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St Barnabas

& St Paul's Church of England Primary School

Physical Development

Reception Curriculum Progression and Expectations

Physical Development

It is expected children will be secure at 40 - 60 months by the end of the Autumn term, begin working on the early learning goals in Spring term and securing these by the end of Summer term.


  • Children will be able to show good control and co-ordination in movements and use of a range of equipment/tools (gross and fine motor skills). 
  • Children will be able to hold a pencil effectively with increasing control in order to form recognisable letters which can be read by themselves and others. 
  • Children will understand the importance of exercise, good hygiene, healthy diet and how to be safe in new challenges. 



Summer Term




Children show good control and co-ordination in large movements. 


A wide range of activities that promote gross motor skills are available.  Children are encouraged to build obstacle courses that involve crawling, balancing, swinging, climbing and jumping. Wooden planks and large construction blocks are available for children to access and use.  There are also opportunities outdoors to use the big blackboard, big brushes, sponges, chalk and glitter water to practice large movements by creating patterns or writing letters/numbers.


Children show good control and co-ordination in small movements

Mark making is encouraged in different areas across the setting to develop children’s fine motor skills and purposeful writing opportunities are planned for and encouraged. Other opportunities such as threading, using tweezers etc. are provided.

Children know the importance physical exercise on the body.


Adults plan and lead discussions about the importance of physical exercise on the body so children understand exercise reduces the risk of becoming ill and by being active they improve their fitness, concentration and general wellbeing. Children are encouraged to participate in a range of exercise and talk about the effect it is having on their body.

Children know the importance of having a healthy diet.


Children are taught about the importance of having a healthy diet and this is further reinforced during snack time, lunch time and planned activities. Adults encourage children to talk about their food choices.

Children talk about ways to keep healthy and safe.

Adults use daily opportunities to encourage children to talk about being healthy and safe. For example, when choosing a healthy school meal, when having snack, when washing their hands and when leaving school for the day, using this as an opportunity to discuss road safety and staying with their grown up. Further opportunities are discussed during PSHE lessons.


  • Children will be able to develop transferable skills if they have controlled and effective gross and fine motor skills. All areas of the curriculum require large and small movements which children should be able to achieve independently. 
  • Children will be able to write across the curriculum and communicate/express themselves through the effective use of a pencil, such as drawing, writing and design. 
  • Children’s understanding of good hygiene, a healthy lifestyle and using equipment safely helps to develop active, healthy and safe practices that the children will adopt now and for the future.