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Settling in and becoming a confident learner

First milestone

Children make a strong relationship with their key person.  Increasingly, they separate confidently from their main carer at the start of the day and become involved in their play, they use their key person or buddy as a ‘secure base’ throughout the session, ‘touching base’ as/when needed.

Second milestone

Children take part in pretend play, communicating and negotiating with their peers, becoming more independent.

Third milestone

Children persevere with difficulties. They make comments about their learning and play, they show pleasure/pride in what they have done.  Beginning to show self-regulation.

Final milestone

Children reflect on their learning, through their learning journals/family books.  They comment on their ‘thinking’ and the way they go about their learning.  They reflect on what helps them to persevere through difficulties and what helps them when they find things hard.  Children talk about what they and others are learning and thinking (metacognition).

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us

Making playdough independently 

First milestone

With adult support, children

mix different ingredients, including sand and

water, flour They mix substance in

areas such as the mud kitchen/sand area

introducing a playdough recipe card, and water to make simple.

playdough.  They use the following tools:

wooden spoons, sieves, scoops, rolling pins, cutters and knives. 

Second milestone

In a small group, children follow the steps in making a playdough with an adult.  The adult draws children’s attention to the recipe cards.  With adult scaffolding, children use measures (teaspoon, tablespoon, cup etc) and tip in the ingredients.  With adult scaffolding, they roll the playdough.

Third milestone

Children follow the steps in making a Playdough with the adult.  They independently fill measures carefully to the top (teaspoon, tablespoon, cup) they recognise the numerals in the recipe cards. When they count our quantities. They say the number in the correct orders 1 2 3 4 and they know the last number they say is 4, is the total number of spoonful’s they have added.

Final milestone

Children follow the steps of a playdough recipe independently. They measure ingredients, mix them, to create the playdough independently.

Challenge to support younger children to follow a chapati/pancake recipe with increasing independence

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us

Becoming a confident mover

First milestone

Enjoys starting to kick, throw and catch balls fitting themselves in different spaces, beginning to climb with adult support.  To move independently while outside to use a scuttle bug.

Second milestone

Child enjoy climbing steps/stair and apparatus, child balance and continue to develop movement/ball and trike skills starting to peddle, beginning to jump with both feet off the floor, introducing co-ordination, Using a balance bike. Introducing the midline.

Third milestones

Starting to use movement such as skipping, hopping, balancing on one leg, can jump with two feet off the ground confidently, being more ware of co-ordination, can pedal a trike more confident in the midline.

Final milestone

Has good co-ordination.

Children will practise and refine rolling, crawling, jumping, walking, running etc can ride bike.  Starting to develop over all body strength, Co-ordination, balance, dodging and agility skills. confident in midline

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us

Make up your own story 

First milestone

Children take part in pretend play, making up to developing a story.

Second milestone

Children take part in shared reading.  They respond to the features of these stories.  Children engage in number rhymes with props and join in with the actions.

Third milestone

Children take part in telling a story with adult help or can create their own story of their day using pictorial cards/white board.  They begin to become familiar of the way stories are structured E.g Helicopter story telling

Final milestone

Children use tools to develop the character, setting, problem and solution for their story.  They tell their story to one or more people, helicopter story

Becoming confident in numbers

First milestone:

Children will sing number songs, rhymes, will be able to use words when playing such as more, less, fewer lots, all gone.

Second milestone

Children will verbally counting to 10, and opportunities to count sets of objects up to 5 that is purposeful. Knowing numbers of significance such as age, house number, number of the day.       

Third milestone

Children will be counting sets up to 10 and be shown that the last number they count is the amount they have, children will start to use 5 frames.

Forth milestone

Children will be matching amounts with numerals and will start to look at one more and one less, while playing and doing activities they will be able to represent these with marks, children will start to use a 10 frame


Children start to estimate small quantities of objects without counting, use a 10 frame with confidence.  Children start to subitise in games using a dice, dominos and in activities. Understanding one more, one less

Using kitchen utensils safely  

First milestone 

with adult support, children to safely use spoons, small rolling pins, Montessori two handed choppers, butter knife for spreading, two handed mashers for soft fruits, sieve for flour and safe use of cookie cutters.

Second milestone

Using Montessori one- and two-handed choppers and butter knives independently with less support having a firmer grip to chop harder foods. Using scissors to cut and chop herbs. One handed whisk for mixtures introduce plastic knife, peeler, and grater with full adult support.  Start to use the electric whisk and blender with adult support.

Third milestone

To use all explored utensils with increasing independence. To introduce metal bread knife to cut bread, cheese, banana, apple etc, start to use the electric whisk and blender more independently.

Final milestone

To use all utensils safely and independently with no adult support

Make marks that have meaning 

First milestone

Children can use the muscles in their hand and arms to make big movements and bring together hand eye co- ordination.

Children will increasingly become confident in engaging in activities such as: throwing and catching balls, big bubble trouble, exploring a musical instrument, playdough, and paint.

Second milestone

Children make marks with their fingers and some tools.  Children will engage in a variety of ways to make marks e.g. mark making in dough/clay/sand, holding a paintbrush to make marks or using chalk on the ground in the garden.

