to solve problems. They recognise, create and describe patterns. They explore characteristics of everyday objects and shapes and use mathematical language to
  • Recognises big things and small things in meaningful contexts.
  • Gets to know and enjoy daily routines, such as getting-up time, mealtimes, nappy time, and bedtime.
Positive Relationships
  • Play games that involve curling and stretching, popping up and bobbing down.
  • Encourage babies' explorations of the characteristics of objects, e.g. by rolling a ball to them.
  • Talk about what objects are like and how objects, such as a sponge, can change their shape by being squeezed or stretched.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide a range of objects of various textures and weights in treasure baskets to excite and encourage babies' interests.
  • Look at books showing objects such as a big truck and a little truck; or a big cat and a small kitten.
  • Use story props to support all children and particularly those learning English as an additional language.
  • Attempts, sometimes successfully, to fit shapes into spaces on inset boards or jigsaw puzzles.
  • Uses blocks to create their own simple structures and arrangements.
  • Enjoys filling and emptying containers.
  • Associates a sequence of actions with daily routines.
  • Beginning to understand that things might happen 'now'.
Positive Relationships
  • Use 'tidy up time' to promote logic and reasoning about where things fit in or are kept.
  • Talk to children, as they play with water or sand, to encourage them to think about when something is full, empty or holds more.
  • Help young children to create different arrangements in the layout of road and rail tracks.
  • Highlight patterns in daily activities and routines.
  • Help children use their bodies to explore shape, through touching, seeing and feeling shape in art, music and dance.
Enabling Environments
  • Encourage children, when helping with domestic tasks, to put all the pieces of apple on one dish and all the pieces of celery on another for snacks.
  • Use pictures or shapes of objects to indicate where things are kept and encourage children to work out where things belong.
  • Provide different sizes and shapes of containers in water play, so that children can experiment with quantities and measures.
  • Offer a range of puzzles with large pieces and knobs or handles to support success in fitting shapes into spaces.
  • Notices simple shapes and patterns in pictures.
  • Beginning to categorise objects according to properties such as shape or size.
  • Begins to use the language of size.
  • Understands some talk about immediate past and future, e.g.'before', 'later' or 'soon'.
  • Anticipates specific time-based events such as mealtimes or home time.
Positive Relationships
  • Talk about and help children to recognise patterns.
  • Draw children's attention to the patterns e.g. square/ oblong/square which emerges as you fold or unfold a tablecloth or napkin.
  • Use descriptive words like 'big' and 'little' in everyday play situations and through books and stories.
  • Be consistent in your use of vocabulary for weight and mass.
Enabling Environments
  • Collect pictures that illustrate the use of shapes and patterns from a variety of cultures, e.g. Arabic designs.
  • Provide opportunities for children to measure time (sand timer), weight (balances) and length (standard and non-standard units).
  • Vary the volume and capacity equipment in the sand, water and other play areas to maintain interest.
  • Use coins for sorting on play trays and into bags, purses and containers.
  • Measure for a purpose, such as finding out whether a teddy will fit in a bed.
  • Shows an interest in shape and space by playing with shapes or making arrangements with objects.
  • Shows awareness of similarities of shapes in the environment.
  • Uses positional language.
  • Shows interest in shape by sustained construction activity or by talking about shapes or arrangements.
  • Shows interest in shapes in the environment.
  • Uses shapes appropriately for tasks.
  • Beginning to talk about the shapes of everyday objects, e.g. 'round' and 'tall'.
Positive Relationships
  • Demonstrate the language for shape, position and measures in discussions, e.g. 'sphere', 'shape', 'box',n', 'on', 'inside', 'under', long, longer', 'longest', 'short', shorter', 'shortest', 'heavy', 'light', 'full' and 'empty'.
  • Find out and use equivalent terms for these in home languages.
  • Encourage children to talk about the shapes they see and use and how they are arranged and used in constructions.
  • Value children's constructions, e.g. helping to display them or taking photographs of them.
