St Francis Xavier

Catholic Primary School

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Physical Development

Physical Development



At St Francis Xavier Nursery we nurture children’s strong need and desire to be physically active which builds the foundations for other areas of their development by:

  • Building children’s strength, stamina, balance, co-ordination and dexterity
  • Developing a range of large and small movements which they can control
  • Improving and refining children’s control and manipulation of a variety of tools
  • Instilling a sense of confidence in children’s own physical abilities enabling them to negotiate spaces
  • Promoting independence by teaching them to make decisions and choices that will keep them healthy and safe



Adults have a sound knowledge and deep understanding of physical development and the key aspects of gross and fine motor skills. They know that fine motor development relies on children having well developed gross motor strength and recognise the strong links between physical development and the ability to control and manipulate writing tools. Within the environment adults actively encourage children to build their strength, stamina, balance, co-ordination and dexterity.

Physical Development is valued and promoted through:

  • Weekly movement sessions
  • Capitalising on transition times to promote gross motor skills e.g. stand in the line on one leg.
  • Regular Wake and Shake sessions focussing on the four key aspects of gross motor development.
  • Setting up a Finger Gym and a Fastening
  • Station which offer weekly challenges that develop wrist and finger strength, finger isolation and pincer grip.
  • Equipping our provision with tools and different vertical surfaces to promote core strength, wrist strength and crossing the midline.
  • Situating a creative area in, the centre of the provision offering a wide variety of mark making tools and equipment e.g. hole punches, staples, treasury tags and paper clips to support the development of muscle strength and the control and manipulation of real tools.
  • Providing authentic resources throughout our provision e.g. real kitchen equipment.
  • Using the outdoor area daily for Physical Development where small apparatus is organised, displayed and available for children to use independently.
  • Setting up a mini gym and yoga station which are equipped with resources that enable children to develop their strength, stamina, balance and co-ordination.
  • Equipping the outdoor area with a base layer of resources to promote balance and upper body strength e.g. balance bikes, scooters, wheeled vehicles, wheelbarrows, buckets and weighty object.


By the end of my time in Nursery I will know how to…

  • Negotiate space and obstacles safely
  • Throw, catch and kick a ball
  • Balance using my core stability                                        
  • Use a tripod grip
  • Draw with increasing accuracy
  • Demonstrate upper body strength
  • Co-ordinate both sides of my body
  • Move in a variety of ways
  • Control a variety of tools
  • Demonstrate strength and stamina