L&D: Physical Development – Part 2/2

July 16th, 2013

Aspect: Health & Self-care


This is the ninth blog in our series on the 7 areas of learning & development (L&D). So far we have looked at what the 7 areas of L&D are and have discussed why they are important. We have also looked at both the ‘Personal, Social & Emotional development’ and ‘Communication & Language’ areas of L&D and suggested activities that promote each of the three aspects which sit within both areas.

We have now moved to look at the third prime area of L&D: Physical Development. This area of L&D consists of 2 parts, which are known as ‘Aspects’. Each aspect leads to one of the 17 EYFS early learning goals (the knowledge, skills and understanding children should have at the end of the academic year in which they turn five). The diagram below shows how the Physical Development area is made up of two aspects and two early learning goals:

PD overview diagram

The EYFS framework document describes how “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”. The two aspects each support this aim.

In our last blog we discussed the ‘Moving & Handling’ aspect, this blog we focus on the second aspect within the prime area of Physical Development: Health & Self-care.

Health & Self-care

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It is worth noting that the allocation of activities to aspects and areas of L&D is often subjective and many activities cover more than one aspect and more than one area of L&D. Further the activities can cover multiple characteristics of effective learning and can be a mix of adult-led and child-initiated. So these are suggestions for you to adapt and work into your practice in a way that best suits you and your setting across all your planning. Always remember to supervise children and ensure the activity is safe and age and development-appropriate.

I hope these suggested activities have given you some inspiration. You could incorporate them into your planning as ad hoc activities or as part of a wider theme. For example the Challenge activity could be part of a month’s theme on the bodies. In our next blog in the series we move to look at the first of the four specific areas of learning & development: Literacy.

Thanks for reading,


Source used in the document:

Early Years Foundation Stage Framework, DfE 2012

Development Matters in the Early Years Foundation Stage, DfE 2012


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