Enabling Environments
  • Organise the environment to foster shape matching, e.g. pictures of different bricks on containers to show where they are kept.
  • Have large and small blocks and boxes available for construction both indoors and outdoors.
  • Play games involving children positioning themselves inside, behind, on top and so on.
  • Provide rich and varied opportunities for comparing length, weight, capacity and time.
  • Use stories such as Rosie's Walk by Pat Hutchins to talk about distance and stimulate discussion about non-standard units and the need for standard units.
  • Show pictures that have symmetry or pattern and talk to children about them.
  • Beginning to use mathematical names for 'solid' 3D shapes and 'flat' 2D shapes, and mathematical terms to describe shapes.
  • Selects a particular named shape.
  • Can describe their relative position such as 'behind' or 'next to'.
  • Orders two or three items by length or height.
  • Orders two items by weight or capacity.
  • Uses familiar objects and common shapes to create and recreate patterns and build models.
  • Uses everyday language related to time.
  • Beginning to use everyday language related to money.
  • Orders and sequences familiar events.
  • Measures short periods of time in simple ways.
Positive Relationships
  • Ask 'silly' questions, e.g. show a tiny box and ask if there is a bicycle in it.
  • Play peek-a-boo, revealing shapes a little at a time and at different angles, asking children to say what they think the shape is, what else it could be or what it could not be.
  • Be a robot and ask children to give you instructions to get to somewhere. Let them have a turn at being the robot for you to instruct.
  • Introduce children to the use of mathematical names for 'solid' 3D shapes and 'flat' 2D shapes, and the mathematical terms to describe shapes.
  • Encourage children to use everyday words to describe position, e.g. when following pathways or playing with outdoor apparatus. "
Enabling Environments
  • Make books about shape, time and measure: shapes found in the environment; long and short things; things of a specific length; and ones about patterns, or comparing things that are heavier or lighter.
  • Have areas where children can explore the properties of objects and where they can weigh and measure, such as a cookery station or a building area.
  • Plan opportunities for children to describe and compare shapes, measures and distance.
  • Provide materials and resources for children to observe and describe patterns in the indoor and outdoor environment and in daily routines.
  • Provide a range of natural materials for children to arrange, compare and order.

Understanding the world

People and communities, The world, Technology
Early Learning Goal:
Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children don't always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities
  • Is curious about people and shows interest in stories about themselves and their family.
  • Enjoys pictures and stories about themselves, their families and other people.
Positive Relationships
  • Help children to learn each other's names, e.g. through songs and rhymes.
  • Be positive about differences between people and support children's acceptance of difference. Be aware that negative attitudes towards difference are learned from examples the children witness.
  • Ensure that each child is recognised as a valuable contributor to the group.
  • Celebrate and value cultural, religious and community events and experiences "
Enabling Environments
  • Provide opportunities for babies to see people and things beyond the baby room, including the activities of older children.
  • Collect stories for, and make books about, children in the group, showing things they like to do.
  • Provide books and resources which represent children's diverse backgrounds and which avoid negative stereotypes.
  • Make photographic books about the children in the setting and encourage parents to contribute to these.
  • Provide positive images of all children including those with diverse physical characteristics, including disabilities.
  • Has a sense of own immediate family and relations.
  • In pretend play, imitates everyday actions and events from own family and cultural background, e.g. making and drinking tea.
  • Beginning to have their own friends.
  • Learns that they have similarities and differences that connect them to, and distinguish them from, others.
Positive Relationships
  • Talk to children about their friends, their families, and why they are important.
Enabling Environments
  • Share photographs of children's families, friends, pets or favourite people.
  • Support children's understanding of difference and of empathy by using props such as puppets and dolls to tell stories about diverse experiences, ensuring that negative stereotyping is avoided.
  • Shows interest in the lives of people who are familiar to them.
  • Remembers and talks about significant events in their own experience.
  • Recognises and describes special times or events for family or friends.
  • Shows interest in different occupations and ways of life.
