Early Learning Goals

The prime areas

Communication and language

girl dancingListening and attention:

Using our pedagogical approach to learning, children will engage in role-play to music and create dialogue according to the situation.
Listening to a story activates parts in a child’s brain that allows them to turn the story into their own ideas and experience thanks to a process called Neural Coupling.
Creating movement to the story will support memory development and make it easier to remember with accuracy.
Music, dance and drama give children the opportunity to share and enjoy a wide range of rhymes, music, songs, poetry and stories.
They also link language with physical movement in action songs, rhymes, role play and practical experiences.
When using books/poetry try to create physical movements to support this story, thus becoming a physical memory, either from a chant or specific movements for a phrase.


Children will follow instructions on the session, involving several ideas or actions. They will gain good listening skills, concentration and enhance memory skills.
Provide opportunities to extend each child’s learning through music and movement and offer ‘open ended’ situations for them to answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to the stories or events.
Anticipating key events in movement or music or dance will help to support sequencing, phrasing, patterns and rhythm.


Children will express themselves effectively through songs, rhymes and role-play, showing awareness of listeners’ needs.
Play confidence-building games to support children in their development and speech, moving from mime to spoken word.
Sequencing will assist in understanding time; past, present and future.
Using props and role play children develop their own narratives and explanations by connecting ideas or events. There should be opportunities for children to react, talk, imagine and respond to music, movement and sound.

Physical Development

Moving and handling:

Children will show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements supporting fine and gross motor skills.
Build a foundation of basic movements; galloping, skipping, jumping, catching, crawling, rolling and hopping while safely negotiating space.
Incorporate stimuli, scarves, claves, balls to support and strengthen hand/arm control, always use both hands when using equipment, as young children are generally ambidextrous.
Children are generally more active when outdoors as they are able to take part in more vigorous play eg, cycling, running, swinging, and climbing.
They also have more room and freedom to explore and develop their physical boundaries.
Make time for some structured play as it is ‘inclusive’.
Provide a multitude of stimuli, apparatus and space to ensure the children can explore their physical potential.
Children can explore the use of props, and develop co-ordination, control, manipulation and movement.
Gripping equipment, playing of percussion instruments and action songs build control of all the 60+ combined muscles in the hand.
Children will learn to use movement imaginatively, responding to stimuli, including music and performing basic skills.
They will create and perform dances using simple patterns.

Health and self-care:

Music + movement use high energy, cardio syllabus, to engage and stimulate children.
Recognising heart rhythms before and after exercise will help children to understand the necessity for warm –ups and relaxation. They will know the importance of good health, physical exercise, and a healthy diet.
Play ‘Fine Dining’ games to encourage discussions on healthy eating.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

musicSelf-confidence and self-awareness:

Children will become absorbed in music and role-play and develop a new confidence in their abilities. They will develop good posture, strength and balance.
They will be confident to try new activities and will make preference over some activities. Ensure a wide choice of movement based equipment is available for play. Children will build emotional bonds with peers and carers. Through this interaction, they will develop language and communication skills.
Create opportunities for children to speak in familiar groups and talk about their ideas.
Opportunities will arise for children to react, talk, imagine and respond to music.
Doing this they will gain knowledge of the world, be creative and imaginative, and develop their personal and social skills.
Try playing classical music when painting – the results can be incredible!

Managing feelings and behaviour:

Physical development builds positive attitudes, enthusiasm, motivation and confidence and children will gain self-esteem.
Using Mirror Mime, will support emotional development and provide an understanding of emotions.

Developing stories through movement provides the rich experience of emotional understanding as the children take the role of certain characters. Eg Rainbow Fish. Through emotional development children will learn tolerance and sensitivity.
Children can adjust and change their behaviour to different situations, and take changes of routine in their stride.
They will be able to represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through music and dance.
Providing opportunities to evaluate responses and reactions will enable children to develop ‘empathy’.

Making relationships:

During activities children can play co-operatively, taking turns with others. Simple songs involving leaders, eg In and out the Dusty Bluebells, support taking turns, building relationships and sharing.
They can take account of one another’s ideas about how to organise their activity.
Playing circle time activities will enable the group to show sensitivity to others’ needs and feelings thus forming positive relationships with other children.
This gives children the opportunity to develop self-confidence, respect for others, group interaction and social skills.

The Specific Areas



Becoming familiar with stories will assist in literacy development.
Evaluating performance and participation after activities enables children to openly discuss their views and encourage vocabulary.
The use of tracking activities will strengthen eye muscles required for reading.
Creating narratives when working alongside books as an outreach activity will build confidence, vocabulary and sentence structures.


