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Queenswell Infant & Nursery School

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Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development


Children’s PSED is crucial for children to lead healthy and happy lives and is fundamental to their cognitive development. By involving children in a co-constructed curriculum, we aim to build strong, warm and supportive relationships with children. The Characteristics of Effective Learning are intrinsically linked to PSED and these are reflected strongly in this area of learning as well as across all curriculum areas. Following the pandemic, we recognise that PSED has been affected for many children in our setting due to limited opportunities for social interaction, in particular for our youngest children in the pre-school.  



We provide a safe and nurturing environment. This includes:

  • Strong, warm and supportive attachments with adults
  • Supporting children to manage emotions through talk and finding calm resolutions
  • Supporting children to form a positive sense of sense by celebrating achievements and recognising significant steps in development.
  • Helping children to set themselves simple goals; demonstrating perseverance and resilience on the road to achieving what they set out to do.

Pre-School                                        →

Nursery                                            →


  • Help children to develop sense of self – Self-registration with child’s photo. Talk to them about ‘who is that?’, ’What are you going to do today? Look at photos of other children too and try to match the pictures to the children – can you name your friends too?
  • Help children to develop sense of self - Self-registration – ‘Who is here today? who is not here?’
  • Introduce feelings/emotions board for children to refer to so they can share with an adult if needed – using words like, happy, sad, angry, worried.
  • Self-registration – ‘Who is here today? who is not here?’
  • Use feelings/emotions board to share with an adult if needed (referring to Zones of Regulation)


  • Begin to notice and talk about differences between self and others – help develop positive attitudes towards diversity and inclusion by being open to what children say about differences and answer questions straight forwardly. Demonstrate an environment where all children are valued and belong.
  • Create some calm friendly spaces within the setting – modelling from adults about expectations in this area.
  • Introduce ‘Calm corner’ – Designated space for children to feel calm in with resources to support this.
  • Provide a ‘Calm kit’ – transportable resources to support children to manage their emotions when needed.


  • Develop sense of membership and community – give children some responsibilities e.g. setting up self-registration for next day at tidy up time or washing up paint pots.
  • Share ‘All about Me’ books with children.
  • Develop sense of membership and community – Leader jobs
  • Enable children to see themselves as a valuable individual – get to know children – ‘what makes them tick?’ Spend time sharing ‘All about Me’ books.
Managing self
  • Help children to express preferences and decisions – take an interest in what the child is interested in – build conversations around this
  • Provide a child with 2 options to choose from as appropriate.
  • Introduce visual timetable for focus activities in key worker groups. – child’s photo next to activity they will take part in on that day.
  • Provide a visual timetable with a range of options available for children to select from during child-initiated play.
  • Provide a visual timetable with times built into the day for child-initiated play allowing choice and focussed adult directed time.
  • Provide an environment with opportunities for choice and self-selection appropriate to age – see continuous provision plans.
  • Have clear expectations of and model rules within the setting.
  • Introduce carpet time rules with visuals – good looking, good sitting, lips closed.
  • Ensure class and school rules are established.
  • Snack times to provide healthy food choices and introduce hygiene routines (wash hands before eating) – build some talk around these choices and relate to choices made at home.
  • Provide a range of healthy snack choices and engage in conversations with children around this.
  • Promote good oral health – talk about effects of eating too many sweet things and importance of tooth brushing.
  • Discuss healthy food choices in comparison to not so healthy food choices and the effects this can have on our overall health.
  • Tooth brushing workshop for supervised tooth brushing demonstrations


  • Show and tell – building children’s confidence to talk in front of others. Adult can talk for child if necessary while child standing up and showing picture/object.
  • Show and tell – Encourage child to use own words to show other children.


  • Learn about road safety – through roleplay (using road safety props in bike area)
  • Learn about road safety – through roleplay (using road safety props in bike area)
Building relationships
  • Simple turn taking games with one other person – ‘my turn, your turn’.
  • Play games with short waiting times to support turn taking in small groups.
  • Increase to games with slightly longer waiting times as appropriate.
  • Sharing – is waiting for your turn (not getting it straight away). Support understanding of this with ‘waiting’ visual card as appropriate.
  • Use of sand timers to help children manage expectations in terms of waiting times – they can begin to manage this themselves
  • Strategies to record waiting so children can continue with other activities e.g. writing names on list on the board for taking turns with a piece of equipment. When a child has finished (timed with sand timer if appropriate), they can notify next child waiting.


Early Learning Goals: *(only to be used as assessment point at end of reception year)
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 focussed attention to what the teacher says, responding appropriately even when engaged in an activity, and show an ability to follow instructions involving several ideas and actions.
Managing-self:  Be confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance in the face of a challenge. Explain 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 choice.
Building relationships: Work and play cooperatively and take turns with others. Form positive attachments to adults and friendships with peers. Show sensitively to their own and to others needs.


Curricular goals:

Pre-school: Children are happy to be at school and can separate from their main carer. They have a developing sense of self and enjoy sharing their own interests and achievements with familiar adults. They are confident to explore their surroundings and ‘have a go’ at an increasing range of opportunities.
Nursery: Children are showing more awareness of others and are sensitive to the needs of other children. They have developed friendships and are more cooperative and inclusive in their play. Children are developing a sense of independence in their behaviour and can make choices about what they would like to do; sometimes planning ahead of time. Children are able to manage basic hygiene independently, including going to the toilet, changing clothes, and washing and drying hands.
Reception: Children have a clear sense of what is acceptable behaviour in a range of situations and manage their actions appropriately, adhering to and actively ‘living’ the school’s golden rules. They have good relationships with other children and support and encourage each other in their play. They are able to independently make choices and be leaders of their own learning, working alongside others cooperatively. They know some of the ways that people can be healthy such as good hygiene and healthy food choices.


Moving on to KS1 – Links to National Curriculum: PSHE, DT (Healthy schools)

By the end of EYFS children may know and sometimes use vocabulary such as:


Health & Well-being

Feelings (happy, sad, angry), clean, dirty, germs, healthy


like, don’t like, friend, same, different

Living in the wider world

Zebra crossing, stop, wait


Cooking and Nutrition

Healthy, unhealthy, fruit, vegetables