Expressive Arts and Design

Within this Area of Learning there are 2 Aspects

LEARNING OBJECTIVES 30-50 month band


Exploring and Using Media and Materials

  • Enjoys joining in with dancing and ring games.
  • Sings a few familiar songs.
  • Beginning to move rhythmically.
  • Imitates movement in response to music.
  • Taps out simple repeated rhythms.
  • Explores and learns how sounds can be changed.
  • Explores colour and how colours can be changed.
  • Understands that they can use lines to enclose a space, and then begin to use these shapes to represent objects.
  • Beginning to be interested in and describe the texture of things.
  • Uses various construction materials.
  • Beginning to construct, stacking blocks vertically and horizontally, making enclosures and creating spaces.
  • Joins construction pieces together to build and balance.
  • Realises tools can be used for a purpose

Being Imaginative

  • Developing preferences for forms of expression.
  • Uses movement to express feelings.
  • Creates movement in response to music.
  • Sings to self and makes up simple songs.
  • Makes up rhythms.
  • Notices what adults do, imitating what is observed and then doing it spontaneously when the adult is not there.
  • Engages in imaginative role-play based on own first-hand experiences.
  • Builds stories around toys, e.g. farm animals needing rescue from an armchair ‘cliff’.
  • Uses available resources to create props to support role-play.
  • Captures experiences and responses with a range of media, such as music, dance and paint and other materials or words.

During Nursery creative and imaginative skills are developed through a wide range of provision. We provide opportunities for children to actively explore and experiment with a wide range of media and materials such as colour, junk modelling, instruments, dance, role play as well as encouraging the sharing of their thoughts, ideas and feelings. Again this area of learning can be linked to other areas such as Personal, Social and Emotional, Literacy and Communication and Language. Many resources will be readily available to explore daily through specific areas such as the instruments in the music and movement area, painting area, design and make area, small world area, with a focus on a specific skill. Children are encouraged to become reflective learners by drawing on their experiences, thinking about what they want to make, the processes that may be involved and the materials and resources they might need. We provide visual reminders such as a photograph to remind them what they are trying to make may look like. Specific skills and techniques will be taught and demonstrated explicitly, for example how to use the glue to join pieces together and explore other possibilities for joining that may be better suited to complete the job in hand. Children are given opportunities to practise and embed skills alongside learning new ones. Towards the end of the year all the children participate in a Foundation 1 performance which showcases their acquired creative skills through song, dance and drama.

For Nursery in the Autumn Term at Uplands Infant School there is a particular focus on singing songs and rhymes, music and movement and stories due to its positive impact upon the Prime Areas of Learning (see PSED, CAL and PD)

As imaginations can be inspired by stories, both from books and those that are orally told, we aim to instil in children a love of stories. Through initiatives such as Talk for Writing, once the key structure of a story is internalised and embedded we can use the structure to create our own class stories by changing elements such as the characters or the setting. So instead of Going on Bear Hunt we could go a Headteacher hunt around Uplands Infant school or a dinosaur hunt in our school grounds.

In the Autumn Term we develop a Deconstructed Role Play area which is used to ignite and encourage children’s imaginations drawing on their own experiences, support working collaboratively with others by listening to others ideas and responding appropriately, alongside supporting their ventures into new imaginary worlds. In this area children will have access to different open ended resources such as boxes to support re-enactment, perhaps a pirate ship, a train, a car, a secret den, a house….the possibilities are endless. This area will from time to time have enhancements to support the children’s play to support a possible interest e.g a pirate, police or firefighter box of resources.


F1e EADThe home corner is a sure favourite, again to further develop experiences and imagination we will add enhancements inspired from children’s interests and experiences e.g new babies, pet dogs, fire in the house. Real life experiences will be sought and may include visits from firefighters, a new baby or a dog owner.