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Personal, Social and Emotional Development

Personal, Social and Emotional Development

EYFS Statutory Educational Programme

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.


The 'checkpoints' for 3-4 year olds (pre-school year) are as follows;


Around the age of 3

  • Can the child sometimes manage to share or take turns with others, with adult guidance and understanding ‘yours’ and ‘mine’?
  • Can the child settle to some activities for a while?

Around the age of 4

  • Does the child play alongside others or do they always want to play alone?
  • Does the child take part in pretend play (for example, being ‘mummy’ or ‘daddy’?)
  • Does the child take part in other pretend play with different roles – being the Gruffalo, for example?
  • Can the child generally negotiate solutions to conflicts in their play?


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.