Physical Development

Children’s physical development & movement is a very important part of their development. It has been identified as a primae area of learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

'Physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food' (EYFS, 2012)

At footsteps Day Nursery we aim to offer planned activities and play based experiences in the indoor & outdoor environment every day. These activities and experiences will support the children’s gross and fine motor development. We arrange visits & visitors to support this area of learning and we will work with parents to ensure we are sharing information and celebrating achievements outside the setting.

What physical development means for children

  • Babies & children learn by being active and physical development takes place across all the prime & specific areas of learning.
  • Physical development helps children gain the confidence in what they can do.
  • Physical development helps children to develop a positive sense of wellbeing.
  • Good health in early years helps to encourage children to make healthy choices later in life.
  • Movement helps to build the neural pathways and lays foundations for future learning
  • Helps them to take risks – in a safe way
  • Helps them to learn about team work and co-operation
  • Helps develop children’s turn taking skills, improving social communication.
  • It's FUN

Ways in which the setting supports physical development & movement.

  • The learning environment is set up to offer both child and adult initiated activities that support and develop children’s large and small movements.
  • The children have access to activities such as mark making, sand & water, puzzles, pegboards, sorting, threading, and using tools & malleable materials, which support fine motor skills.
  • The children have access to soft play, large equipment, bikes & cars, pullies, tools, ball, games & dance that help to support gross motor skills.
  • Each classroom has a movement area set up to specifically support children’s movement indoors
  • We go on a number of visits each year that support the children’s physical development. These include soft play, local walks, the park, beach & adventure playgrounds.
  • Special events like the school leavers picnic when we have a bouncy castle at the setting

Health promotion

  • Healthy menu and snacks
  • We have a Healthy Choice Award for our snacks and we have 5 out of a possible 5 stars in the national food hygiene rating system.
  • We organize visits & visitors to help develop the children’s health awareness such as pizza express, chiropractor, dentist & nurse.
  • We have been awarded a Healthy Choice Award for our snack menu from the local council.
  • We have lunch delivered for our Hove branch. We have been awarded the Healthy Choice Gold Standard Award for our menus, cooking practices and commitment to reducing food waste.


All children have the right to access the curriculum at the setting. It is important for all children to be active and all children with additional needs are encouraged to take part in all activities. We differenteiate the support needed to ensure all children take part on the planning. We also extend activities to ensure they meet the needs of the very able children.  This is added to planning.

Parents as partners

We aim to support parents so that they can best support their child’s development & learning at home. This is done in a number of ways

  • Curriculum newsletters are sent home each half term outlining the learning going on at the setting and how parents can support children’s learning at home.
  • The new update forms sent home each term include a section on how parents can support their child’s learning at home.
  • We ask for parents to tell us of any achievement or interest outside the setting for us to talk about in the classroom.
  • We always need parent helpers on our trips.
  • We offer helper sessions for parents to come in and help.
  • Tapestry on-line learning journals can be accessed at any time. All observations have a home learning idea added.
  • We share ideas, activities and resources to support children's physical development on our Facebook page.

Walk to nursery - To encourage active travel to & from the setting we take part in regular Walk to nursery schemes & incentives. We display 5-minute walking zone maps in the setting and on Facebook to support parents to make healthy choices.

Modeshift - We have been awarded a Silver STAR by Modeshift for our work around promoting active, safe, sustainsble travel & promoting physical development in children. We are currently working towards gold.

Other policies that support this one are;

  • Healthy eating
  • Play & learning
  • Outdoor play & learning
  • Health & safety
  • SEND
  • Equal opportunities
  • Safeguarding
  • Parents as Partners

Staff receive the following training

  • Pediatric first aid, updated every 3 years
  • Safeguarding training, updated every 3 years
  • Basic food hygiene, updated every 3 years
  • EYFS training
  • All supervisors & managers receive health & safety at work training

We have received support from Jabadao, a movement charity that sell resources and run workshops. They have more info on children’s movement on their website

Risk assessments are done daily and updated each term

Staff have a sound knowledge about the processes of children’s development. Staff interact effectively to support and extend children’s confidence & skills