Areas of Learning

There are 7 areas in which children are assessed against throughout their time in Early Years (nursery and reception). These areas are then split further into more specific areas, making a total of 17 areas of learning. Each area of learning has an Early Learning Goal (ELG). This is what the children work towards achieving and will be assessed against at the end of their reception year.

Communication and Language

Communication and language development involves giving children opportunities to speak and listen in a range of situations and to develop their confidence and skills in expressing themselves.

ELG 01 Listening and attention: 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.
ELG 02 Understanding: Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.
ELG 03 Speaking: 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.

Physical Development

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.

ELG 04 Moving and handling: Children show good control and co-ordination inlarge and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.
ELG 05 Health and self-care: 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.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Personal, social and emotional development involves helping children to develop a positive sense of themselves and others; to form positive relationships and develop respect for others; to develop social skills and learn how to manage their feelings; to understand appropriate behaviour in groups; and to have confidence in their own abilities.

ELG 06 Self-confidence and self-awareness: Children are confident to try new activities, and to 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 do not need help.
ELG 07 Managing feelings and behaviour: 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 rules. They adjust their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
ELG 08 Making relationships: Children play cooperatively, 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.


Literacy development involves encouraging children to read and write, both through listening to others reading, and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials – for example books, poems, and other materials to ignite their interest.

ELG 09 Reading: 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 an understanding whentalking with others about what they have read.
ELG 10 Writing: 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.


Mathematics development involves providing children with opportunities to practise and improve their skills in counting numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and to describe shapes, spaces, and measures.

ELG 11 Numbers: Children count reliably with numbers from one 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, halving and sharing.
ELG 12 Shape, space and measures: 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 describe them.

Understanding of the World

Understanding of the world involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

ELG 13 People and communities: Children talk about past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They know that other children do not always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this. They know about similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and traditions.
ELG 14 The world: 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 occur, and talk about changes.
ELG 15 Technology: Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.

Expressive Arts and Design

Expressive arts and design involves supporting children to explore and play with a wide range of media and materials, as well as providing opportunities and encouragement for sharing their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, role play, and design and technology.

ELG 16 Exploring and using media and materials: 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.
ELG 17 Being imaginative: 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.


Why do you love me so much?

The children have really enjoyed learning about themselves and their bodies, and understanding why it is important to care for and look after people who are special to them. They have had a range of role-play opportunities from working in a baby clinic to creating a home environment where the children have experienced bathing and caring for babies and putting them to bed. They have also really enjoyed talking about emotions and designing their own puppets to use in our puppet theatre.

How does that building stay up?

This topic allowed children to take on the role as builders. They experienced life on a building site and watched men at work, watching them develop houses at the different stages of development. The children really enjoyed this experience and enjoyed being able to wear hard hats and high Vis jackets. In school, children have had a range of role-play opportunities, from working on the ‘small world’ building site to making large structures outside with the outdoor equipment. Children have been working well together and developing their teamwork skills in order to create building scenarios back at school and taking on the different roles within their play.

Our visit to Toby Carvery

We loved our time at Toby Carvery. We learnt about different types of fruit and vegetables and got to taste lots of new things. We played games and completed activities to show our understanding of the importance of healthy eating and exercise and to help us understand why it is important to lead a healthy lifestyle. Before leaving we got our very own Toby Carvery lunch where we had a selection of meets and fresh vegetables to choose from.

Are eggs alive?

This topic allowed the children to develop their knowledge and understanding about animals and where they come from. As part of this topic the children went on a school visit to Hall Hill Farm. The staff at the farm took the children around and shared lots of interesting facts about the different animals. The children got to experience holding and feeding a number of different animals.

The children really enjoyed this topic and learning about the different animals and how to care for them. Children had the opportunity to role play in school in the vet clinic, where they took on different roles and responsibilities in order to run the clinic successfully.