Physical Development and Movement

Physical Development and Movement

Physical Development and Movement is an Area of Learning in the Foundation Stage. It gives children the opportunity to experience and develop a range of fundamental movement skills. These improve co-ordination, locomotion, control, balance and manipulation.

Teachers should enable children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in:

  • Athletics
  • Dance
  • Games
  • Gymnastics.

Physical Development and Movement helps children gain confidence and self-esteem. Through taking part in physical activities, they begin to develop an understanding of safe practices and the relationship between physical activity and good health in everyday life.

Children should have opportunities to take part in daily physical activities, either indoors or outdoors, such as physical play and regular planned sessions of Physical Education. The Department of Education recommends that schools should provide children with at least two hours of curricular Physical Education each week. Planned activities should allow children to work individually, in pairs and in small groups.

Children come to school with a range of movement experiences. Teachers should help children to develop their fundamental movement skills. These are essential for long-term health, wellbeing and physical development.

For further details, see the Statutory Requirements for Physical Development and Movement at Foundation Stage.

Whole Curriculum Skills and Capabilities

Children should have opportunities to develop their Cross-Curricular Skills of Communication, Using Mathematics and Using ICT, and their Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities through Physical Development and Movement.


For more information on Physical Development and Movement, contact: