Prime Area: Physical Development
Physical activity is vital in children’s all-round development, enabling them to pursue happy, healthy and active lives. Gross and fine motor experiences develop incrementally throughout early childhood, starting with sensory explorations and the development of a child’s strength, co-ordination and positional awareness through tummy time, crawling and play movement with both objects and adults. By creating games and providing opportunities to play both indoors and outdoors, adults can support children to develop their core strength, stability, balance, spatial awareness, co-ordination and agility. Gross motor skills provide the foundation for developing healthy bodies and social and emotional well-being. Fine motor control and precision helps with hand-eye co-ordination, which is later linked to early literacy. Repeated and varied opportunities to explore and play with small world activities, puzzles, arts and crafts and the practice of using small tools, with feedback and support from adults, allow children to develop proficiency, control and confidence.
Gross Motor Skills
Children have daily access to our large Early Years Outdoor Learning Area, which provides them with a wide range of opportunities to develop their gross motor skills. Our large scale climbing frame is perfect for developing upper body strength, balance and co-ordination. There is also a smaller balance beam and climbing net for those that are younger or need more confidence.
There is also daily access to a range of bikes, trikes, scooters, bats, balls, and scoops for the children to freely access when outside. Teachers also teach PE sessions weekly which focus on dance, athletics or ball skills elements of the curriculum.
Several children join our setting needing additional support with their physical development and staff have had Occupational Therapy training on providing interventions that support the development of their muscles. The outdoor ‘OT Station’ provides targeted support through play-based activities.
Daily Squiggle While you Wiggle sessions in Nursery and for the first term of Reception also support core strength and pre-handwriting shapes on large scale movements.
Fine Motor Skills
Daily handwriting and name writing practice begins in the Summer Term of Nursery and happens daily as part of ‘Early Work’ in Reception. Interventions such as Dough Disco are also used for those children or cohorts that need additional support.
As part of continuous provision, the children have daily access to high quality mark-making resources that promote their fine motor skills and handwriting development. Daily Read, Write Inc sessions also teach letter formation using rhymes and pictures to make links.