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EYFS in Art

The EYFS framework is structured very differently to the national curriculum as it is organised across seven areas of learning rather than subject areas. The aim of this document is to help subject leaders to understand how the skills taught across EYFS feed into national curriculum subjects.

This document demonstrates which statements from the 2020 Development Matters are prerequisite skills for art within the national curriculum. The table below outlines the most relevant statements taken from the Early Learning Goals in the EYFS statutory framework and the Development Matters age ranges for Three and Four-Year-Olds and Reception to match the programme of study for art.


The most relevant statements for art are taken from the following areas of learning:

  • Physical Development
  • Expressive Arts and Design






Physical Development

  • Develop their small motor skills so that they can use a range of

tools competently, safely and confidently.

  • Use their core muscle strength to achieve a good posture

when sitting at a table or sitting on the floor.

  • Develop overall body-strength, balance, coordination and agility.

Expressive Arts and Design

  • Explore, use and refine a variety of artistic effects to express

their ideas and feelings.

  • Return to and build on their previous learning, refining ideas

and developing their ability to represent them.

  • Create collaboratively, sharing ideas, resources and skills.


Physical Development


Motor Skills

  • Hold a pencil effectively in preparation for fluent writing - using

the tripod grip in almost all cases.

  • Use a range of small tools, including scissors, paintbrushes and cutlery.
  • Begin to show accuracy and care when drawing.


Arts and Design


with Materials

  • Safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.
  • Share their creations, explaining the process they have used.