Understanding of the World

Within this Area of Learning there are 3 Aspects

LEARNING OBJECTIVES 30-50 month band


People and communities

  • Shows interest in the lives of people who are familiar to them.
  • Remembers and talks about significant events in their own experience.
  • Recognises and describes special times or events for family or friends.
  • Shows interest in different occupations and ways of life.
  • Knows some of the things that make them unique, and can talk about some of the similarities and differences in relation to friends of family.

The World

  • Comments and asks questions about aspects of their familiar world such as the place where they live or the natural world.
  • Can talk about some of the things they have observed such as plants, animals, natural and found objects.
  • Talks about why things happen and how things work.
  • Developing an understanding of growth, decay and changes over time.
  • Shows care and concern for living things and the environment.


  • Knows how to operate simple equipment, e.g. turns on CD player and uses remote control.
  • Shows an interest in technological toys with knobs or pulleys, or real objects such as cameras or mobile phones.
  • Shows skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new images.
  • Knows that information can be retrieved from computers

This area involves guiding children to make sense of their physical world and their community through opportunities to explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment.

In Nursery at Uplands Infant School we explore, observe and find out about people, places, technology and the environment through real life, rich and varied experiences that build on what the children already know and understand. Throughout the year we teach skills and knowledge in the context of practical activities e.g. learning about the characteristics of liquids and solids by involving children in melting chocolate, watching jelly granules dissolve and cooling the mixture to make jelly or cooking eggs.

F1a UW 

F1b UW  

We support children to explore, question and have respect for their environment.

F1d UW

F1e UW

We encourage them to talk about their family, community and events that take place at home within their own culture and promote equality through fostering a raised awareness of the cultures of others.

We begin in the Autumn Term by supporting children to discuss significant events in their lives e.g birthdays, celebrations of festivals and any new event in their home as they occur perhaps they have had a new baby brother or sister. This can then become a possible line of interest upon which the curriculum we deliver is based. Through our visit to the local park and the library in the Autumn Term we arouse awareness of features of the local environment and learn about the aspects of the natural world. Opportunities to talk about what children have seen can be explored from the natural changes in weather and objects found to animals that may capture the children’s interests such as domestic and nocturnal animals. The teaching and learning taking place here is also interconnected to other areas of learning such as PSED and CAL. We reflect on these experiences and compare and celebrate the similarities and differences of these to other people within their own community and those from differing cultures and beliefs. Autumnal celebrations such as Diwali, Bonfire Night and Christmas also prove to be popular stimuli for such learning.

Ideas to support your child with developing Understanding of the World can be found below:

10 Activities to Develop Understanding of the World