Nurture, Cherish, Succeed

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Cranborne Road, Newbold, Chesterfield, S41 8PF

01246 232370

Nurture, Cherish, Succeed

Nurture, Cherish, Succeed

  1. About Us
  2. EYFS
  3. EYFS Areas of Learning
  4. Personal and social development

Personal, social and emotional development


Personal, Social and Emotional Development is one of the three prime areas within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and is broken down into three aspects:

  • Self-Regulation 
  • Managing Self 
  • Building Relationships 


‘Children’s personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives, and is fundamental to their cognitive development. Underpinning their personal development are the important attachments that shape their social world. Strong, warm and supportive relationships with adults enable children to learn how to understand their own feelings and those of others. Children should be supported to manage emotions, develop a positive sense of self, set themselves simple goals, have confidence in their own abilities, to persist and wait for what they want and direct attention as necessary. Through adult modelling and guidance, they will learn how to look after their bodies, including healthy eating, and manage personal needs independently. Through supported interaction with other children, they learn how to make good friendships, co-operate and resolve conflicts peaceably. These attributes will provide a secure platform from which children can achieve at school and in later life.’

3 and 4-year-olds will be learning to:

  • Select and use activities and resources, with help when needed. This helps them to achieve a goal they have chosen, or one which is suggested to them.
  • Develop their sense of responsibility and membership of a community.
  • Become more outgoing with unfamiliar people, in the safe context of their setting.
  • Show more confidence in new social situations.
  • Play with one or more other children, extending and elaborating play ideas.
  • Find solutions to conflicts and rivalries. For example, accepting that not everyone can be Spider-Man in the game, and suggesting other ideas.
  • Increasingly follow rules, understanding why they are important.
  • Remember rules without needing an adult to remind them.
  • Develop appropriate ways of being assertive.
  • Talk with others to solve conflicts.
  • Talk about their feelings using words like ‘happy’, ‘sad’, ‘angry’ or ‘worried’.
  • Understand gradually how others might be feeling.
  • Be increasingly independent in meeting their own care needs, e.g., brushing teeth, using the toilet, washing and drying their hands thoroughly.
  • Make healthy choices about food, drink, activity and toothbrushing.



Children in reception will be learning to: 

  • See themselves as a valuable individual.
  • Build constructive and respectful relationships.
  • Express their feelings and consider the feelings of others.
  • Show resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge.
  • Identify and moderate their own feelings socially and emotionally. 
  • Think about the perspectives of others.
  • Manage their own needs. 
  • Know and talk about the different factors that support their overall health and wellbeing:
  • regular physical activity
  • healthy eating
  • toothbrushing
  • sensible amounts of ‘screen time’
  • having a good sleep routine
  • being a safe pedestrian

Early learning goals, for PSED are:

  • Self-Regulation - Show an understanding of their own feelings and those of others, and begin to regulate their behaviour accordingly; - Set and work towards simple goals, being able to wait for what they want and control their immediate impulses when appropriate; Give focused attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas or actions.


  • Managing Self - Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of challenge; Explain the reasons for rules, know right from wrong and try to behave accordingly; Manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs, including dressing, going to the toilet and understanding the importance of healthy food choices.


  • Building Relationships - Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others; Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers; Show sensitivity to their own and to others' needs.


PSED progression

What Personal, Social and Emotional Development means for our children

Developing this area of learning enables children to:

  • developing confidence and independence
  • make friends and get on with others
  • learn about right and wrong
  • self-regulate their emotions
  • understand about their own and others’ feelings
  • feel good about themselves
  • be interested, excited and motivated about their play and learning
  • gain self-respect for themselves
  • develop respect for their own culture and beliefs and those of others


A PSED programme aligned to the national framework for EYFS, that integrates emotional literacyself-regulation, and social skills.

Jigsaw in Nursery 

Being Me In My World

I understand how it feels to belong and that we are similar and different.

I understand how feeling happy and sad can be expressed.

I can work together and consider other people’s feelings.

I can use gentle hands and understand that it is good to be kind to people.

I am starting to understand children’s rights and this means we should all be allowed to learn and play. I am learning what being responsible means.


Celebrating Difference

I know how it feels to be proud of something I am good at.

I can tell you one way I am special and unique.

I know that all families are different. I know there are lots of different houses and homes.

I can tell you how I could make new friends. I can use my words to

stand up for myself

Dreams and Goals

I understand what a challenge means.

I can keep trying until I can do something.

I can set a goal and work towards it.

I know some kind words to encourage people with.

I can start to think about the jobs I might like to do when I’m older.

I can feel proud when I achieve a goal.

Healthy Me

I know the names for some parts of my body and am starting to understand that I need to be active to be healthy.

I can tell you some of the things I need to do to be healthy.

I know what the word ‘healthy’ means and that some foods are healthier than others.

I know how to help myself go to sleep and that sleep is good for me.

I can wash my hands and know it is important to do this before I eat and after I go to the toilet.

I know what to do if I get lost and how to say NO to strangers.


I can tell you about my family.

I understand how to make friends if I feel lonely.

I can tell you some of the things I like about my friends.

I know what to say and do if somebody is mean to me.

I can use Calm Me time to manage my feelings.

I can work together and enjoy being with my friends.

Changing Me

I can name parts of my body and show respect for myself.

I can tell you some things I can do and some food I can eat to be healthy.

I understand that we all

start as babies and grow into children and then adults.

I know that I grow and change.

I can talk about how I feel moving to School from Nursery.

I can remember some fun things about Nursery this year.


Jigsaw in Reception:

Being Me in My World

Talk about home and family.

Discuss likes and dislikes.

Get to know others and make new friends.

Begin to know what a good friend is.

Look after own belongings.

Get to know the classroom and select resources independently.


Celebrating Difference


To follow class rules and behave appropriately.

Discuss likes and dislikes.

Select resources independently.

Begin to solve conflicts in a positive way with adult support.


Dreams and Goals


Talk about friendships old and new.

Reflect on the importance of friends.

Think about what we are good at doing and what we enjoy learning.

Think about what we would like to be good at doing.

Set a goal for earning something new or improving a skill we have.


Healthy Me

To re - establish friendships and continue to think what makes a good friend.

To set goals and consider what we need to do to achieve them.

To consider fairness and know what being fair might look like.

To express likes and dislikes.

To learn how to stand up for our own needs and rights without hurting others.




To develop the children’s appreciation of the need for rules and to develop the children’s appreciation of the need for sanctions if people break rules.

To consider the consequences of their words and actions for themselves and others.

To consider ways in which they can contribute to the life of the class and school in a positive way.


Changing Me

Identify and respect the differences and similarities between people.

Develop the children’s understanding of their home community, school community and the wider community.

Encourage the children to develop a sense of pride in their surroundings

Last update: 2024-06-19