Both the EYFS and Key stage 1 frameworks expects children to take part in regular exercise, in the EYFS this area of learning and development is called physical development. There are 3 main areas of development, and as all three areas are interlinked it is important that each area is taken into consideration when planning children’s play and learning. In the EYFS there is a clear requirement for children to spend some time outdoors as part of the safeguarding and welfare requirements, this gives children the opportunity to run around freely, to experiment and explore their environment and becomes a key way in which to get some exercise.
In the EYFS physical development involves providing opportunities for young children to be active and interactive; and to develop their co-ordination, control, and movement. Children must also be helped to understand the importance of physical activity, and to make healthy choices in relation to food. In the national curriculum children undertake regular exercise known as P.E. By the end of key stage 1 children should be able to run, jump, throw and catch as well as develop the necessary skills to balance and coordinate.
By key stage 2 children should be working towards using these skills and developing them further, learning how to use them in different ways. Early years practitioners need to ensure they plan activities that allow children to have physical challenges, giving children the time and opportunity to develop their physical skills and providing them with a variety of resources to improve specific areas of development. Practitioners should ensure there is enough space indoors and outdoors for activities to be carried out safely and enjoyably.