  • Knows some of the things that make them unique, and can talk about some of the similarities and differences in relation to friends or family.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage children to talk about their own home and community life, and to find out about other children's experiences.
  • Ensure that children learning English as an additional language have opportunities to express themselves in their home language some of the time.
  • Encourage children to develop positive relationships with community members, such as fire fighters who visit the setting
Enabling Environments
  • Plan extra time for helping children in transition, such as when they move from one setting to another or between different groups in the same setting.
  • Provide activities and opportunities for children to share experiences and knowledge from different parts of their lives with each other.
  • Provide ways of preserving memories of special events, e.g. making a book, collecting photographs, tape recording, drawing and writing.
  • Invite children and families with experiences of living in other countries to bring in photographs and objects from their home cultures including those from family members living in different areas of the UK and abroad.
  • Ensure the use of modern photographs of parts of the world that are commonly stereotyped and misrepresented,
  • Help children to learn positive attitudes and challenge negative attitudes and stereotypes, e.g. using puppets, Persona Dolls, stories and books showing black heroes or disabled kings or queens or families with same sex parents, having a visit from a male midwife or female fire fighter.
  • Visit different parts of the local community, including areas where some children may be very knowledgeable, e.g. Chinese supermarket, local church, elders lunch club, Greek cafe.
  • Provide role-play areas with a variety of resources reflecting diversity.
  • Make a display with the children, showing all the people who make up the community of the setting.
  • Share stories that reflect the diversity of children's experiences.
  • Invite people from a range of cultural backgrounds to talk about aspects of their lives or the things they do in their work, such as a volunteer who helps people become familiar with the local area.
  • Enjoys joining in with family customs and routines.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage children to share their feelings and talk about why they respond to experiences in particular ways.
  • Explain carefully why some children may need extra help or support for some things, or why some children feel upset by a particular thing.
  • Help children and parents to see the ways in which their cultures and beliefs are similar, sharing and discussing practices, resources, celebrations and experiences.
  • Strengthen the positive impressions children have of their own cultures and faiths, and those of others in their community, by sharing and celebrating a range of practices and special events.
Enabling Environments
  • Plan extra time for helping children in transition, such as when they move from one setting to another or between different groups in the same setting.
  • Provide activities and opportunities for children to share experiences and knowledge from different parts of their lives with each other.
  • Provide ways of preserving memories of special events, e.g. making a book, collecting photographs, tape recording, drawing and writing.
  • Invite children and families with experiences of living in other countries to bring in photographs and objects from their home cultures including those from family members living in different areas of the UK and abroad.
  • Ensure the use of modern photographs of parts of the world that are commonly stereotyped and misrepresented,
  • Help children to learn positive attitudes and challenge negative attitudes and stereotypes, e.g. using puppets, Persona Dolls, stories and books showing black heroes or disabled kings or queens or families with same sex parents, having a visit from a male midwife or female fire fighter.
  • Visit different parts of the local community, including areas where some children may be very knowledgeable, e.g. Chinese supermarket, local church, elders lunch club, Greek cafe.
  • Provide role-play areas with a variety of resources reflecting diversity.
  • Make a display with the children, showing all the people who make up the community of the setting.
  • Share stories that reflect the diversity of children's experiences.
  • Invite people from a range of cultural backgrounds to talk about aspects of their lives or the things they do in their work, such as a volunteer who helps people become familiar with the local area.
Early Learning Goal:
Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occ
  • Moves eyes, then head, to follow moving objects.
  • Reacts with abrupt change when a face or object suddenly disappears from view.
  • Looks around a room with interest; visually scans environment for novel, interesting objects and events.
  • Smiles with pleasure at recognisable playthings.
  • Repeats actions that have an effect, e.g. kicking or hitting a mobile or shaking a rattle.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage young babies' movements through your interactions, e.g. touching their fingers and toes and showing delight at their kicking and waving.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide a range of everyday objects for babies to explore and investigate such as treasure baskets.
  • Provide novelty - make small changes in the predictable environment.
  • Provide spaces that give young babies different views of their surroundings, such as a soft play area, with different levels to explore.
  • Closely observes what animals, people and vehicles do.
  • Watches toy being hidden and tries to find it.
  • Looks for dropped objects.
  • Becomes absorbed in combining objects, e.g. banging two objects or placing objects into containers.
  • Knows things are used in different ways, e.g. a ball for rolling or throwing, a toy car for pushing.
Positive Relationships
  • Play hiding and finding games inside and outdoors.
  • Plan varied arrangements of equipment and materials that can be used with babies in a variety of ways to maintain interest and provide challenges.
  • Draw attention to things in different areas that stimulate interest, such as a patterned surface.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide lift the flap books to show something hidden from view.
  • Provide a variety of interesting things for babies to see when they are looking around them, looking up at the ceiling or peering into a corner.
  • Display and talk about photographs of babies' favourite places.
  • Explores objects by linking together different approaches: shaking, hitting, looking, feeling, tasting, mouthing, pulling, turning and poking.
  • Remembers where objects belong.
  • Matches parts of objects that fit together, e.g. puts lid on teapot.
Positive Relationships
  • Talk with children about their responses to sights, sounds and smells in the environment and what they like about playing outdoors.
  • Encourage young children to explore puddles, trees and surfaces such as grass, concrete or pebbles.
Enabling Environments
  • Develop the use of the outdoors so that young children can investigate features, e.g. a mound, a path or a wall.
  • Provide a collection of sets of items for children to explore how objects can be combined together in heuristic play sessions.
  • Enjoys playing with small world models such as a farm, a garage, or a train track.
  • Notices detailed features of objects in their environment.
Positive Relationships
  • Tell stories about places and journeys.
Enabling Environments
  • Make use of outdoor areas to give opportunities for investigations of the natural world, for example, provide chimes, streamers, windmills and bubbles to investigate the effects of wind.
  • Provide story and information books about places, such as a zoo or the beach, to remind children of visits to real places.
  • Comments and asks questions about aspects of their familiar world such as the place where they live or the natural world.
  • Can talk about some of the things they have observed such as plants, animals, natural and found objects.
  • Talks about why things happen and how things work.
  • Developing an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time.
  • Shows care and concern for living things and the environment.
Positive Relationships
  • Use parents' knowledge to extend children's experiences of the world.
  • Support children with sensory impairment by providing supplementary experience and information to enhance their learning about the world around them.
  • Arouse awareness of features of the environment in the setting and immediate local area, e.g. make visits to shops or a park.
  • Introduce vocabulary to enable children to talk about their observations and to ask questions.
Enabling Environments
  • Use the local area for exploring both the built and the natural environment.
  • Provide opportunities to observe things closely through a variety of means, including magnifiers and photographs.
  • Provide play maps and small world equipment for children to create their own environments.
  • Teach skills and knowledge in the context of practical activities, e.g. learning about the characteristics of liquids and solids by involving children in melting chocolate or cooking eggs.
  • Looks closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change.
Positive Relationships
  • Help children to notice and discuss patterns around them, e.g. rubbings from grates, covers, or bricks.
  • Examine change over time, for example, growing plants, and change that may be reversed, e.g. melting ice.
  • Use appropriate words, e.g. 'town', 'village', 'road','path', 'house', 'flat', 'temple' and 'synagogue', to help children make distinctions in their observations.
  • Help children to find out about the environment by talking to people, examining photographs and simple maps and visiting local places.
  • Encourage children to express opinions on natural and built environments and give opportunities for them to hear different points of view on the quality of the environment.
  • Encourage the use of words that help children to express opinions, e.g. 'busy', 'quiet' and 'pollution'.
  • Use correct terms so that, e.g. children will enjoy naming a chrysalis if the practitioner uses its correct name.
  • Pose carefully framed open ended questions, such as "How can we...?" or "What would happen if...?".
Enabling Environments
  • Give opportunities to record findings by, e.g. drawing, writing, making a model or photographing.
