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Areas Of Learning

There are seven areas of learning and development.  All areas are important and interconnected.

Three areas are particularly crucial for igniting children's curiosity and enthusiasm for learning and for building their capacity to learn, form relationships and thrive. 

These three areas, the prime areas are:

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Learning how to work, play and co-operate with others, and learning how to function in a group beyond the family. Successful personal, social, and emotional development is crucial for very young children in all aspects of their lives. It is also necessary for their success in all other areas of learning.

Children are;

  • interested, excited and motivated to learn.
  • confident to try new activities, initiate ideas and speak in a familiar group.
  • able to maintain attention, concentrate and sit quietly when appropriate.
  • aware of their own needs, views and feelings, and also sensitive to the needs,  views and feelings of others.
  • respectful of their own culture and beliefs and those of others.
  • responsive to significant experiences showing a range of feelings when appropriate.
  • able to form good relationships with adults and peers.
  • able to work as part of a group, taking turns and sharing fairly, understanding that there needs to be agreed values and   codes of behaviour for groups of people to work together.
  • able to understand what is right, what is wrong and why.
  • able to dress and undress independently and manage their own personal hygiene.
  • able to select and use activities and resources independently.
  • able to consider the consequences of their words and actions.
  • able to understand that people have different needs, views, cultures and beliefs, which need to be treated with respect.
  • able to understand that they can expect others to treat their needs, views, cultures and beliefs with respect.

Communication and Lanaguage

Children learn to;

  • enjoy listening to and using spoken and written language.
  • explore and experiment with sounds, words and texts.
  • listen and respond to stories, songs, music, rhymes and poems.
  • make up their own stories, songs, music, rhymes and poems.
  • use language to imagine and re-create roles and experiences.
  • use talk to organise, sequence and clarify their thinking, ideas, feelings and events.
  • sustain attentive listening and respond to what they have heard by relevant comments, questions or actions.
  • interact with others, nogotiate plans and activities and take turns in conversation.
  • extend their vocabulary and explore the meaning and sound of new words.
  • retell narratives in the correct sequence, using the language patterns of stories.
  • speak clearly and audibly and with confidence and control, and show awareness of the listener, such as using greetings and 'please' and 'thankyou'.

Physical Development

Children learn to;

  • show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements.
  • move confidently in a range of ways, negotiating space safely.
  • handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
  • understand the importance of good health, physical exercise and a healthy diet.
  • manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.

Settings must also support children in four specific areas, through which the prime areas are strengthened and applied.  The specific areas are:


Children learn to;

  • read and understand simple sentences.
  • use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately.
  • read some common irregular words.
  • demonstrate some understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
  • use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways whihc match their spoken sounds.
  • write some irregular common words.
  • write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others.
  • spell some words correctly and others that are phonetically plausible.


Children learn to;

  • count reliably with numbers from 1-20.
  • place numbers in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number.
  • count on or back to find the answer.
  • use everyday language to talk aboaut size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time and money to compare quantities.
  • recognise, create and describe patterns.
  • use mathematical language to describe everyday objects and shapes.
  • solve problems, such as sharing.

Understanding of the World

The children learn to;

  • investigate objects and materials by using all of their senses.
  • find out about and identify some features of living things, objects and events they observe.
  • look closely at similarities, diferences, patterns and change.
  • ask questions about why things happend and how things work.
  • build and construct with a wide range of objects, selecting appropriate resources and adapting their work where necessary.
  • select the tools and techniques they need to shape, assemble and join the materials they are using.
  • find out about past and present events in their own lives and in those of their families and other people they know.
  • observe, find out about and identify features in the place they live and the natural world.
  • begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people.
  • find out about their environment and talk about those features they like and dislike.

Expressive Arts and Design

Includes art, music, dance, role play and imaginative play.

The children are able to;

  • explore colour, texture, shape, form and space in two and three dimensions.
  • recognise and explore how sounds can be changed.
  • sing simple songs from memory.
  • recognise repeated sounds and sound patterns.
  • match movement to music.
  • respond in a variety of ways to what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel.
  • use their imagination in art and design, music, dance, stories and imaginative play and role play.
  • express and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings by using a widening range of materials, suitable tools, imaginative and role play, movement, design and making, and a variety of songs and musical instruments.