Third milestone

As children’s mark making develops, they make more small, controlled movements and can draw lines and circles.  They can distinguish between these marks e.g. ‘line, circle, zig zag’ they begin to use anticlockwise movements and retrace vertical lines.  Children are familiar with language of directionally such as ‘up down, round and round’, Crossing the midline.

Children can find their name card and are look at it when attempting to write their name.

Final milestone

Children hold their pen or pencil with a comfortable grip.  They may attempted to form letters of significance correctly, with dominated hand  

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us
7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us
7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us
7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us

Becoming Confident in self care 

First milestone

Children can recognise their own peg/home pouch and are able to collect they coat, shoes and wellies from under their peg. Child with adult support will be able to wash their hands, blow their noses, pour own drink and during nappy change help to dress. May start to recognise if their nappy needs changing.

Second milestone

Children will understand the need to cough into their inner arm and blow nose with a prompt, putting on coat and shoes with more independence may need help fastening. Able to pull up and down clothing and use toilet with less support or knows they need to be changed. show an interest in oral support.  toilet needs such as wiping with less support, beginning to understand the need for healthy food and more independence in pouring and self-serving.

Third milestones

Can independently put on coat/shoes but maybe on the wrong feet and fasten, children are able to blow nose using pinch and pull method and can wash hands and lend support to other children. Can ask for help in the toileting asking adult to check after wiping. Understanding how to be healthy and the importance of looking after you teeth.

Final milestone

Children are fully independent in toileting, washing hands, dressing and undressing, making healthy choices, bowing own knows and know when it needs blowing, how and why we brush our teeth and can self serves foods

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us

Physical Development 

At Woodlands physical activities are vital in every child’s development, encouraging them to lead happy, healthy, and active lives.  Gross and fine motor skill activities develop sequentially throughput their early childhood.  By creating games and providing opportunities for both indoor and outdoor play practitioner can support each child to develop their physical skills.

Providing opportunities for a minimum of 3 hours of Physical activities per day.

Areas we use to engage children in physical development

Woodlands outside area

Adventure playground


School hall

Big playground (during half terms)

Sand /water/mud area

Activities that Woodlands provided in these areas:

Climbing to support gross motor development

Scuttle bugs/tricks/balance bikes/scoters curriculum goal ride a bike

Ball games/parachute/hoops/bean bag Throwing/catching

Mini gym/obstacle course


Large loose parts

Den making

Walks around the local area

Tummy time



Large scale water painting outside


Woodlands also promotes physical development based towards more fine motor such as:

Play dough/dough gym/clay  

Finger gym

Pouring activities

Golf tee holes boxes

Tummy time

Posting pennies



Cutting/ripping activities

Small loose parts



Other activities to promote physical development:

Promoting children to be independent – helping to dress and undress, putting on and taking off own shoes and coat, independent eating at lunch time with appropriate cutlery.  

Preparation - Helping to prepare snack, cutting, spreading, chopping, and pouring own drink this also promote healthy eating and conversations regarding oral health. 

Keeping healthy and oral health is a big part of physical development, at Woodlands we provide healthy snacks and lunches choices – the children are involved in regard to the snacks that we provide and are reminded of why we should fill our bodies with good food and nutrients.  Woodlands provided the children with fresh filtered water and milk daily; Child can use the water machine when they need. 

Promoting good oral health is another important aspect of physical development, at Woodlands we have an oral health box, which includes fun songs and stories, tooth brushes and toothpaste that the children can use to practice, we also have a picture book full of photos of the children at the dentist (provided by the parents) we also communicate good oral health procedures and when children should start going to the dentist with our parent through the community group.

Woodlands also works alongside parents with toilet training and supports with idea and knowledge.

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us

Communication and Language 

Speech, language, and communication skills are crucial to young children’s overall developments.  Being able to speak clearly and process speech sounds, to understand others, to express ideas and interact with other are the fundamental building blocks for a child’s development. 

At woodlands we many activities that help develop children’s communication and language, and that we adapt to meet each child’s individual needs, these activities are as follows:

Core songs, poems, rhymes, and stories

Wide range of books/magazines within the continuous provision, provided with activities alongside the book area

Home library and cooking recipe’s

Word of the week (introducing children to vocabulary that may not have heard, not being afraid to use BIG words) our theme also promotes new vocabulary ad the curricular goals introduce new words

Sound of the week

Family books

SALT/communication carousel

Chitter chatter/high quality conversations/10 second rule (knowing the children that need more than others)

Diverse range of books such as books with sounds, fact/fiction, and picture books long book short books, bilingual.

Visual aids, for children that have additional needs or children that are shy

Key language, annotation of play, repeat what they child has said back to them with the correct pronunciation modeling language

Puppets/PALS (play, learn and socialize) 

Simple instructions, moving on to more complex instructions 

Orchard games

Making sure the environment is calming and not to loud so children can be heard and feel confident and comfortable to talk

Letting children know that they can communicate in other ways if they are not confident enough to use words  

Acting out stories/helicopter stories  

EAL/Bilingual children found in their all about me list of words provided by parents.