  • Provide stories that help children to make sense of different environments.
  • Provide stimuli and resources for children to create simple maps and plans, paintings, drawings and models of observations of known and imaginary landscapes.
  • Give opportunities to design practical, attractive environments, for example, taking care of the flowerbeds or organising equipment outdoors.
Early Learning Goal:
Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.
  • Anticipates repeated sounds, sights and actions, e.g. when an adult demonstrates an action toy several times.
  • Shows interest in toys with buttons, flaps and simple mechanisms and beginning to learn to operate them.
Positive Relationships
  • Comment on the ways in which young children investigate how to push, pull, lift or press parts of toys and domestic equipment.
  • Talk about the effect of children's actions, as they investigate what things can do.
Enabling Environments
  • Have available robust resources with knobs, flaps, keys or shutters.
  • Incorporate technology resources that children recognise into their play, such as a camera.
  • Seeks to acquire basic skills in turning on and operating some ICT equipment.
  • Operates mechanical toys, e.g. turns the knob on a wind-up toy or pulls back on a friction car.
Positive Relationships
  • Support children in exploring the control technology of toys, e.g. toy electronic keyboard.
  • Talk about ICT apparatus, what it does, what they can do with it and how to use it safely.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide safe equipment to play with, such as torches, transistor radios or karaoke machines.
  • Let children use machines like the photocopier to copy their own pictures.
  • Knows how to operate simple equipment, e.g. turns on CD player and uses remote control.
  • Shows an interest in technological toys with knobs or pulleys, or real objects such as cameras or mobile phones.
  • Shows skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images.
  • Knows that information can be retrieved from computers
Positive Relationships
  • Support and extend the skills children develop as they become familiar with simple equipment, such as twisting or turning a knob.
  • Draw young children's attention to pieces of ICT apparatus they see or that they use with adult supervision.
Enabling Environments
  • When out in the locality, ask children to help to press the button at the pelican crossing, or speak into an intercom to tell somebody you have come back.
  • Completes a simple program on a computer.
  • Uses ICT hardware to interact with age-appropriate computer software.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage children to speculate on the reasons why things happen or how things work.
  • Support children to coordinate actions to use technology, for example, call a telephone number.
  • Teach and encourage children to click on different icons to cause things to happen in a computer program.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide a range of materials and objects to play with that work in different ways for different purposes, for example, egg whisk, torch, other household implements, pulleys, construction kits and tape recorder.
  • Provide a range of programmable toys, as well as equipment involving ICT, such as computers.

Expressive arts and design

Exploring and using media and materials, Being imaginative
Early Learning Goal:
Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them. They safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
  • Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.
  • Move their whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.
  • Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving.
  • Begins to move to music, listen to or join in rhymes or songs.
  • Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks.
Positive Relationships
  • Encourage babies to join in tapping and clapping along to simple rhythms.
  • Notice the different ways babies move in response to sounds, e.g. patting the floor when on their tummy, flexing and relaxing their legs, or opening and closing their palms.
  • Encourage babies to make marks and to squeeze and feel media such as paint, gloop (cornflour and water), dough and bubbles.
Enabling Environments
  • Have a range of puppets that can glide along the table, or dance around on the end of a fist in time to some lively music.
  • Place big sheets of plastic or paper on the floor so that babies can be near or crawl on to it to make marks.
  • Provide materials to encourage large motor movements, e.g. sprinkling, throwing or spreading paint, glue, torn paper or other materials.
  • Explores and experiments with a range of media through sensory exploration, and using whole body.
  • Move their whole bodies to sounds they enjoy, such as music or a regular beat.
  • Imitates and improvises actions they have observed, e.g. clapping or waving.
  • Begins to move to music, listen to or join in rhymes or songs.
  • Notices and is interested in the effects of making movements which leave marks.
Positive Relationships
  • Listen with children to a variety of sounds, talking about favourite sounds, songs and music.
  • Introduce children to language to describe sounds and rhythm, e.g., loud and soft, fast and slow.
