EYFS SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural)

The seven areas of Learning and Development together make up the skills, knowledge and experiences appropriate for babies and children as they grow, learn and develop.

Although presented as separate areas, it is important to remember that for children everything links and nothing is compartmentalised. The challenge for practitioners is to ensure that children’s learning and development occur as an outcome of their individual interests and abilities and that planning for learning and development takes account of these.


This table is offered as a starting point for considering how children’s spiritual (moral, social and cultural) development can be enhanced and their love of learning fostered.

Some areas more readily link with particular capacities than do others. The line of reasoning here is that by focusing on encouraging children’s sensitivity and awareness (of self and others) their personal, social and emotional development is improved. Through developing skills of reflecting on experience their knowledge and understanding of the world is more relevant.

In the Early Years Foundation Stage, as when children are older, their academic development is improved when their personal development (including the spiritual, moral, social and cultural dimensions) is addressed.


The seven areas of Learning and Development
Area of learning
* denotes prime area

What it focuses on

Spiritual capacities: e.g.
Expressive arts and design
being creative — responding to experiences,
expressing and communicating ideas
exploring media and materials creating
music and dance developing imagination and
imaginative play
Self-awareness, self-knowledge and
self-esteem; Inner strength and
resilience, Reflection on experience;
Ideas and aspirations; Sensitivity and

* Communication and
language for communication
language for thinking
Reflection on experience; Ideas and
aspirations; self-awareness, self-knowledge
and self-esteem
Understanding of the
exploration and investigation, designing and making, ICT, time, place, communities
Seeking and striving; Reflection
on experience; Sensitivity and
responsiveness; Self-awareness,
self-knowledge and self-esteem; Love and
* Personal, social
and emotional
dispositions and attitudes
self-confidence and self-esteem
making relationships
behaviour and self-control
sense of community
Self-awareness, self-knowledge and
self-esteem; Sensitivity and awareness, Love and relationships; Ideas and aspirations, Reflection on experience
* Physical development movement and space
health and bodily awareness using equipment
and materials
Self-awareness, self-knowledge and
self-esteem; Inner strength and
resilience; Seeking and striving
Mathematics counting, understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, describe shapes, spaces, and measures.
Ideas and aspirations; inner strength
and resilience
Literacy linking sounds and letters, reading (books, poems & other written materials), writing
Sensitivity and responsiveness, Self-confidence and self-esteem, Reflection on experience











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