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The seven areas of learning in the Foundation Stage

The Seven Areas of Learning in Foundation Stage

(Nursery and Reception)


These areas combine together to make up the skills, knowledge and experiences that babies and children acquire as they grow, learn and develop. The prime areas are Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development and Communication and Language. These are fundamental because they work together to support development in the other areas. The specific areas are Literacy, Mathematics, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design. The developmental statements in these areas help practitioners to identify and plan for the children’s individual interests and abilities.


  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development – This area looks at supporting children to develop a sense of themselves, social skills and respect for others and a positive disposition to learn.  Children’s emotional well-being also needs to be supported in order to help them understand and manage their feelings and behaviour.
  • Physical Development – This area looks at supporting children in using their senses and bodies to explore the world around them and make connections between new and existing knowledge.  They should have the chance to be active and interact with things to improve their skills of coordination, control, manipulation and movement.  Children also need to develop an understanding of healthy living practices.
  • Communication and Language – This area looks at  supporting children’s developing competence in listening and understanding as well as speaking and communicating  Children should be given opportunities to build these skills and gain confidence to use them in a range of situations.
  • Literacy – This area focuses on learning the skills needed for reading and writing.
  • Mathematics – This area looks at supporting children to develop their understanding of numbers, calculating, shapes, space and measures. 
  • Understanding the World – This area looks at supporting children in developing the knowledge, skills and understanding to help them make sense of their world.  They should be able to explore creatures, people, plants and objects and undertake practical ‘experiments.’
  • Expressive Arts and Design – This area looks at supporting children in developing their creativity by providing a range of opportunities, materials and media in which to express themselves and use their imaginations.  The children should be encouraged to explore and share their thoughts, feelings and ideas.

  • Holy Family Catholic Primary School
  • Arncliffe Road
  • Halewood
  • Liverpool
  • L25 9PA
  • United Kingdom
  • Tel: 0151 282 8971
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