  • Accept wholeheartedly young children's creations and help them to see them as something unique and valuable
  • Make notes detailing the processes involved in a child's creations, to share with parents.
Enabling Environments
  • Make a sound line using a variety of objects strung safely, that will make different sounds, such as wood, pans and plastic bottles filled with different things.
  • Provide a wide range of materials, resources and sensory experiences to enable children to explore colour, texture and space.
  • Provide space and time for movement and dance both indoors and outdoors.
  • Joins in singing favourite songs.
  • Creates sounds by banging, shaking, tapping or blowing.
  • Shows an interest in the way musical instruments sound.
  • Experiments with blocks, colours and marks.
Positive Relationships
  • Help children to listen to music and watch dance when opportunities arise, encouraging them to focus on how sound and movement develop from feelings and ideas.
  • Encourage and support the inventive ways in which children add, or mix media, or wallow in a particular experience.
Enabling Environments
  • Invite dancers and musicians from theatre groups, the locality or a nearby school so that children begin to experience live performances.
  • Draw on a wide range of musicians and story-tellers from a variety of cultural backgrounds to extend children's experiences and to reflect their cultural heritages.
  • Choose unusual or interesting materials and resources that inspire exploration such as textured wall coverings, raffia, string, translucent paper or water-based glues with colour added.
  • Enjoys joining in with dancing and ring games.
  • Sings a few familiar songs.
  • Beginning to move rhythmically.
  • Imitates movement in response to music.
  • Taps out simple repeated rhythms.
  • Explores and learns how sounds can be changed.
  • Explores colour and how colours can be changed.
  • Understands that they can use lines to enclose a space, and then begin to use these shapes to represent objects.
  • Beginning to be interested in and describe the texture of things.
  • Uses various construction materials.
  • Beginning to construct, stacking blocks vertically and horizontally, making enclosures and creating spaces.
  • Joins construction pieces together to build and balance.
  • Realises tools can be used for a purpose.
Positive Relationships
  • Support children's responses to different textures, e.g. touching sections of a texture display with their fingers, or feeling it with their cheeks to get a sense of different properties.
  • Introduce vocabulary to enable children to talk about their observations and experiences, e.g. 'smooth' 'shiny''rough' 'prickly' 'flat' 'patterned' 'jagged', 'bumpy' 'soft' and 'hard'.
  • Talk about children's growing interest in and use of colour as they begin to find differences between colours.
  • Make suggestions and ask questions to extend children's ideas of what is possible, for example, "I wonder what would happen if....".
  • Support children in thinking about what they want to make, the processes that may be involved and the materials and resources they might need, such as a photograph to remind them what the climbing frame is like. '
Enabling Environments
  • Lead imaginative movement sessions based on children's current interests such as space travel, zoo animals or shadows.
  • Provide a place where work in progress can be kept safely.
  • Talk with children about where they can see models and plans in the environment, such as at the local planning office, in the town square, or at the new apartments down the road.
  • Demonstrate and teach skills and techniques associated with the things children are doing, for example, show them how to stop the paint from dripping or how to balance bricks so that they will not fall down.
  • Introduce children to a wide range of music, painting and sculpture.
  • Encourage children to take time to think about painting or sculpture that is unfamiliar to them before they talk about it or express an opinion.
  • Begins to build a repertoire of songs and dances.
  • Explores the different sounds of instruments.
  • Explores what happens when they mix colours.
  • Experiments to create different textures.
  • Understands that different media can be combined to create new effects.
  • Manipulates materials to achieve a planned effect.
  • Constructs with a purpose in mind, using a variety of resources.
  • Uses simple tools and techniques competently and appropriately.
  • Selects appropriate resources and adapts work where necessary.
  • Selects tools and techniques needed to shape, assemble and join materials they are using.
Positive Relationships
  • Talk to children about ways of finding out what they can do with different media and what happens when they put different things together such as sand, paint and sawdust.