Open ended questions

Story stones/rhyme stones

Role play activities/dressing up

Bucks’ communication week

Cooking curriculum goal follow a recipe to make a bread roll

Woodlands family book

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us

Personal, Social and Emotional Development 

Children’s PSED is an important part of children’s development ad all area of their lives and is fundamental to their cognitive development.  Woodlands makes strong, warm, and supportive relationships thought our key person and buddy roles which in turn will help children to co-regulate their emotions and make strong attachment to their peers.

How we do this at Woodlands:

Our robust settling in curriculum goal settling in become a confident learner

Playing and learning to socialize PALS scheme with puppets

Kindness elves

Golden rules puppet/storis

Practitioners are good role models

Continuous provision promotes opportunities for children to socialize with their peers.

Key books that focus on PSED also included in home learning.

Supporting co and self-regulation

Diversity- celebrating festivals, music, books, family books

Outing the local area – promoting new social situations, library, church, shops, market  

Outside visitors such as local police officers, firemen

Visits to our local residential home  

Promote and praise kindness

Model and promote good hygiene and healthy eating

Giving children small responsibilities/tasks such a settling the table, helping with activities, putting away Tesco, washing fruits.

Woodlands family book

Having a flexible routine that children are confident to follow, if there are changes to a routine children will be informed 5/10 mins before so they can adjust


Fundamental values

Democracy – making decisions together

Tolerance/mutual respect – accepting another beliefs and heritage

Liberty – freedom for all to have the same opportunities

Rule of law – understanding the rules matter, understanding right from wrong   

Using these values to support children to be accepting of differences, such as disability, religion, and gender.  We support this with a range of books, family books, celebrations, information from parents all about me 

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us


From the day children are born they should be read to, a shared story per day has a huge Impact on children’s interests and motivation for reading later in life.  By providing children with books/song/rhymes and mark making opportunities gives them the best start in life.

Wide range of book in all areas, alongside activates both inside and out

Home lending library/homemade books

Snug area for outside reading/comfortable sofas for a relaxing place to calmly share books with adult or peers  

Core book/rhymes/songs/activities (sent to parents as part of home learning)

Making up own stories/helicopter stories curricular goal make up your own story

Read, write, ink

Sound/word/ tongue twister/alliteration of the week (sent to parents as part of home learning)

Pre hand writing patterns over ,under, up ,down marks 

Formation of first two letter of name/name cards curriculum goal make marks that have meaning

Visual language in and outside such as signs and recipes

Rhyming words, homonyms/synonyms constant-vow-constant words (c-v-c) pat , mat ,hat

Woodlands family book

 Visual aid board

Various tools and equipment that support prewriting skills continuous provision.

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us

Expressive, Arts and Design 

Throughout the day children have th opportunity to participate in activities and experiences that develop their imagination and creativity. Art creates different ways for children to explore and experience the world.

How woodlands provide this by:

Core song/rhymes

Our environment/provision promotes imaginative play through our real resources/role play sections

We explore different types of music/introducing new music/cultural music/music listened to at home (our song book) to promote dance and movement  

Wide range of musical instrument to create a steady beat/rhythm, tempo (fast/slow) pitch (high/low sounds) dynamics (loud/quiet)

Body percussion/action songs

We have a wide range of art within the setting we use to help the children to create

Opportunities for children to combine various media much as, creative modeling, with tapes/glue, natural materials

Easily accessible equipment so children can make own choices and have enough time and space to create over time

Different doughs/clay

Exploring paint, mixing, changing colours, shades

Acting/playing a role

Confidence building so children are happy and confident to create using their own ideas

Introducing new material for children to investigate

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us

Understanding The World 

At woodlands we offer many enriching experiences to broaden the children knowledge and make sense of the world round them through our core themes and experiences.

How we provide this:

Growing a wide range of fruit/veg/flowers and herd

Using the produce, we have grown to enhance activities/cook with/ use for snacks

We also use growing as a way to look at the life cycle of plants/growing and decay

Providing children with real life cycles such as caterpillar to butterflies/ frog spawn to frogs supported with books/educational videos/life cycle toys/resect for living things

Visits from local animal’s staff pet dog, ferret form local childminder, zoo lab

Mini forest school in the field to explore the world

Resources and books/family books that celebrate diversity and similarities/different cultures/foods from around the world   

Ensuring everyone’s name are pronounced properly

Outings to the local areas/visitors such as police

Large range of sensory materials forte children to explore, water, mud, sand play

Parents coming into talk about festival they observe, to teach the children.

STEM we explore magnetic, forces, gravity, floating ad sinking, cooling heating, shadow (touches, light board)

Map to promote end destinations and routes

Fundamental values

Democracy – making decisions together

Tolerance/mutual respect – accepting another beliefs and heritage

Liberty – freedom for all to have the same opportunities

Rule of law – understanding the rules matter, understanding right from wrong  

Using these values to support children to be accepting of differences, such as disability, religion, and gender.  We support this with a range of books, family books, celebrations, information from parents all about me  

7 areas of Development and Our 6 curricular Goals: About Us
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