Using specific equipment, play dough, scarves, parachute, percussion instruments etc, children will strengthen their manipulative skills
required for writing.
Arm/hand movements in dance will build a foundation for creating key movements used in letter structuring and build gross motor skills.
1. The upper body must be strong enough to hold the body in an upright standing or sitting position.
2. The shoulders muscles must be strong enough to control the weight of the arm, and flexible enough to rotate freely to position the
arm for writing.
3. The upper arm holds the weight of the lower arm and hand, delivering the hand to the page.
4. The lower arm provides a sturdy fulcrum on which the wrist rotates.
5. The wrist holds the hand steady and rotates to the appropriate position.
6. The fingers fold around the pencil which is held in place by the thumb.
7. Together, all five fingers do a precision dance on the page:
a. placing the pencil at the exact angle to meet the page, b. pressing down and maintaining the right amount of pressure to leave the
imprint, and c. coordinating the tiny up, down, left, and right movements across the page.



Music + movement develops mathematical understanding through stories, counting songs, games and dance patterns/choreography.
Children will have the opportunity to experiment with numbers, patterns, and spatial awareness.

Using numbers in rhythm will build music understanding and number ordering. When using balls on a parachute, children can predict
numbers and count less or more.

Create dance patterns using a 4/4 rhythm, including doubling and halving. Sequencing is crucial in understanding place and order,
using simple pathways and retracing steps will build on this key developmental area.

Introduce ‘What’s the time Mr Wolf?’ to assist with number ordering and playing chase games increases cardio resistance, strengthening
heart and lungs.

Shape, space and measures:

Spatial markers can be used to encourage spatial awareness, as children are yet to discover the capacity of space.

Create opportunities to discuss size, weight, capacity, position, distance, time with equipment used in dance. For example catching scarves/balls comparison. Using different sized similar object to compare and contrast size.

Balance is key in boosting core strength, co-ordination and control.

Creating ‘home-made’ instruments will require levels of mathematical understanding of size, weight and shape.

Using spatial awareness to engage in the journeys they take when moving and making precise pathways will boost critical thinking.

Understanding The World

People and Communities:

Role-play is an important context in which children expand their knowledge and understanding of the world. Through their play, they can express themselves with confidence and find out what it may be like to be in someone else’s shoes.

In the early years dramatic play is closely connected to everyday lives. Children will talk and act out past and present events in their own lives and in the lives of family members. They will know that other children don’t always enjoy the same things, and are sensitive to this.

World Dance/movement and music is a great way to understand different cultures and beliefs and provides a multitude of open ended possibilities and an openness and curiosity for other countries.

During activities children can respond by using many senses, and use resources from a variety of cultures to stimulate different ways of thinking. Using blindfolds for Heuristic Play brings an awareness of our senses.

The world:

Children will understand similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things through dance and movement.

Becoming an animal, tree, or a seed will create an understanding and observation of animals and plants and children will be able to explain why some things occur, and talk about those changes.

Role play is closely connected to children’s everyday lives and features much of their own immediate environment, opportunities should arise in how environments might vary from one another.

Use natural resources; tree stumps, twigs, stones and pine cones to represent changing environments.

Use tunnels to explore restricted space and strengthen arm and leg muscles.


Children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools.

Providing the opportunity to film/record their dance/movement and replaying the footage, will give the children a huge sense of pride and self-confidence. They will also be able to offer critique and evaluation and look to enhance their movements.

Try scheduling a ‘show’ create a dance with the children, record the work and view it, you may wish to include some healthy popcorn!

Simple ICT music composition sites like “Finger Drums” will enable children to compose music, perform and evaluate their experience.

Through the use of musical instruments, both professional and homemade, our syllabus gives the opportunity for exploration, observation, prediction, discussion and stimulate children’s interest and curiosity.

Expressive Arts and Design

Exploring and using media and materials:

Our syllabus develops children’s imaginations which is crucial in creative development.

Using everyday objects to explore movement provides open ended situations for development; eg Bubble Wrap may be a secret pathway, be careful not to pop the bubbles as you’ll wake the dragon!

Children can represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, music, dance, role-play and stories.

Children sing songs, make music and dance, and experiment with ways of changing them.

Provide bubble mixture for the children to use – resulting in reaching, catching, popping, predicting direction, size and space.

Making up rhymes and changing ending to songs will boost creative development and social and emotional development.

Being imaginative:

This area of learning includes art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play.

Music + movement provides a stimulating environment which nurtures creativity and where originality and expressiveness are valued.

Children will safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

Make some everyday objects available for ‘Role-Play’ area rather than ‘structured’ dressing up clothes; rolling pins, table cloth, hair rollers, camouflage net etc.

Children will explore the use of props, role play and a wide range of music and discover their ability to ‘play’.

Providing opportunities for exploration is important for development –
Pass the Handbag is an excellent confidence building game. Vary the contents, props, instruments, cooking items, food etc


Music, dance and drama can give:

  • Children with visual impairment the opportunity to have physical contact with instruments, sensory equipment artifacts, spaces and movements;
  • Children with hearing impairment the opportunity to experience sound through vibrations and rhythm through movement;
  • Children who cannot communicate by voice the opportunity to respond to music in different ways, such as gestures and dance.
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