  • Encourage children to notice changes in properties of media as they are transformed through becoming wet, dry, flaky or fixed. Talk about what is happening, helping them to think about cause and effect.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide resources for mixing colours, joining things together and combining materials, demonstrating where appropriate.
  • Provide children with opportunities to use their skills and explore concepts and ideas through their representations.
  • Have a 'holding bay' where models and works can be retained for a period for children to enjoy, develop, or refer to.
  • Plan imaginative, active experiences, such as 'Going on a bear hunt'. Help them remember the actions of the story (We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury) and think about the different ways of moving.
Early Learning Goal:
Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.
  • Expresses self through physical action and sound.
  • Pretends that one object represents another, especially when objects have characteristics in common.
Positive Relationships
  • Show genuine interest and be willing to play along with a young child who is beginning to pretend.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide a variety of familiar resources reflecting everyday life, such as magazines, real kitchen items, telephones or washing materials.
  • Beginning to use representation to communicate, e.g. drawing a line and saying 'That's me.'
  • Beginning to make-believe by pretending.
Positive Relationships
  • Observe and encourage children's make-believe play in order to gain an understanding of their interests.
  • Sometimes speak quietly, slowly or gruffly for fun in pretend scenarios with children.
  • Be interested in the children's creative processes and talk to them about what they mean to them.
Enabling Environments
  • Provide story boxes filled with interesting items to spark children's storytelling ideas.
  • Offer additional resources reflecting interests such as tunics, cloaks and bags.
  • Developing preferences for forms of expression.
  • Uses movement to express feelings.
  • Creates movement in response to music.
  • Sings to self and makes up simple songs.
  • Makes up rhythms.
  • Notices what adults do, imitating what is observed and then doing it spontaneously when the adult is not there.
  • Engages in imaginative role-play based on own first-hand experiences.
  • Builds stories around toys, e.g. farm animals needing rescue from an armchair 'cliff'.
  • Uses available resources to create props to support role-play.
  • Captures experiences and responses with a range of media, such as music, dance and paint and other materials or words.
Positive Relationships
  • Support children's excursions into imaginary worlds by encouraging inventiveness, offering support and advice on occasions and ensuring that they have experiences that stimulate their interest.
Enabling Environments
  • Tell stories based on children's experiences and the people and places they know well.
  • Offer a story stimulus by suggesting an imaginary event or set of circumstances, e.g., "This bear has arrived in the post. He has a letter pinned to his jacket. It says 'Please look after this bear.' We should look after him in our room. How can we do that?."
  • Create simple representations of events, people and objects.
  • Initiates new combinations of movement and gesture in order to express and respond to feelings, ideas and experiences.
  • Chooses particular colours to use for a purpose.
  • Introduces a storyline or narrative into their play.
  • Plays alongside other children who are engaged in the same theme.
  • Plays cooperatively as part of a group to develop and act out a narrative.
Positive Relationships
  • Help children to gain confidence in their own way of representing ideas.
  • Be aware of the link between imaginative play and children's ability to handle narrative.
  • Create imaginary words to describe, for example, monsters or other strong characters in stories and poems.
  • Carefully support children who are less confident.
  • Help children communicate through their bodies by encouraging expressive movement linked to their imaginative ideas.
  • Introduce descriptive language to support children, for example, 'rustle' and 'shuffle'.
Enabling Environments
  • Extend children's experience and expand their imagination through the provision of pictures, paintings, poems, music, dance and story.
  • Provide a stimulus for imagination by introducing atmospheric features in the role play area, such as the sounds of rain beating on a roof, or placing a spotlight to suggest a stage set. Provide curtains and place dressing-up materials and instruments close by.
  • Make materials accessible so that children are able to imagine and develop their projects and ideas while they are still fresh in their minds and important to them.
  • Provide children with opportunities to use their skills and explore concepts and ideas through their representations.
  • Provide opportunities indoors and outdoors and support the different interests of children, e.g.in role- play of a builder's yard, encourage narratives to do with building and mending. "