Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Monday, October 4, 1999 Published at 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK


What the goals are

Physical and emotional development are also covered

The early learning goals cover six curriculum areas: Personal, social and emotional development, knowledge and understanding of the world, language and literacy, and mathematical, physical and creative development.

The goals set out what most children will be able to do by the end of their reception year in school, when they are five or six.

Early learning goals for personal, social and emotional development

  • continue to be interested, excited and motivated to learn
  • be confident to try new activities, initiate ideas and speak in a familiar group
  • maintain attention, concentrate, and sit quietly when appropriate
  • have a developing awareness of their own needs, views and feelings and be sensitive to the needs, views and feelings of others
  • have a developing respect for their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people
  • respond to significant experiences, showing a range of feelings when appropriate
  • form good relationships with adults and peers
  • work as part of a group or class, taking turns and sharing fairly, understanding that there need to be agreed values and codes of behaviour for groups of people, including adults and children, to work together harmoniously
  • understand what is right, what is wrong, and why
  • dress and undress independently and manage their own personal hygiene
  • select and use activities and resources independently
  • consider the consequences of their words and actions for themselves and others
  • understand that people have different needs, views, cultures and beliefs, which need to be treated with respect
  • understand that they can expect others to treat their needs, views, cultures and beliefs with respect.

Early learning goals for language and literacy

  • enjoy listening to and using spoken and written language, and readily turn to it in their play and learning
  • explore and experiment with sounds, words and texts
  • listen with enjoyment and respond to stories, songs and other music, rhymes and poems and make up their own stories, songs, rhymes and poems
  • use language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences
  • use talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events
  • sustain attentive listening, responding to, what they have heard by relevant, comments, questions or actions
  • interact with others, negotiating plans and activities and taking turns in conversation
  • extend their vocabulary, exploring the meanings and sounds of new words
  • retell narratives in the correct sequence, drawing on the language patterns of stories
  • speak clearly and audibly with confidence and control and show awareness of the listener, for example by their use of conventions such as greetings, 'please' and 'thank you'
  • hear and say initial and final sounds in words, and short vowel sounds within words
  • link sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet
  • read a range of familiar and common words and simple sentences independently
  • know that print carries meaning and, in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom
  • show an understanding of the elements of stories, such as main character, sequence of events, and openings, and how information can be found in non-fiction texts to answer questions about where, who, why and how
  • attempt writing for various purposes, using features of different forms such as lists, stories and instructions
  • write their own names and other things such as labels and captions and begin to form simple sentences, sometimes using punctuation
  • use their phonic knowledge to write simple regular words and make phonetically plausible attempts at more complex words
  • use a pencil and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.

Early learning goals for mathematical development

  • recognise numerals 1 to 9
  • use language such as 'more' or 'less', 'greater' or 'smaller', 'heavier' or, 'lighter', to compare two numbers or quantities
  • in practical activities and discussion begin to use the vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting
  • find one more or one less than a number from 1 to 10
  • begin to relate addition to combining two groups of objects, and subtraction to 'taking away'
  • talk about, recognise and recreate simple patterns
  • use language such as 'circle' or 'bigger' to describe the shape and size of solids and flat shapes
  • use everyday words to describe position
  • use developing mathematical ideas and methods to solve practical problems.

Early learning goals for knowledge and understanding of the world

  • investigate objects and materials by using all of their senses as appropriate
  • find out about, and identify some features of, living things, objects and events they observe
  • look closely at similarities, differences, patterns and change
  • ask questions about why things happen and how things work
  • build and construct with a wide range of objects, selecting appropriate resources, and adapting their work where necessary
  • select the tools and techniques they need to shape, assemble and join the materials they are using
  • find out about and identify the uses of everyday technology and use information and communication technology and programmable toys to support their learning
  • find out about past and present events in their own lives, and in those of their families and other people they know
  • observe, find out about, and identify features in the place they live and the natural world
  • begin to know about their own cultures and beliefs and those of other people
  • find out about their environment, and talk about those features they like and dislike.

Early learning goals for physical development

  • move with confidence, imagination and in safety
  • move with control and co-ordination
  • show awareness of space, of themselves and of others
  • recognise the importance of keeping healthy and those things which contribute to this
  • recognise the changes that happen to their bodies when they are active
  • use a range of small and large equipment
  • travel around, under, over and through balancing and climbing equipment
  • handle tools, objects, construction and malleable materials safely and with increasing control.

Early learning goals for creative development

  • explore colour, texture, shape, form and space in two and three dimensions
  • recognise and explore how sounds can be changed, sing simple songs from memory
  • recognise repeated sounds and sound patterns and match movements to music
  • respond in a variety of ways to what they see, hear, smell, touch and feel
  • use their imagination in art and design, music, dance, imaginative and role play, and stories
  • express and communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings by using a widening range of materials, suitable tools, imaginative and role-play, movement, designing and making, and a variety of songs and musical instruments.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Education Contents

Hot Topics
UK Systems
League Tables

Relevant Stories

04 Oct 99 | Education
How learning through play works

04 Oct 99 | Education
Launch for early learning targets

In this section

'Golden hellos' fail to attract new teachers

Children join online Parliament

Pupils 'too ignorant to vote'

Red tape toolkit 'not enough'

Poor report for teacher training consortium

Specialist schools' results triumph

Ex-headmaster guilty of more sex charges

Blunkett welcomes Dyke's education commitment

Web funding for specialist teachers

Local authorities call for Woodhead's sacking

Dyslexic pensioner wins PhD

Armed forces children need school help

Black pupils 'need better-trained teachers'

College 'is not cool'