There are 7 areas of development in the learning and development for children as described in development matters in the early years foundation stage. There are 3 prime areas of development and 4 specific areas of development. The prime areas area personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language development. The specific areas are literacy, mathematics, understanding the world and expressive arts and design.
Personal social and emotional:
The areas of personal, social and emotional development is about how a child makes relationships, has self-confidence and self-awareness and manages behaviour. For example, a child of 26 months will demonstrate to their parents that they can be independent and they could show this by saying ‘no’ if they don’t want to do anything.
Physical development is about how children can move around and handle things by themselves and health and self-care. For example, a child who is 10 months will pull themselves up to help them stand and they will hold onto someone they know or a piece of furniture for support.
Communication and language:
Communication and language is about how a child can listen and pay attention, to understand others and be able to speak and to develop their confidence and skill. For example, a child who is 5 months will make their own sounds in response when someone who is familiar is talking to them.
Literacy is about a child who is learning to read and learning to write and to link sounds and letters. For example, a child who is 16 months will be interested in books and rhymes and could also have a favourite. Also they could draw/write with their finger in the sand. Children must be given access to a wide range of reading materials to ignite their interest.
Mathematics is about children learning about numbers, shapes, space and measures. For example, a child who is 40-60 months could be able to understand how to use calculating simple addition subtraction problem.
Understanding the world
These areas of learning are diverse and help children to gain an understanding of the world around them that is their immediate environment. These areas of learning is spilt into six discrete and very separate aspect of learning for example exploration and investigation (is about children learning by touching, feeling, observing in the case of baby mouthing). and finding out about people, place and technology and their environment.
Expressive Arts and Design development
This enables children to explore and play with a wide range of media and material 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.
It is important to remember that these seven areas of learning do not work in isolation but are in fact interlinked. Good quality activities will cover more than one area of development. For example, allowing children to access the outdoors will not only support their physical development, but encourage their communication and exploration of their environment. Where a child experiences a delay in one area, it is likely to limit their learning and development in the other six a child with cerebral palsy who experiences hand-eye coordination difficulties is likely to find completing a puzzle difficult therefore hindering her problem solving, reasoning and numeracy. It is therefore vital that settings recognise each child’s individual needs and plan holistically in order to help children achieve their full potential across the seven areas of learning. While children are in the setting the areas of development are maintain by activities that are carried about throughout the day, and practitioners can observing children’s play while they care taking part with the activity and how