Education Matters

Essential milestones for early learning

Posted by Trinity Grammar School on Feb 21, 2019 6:00:00 AM

Essential milestones for early learningA boy’s early learning years are a time of rapid development as he becomes inquisitive about the world around him, acquires new skills, and starts to explore his independence. It’s an exciting time, as he quickly develops and grows into a young boy. Development is the term used to describe the changes in a boy’s physical growth, as well as his ability to learn the social, emotional, behavioural, thinking and communication skills for life. We’ve put together a list of essential milestones for early learning:

1. Physical milestones
This refers to a boy’s physical health, including his gross and fine motor skills. Gross motor skills involve the movement and coordination of the arms, legs and other large body parts. These are usually the first to develop. Fine motor skills, on the other hand, involve more precise movements and include the smaller muscles of the body, such as the wrist, fingers, feet and toes.

Essential milestones for gross motor skills from age three or four include climbing, running and jumping, whereas milestones for fine motor skills include stacking blocks, drawing shapes, holding a pen, and picking up small objects.

2. Cognitive milestones
These milestones reflect a child’s ability to think, learn and solve problems. These skills are involved in the processes we use when we try to make sense of a situation or experience, and include problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, reasoning, evaluation, memory and organisation. An example of a cognitive milestone is when a three or four year-old learns the alphabet or can put together a simple puzzle.

3. Social and emotional milestones
A boy’s social and emotional development centres on him gaining a better understanding of his emotions and the emotions of others. These milestones highlight a boy’s ability to interact socially, which is indicated by the ability to maintain eye contact, be engaged, regulate and recognise his emotions, share, take turns and follow rules. Children are programmed to copy what they see other people do. From an early age, they observe, mimic and extend things they see, then look for a response and re-evaluate their actions. Children who are limited in their ability to ‘copy’ or who are not interested in the perspective of others, tend to learn on their own agenda often acquiring skills at a slower pace.

4. Communication milestones
Communication milestones can be broken down into a child’s grasp of expressive language (production of words and sentences), receptive language (understanding of sentences) and non-verbal communication. This focuses on how well a child can communicate and comprehend language, which includes their ability to listen, read, write and speak. A three-year old should be stringing three or four words together to make simple sentences, while a five-year-old should be aware of the basic rules of grammar.

Throughout a child’s growth, it is important to remember that children develop at different rates. Parents must understand that each child is unique – one that progresses quickly in his physical skills may find it more challenging to learn to communicate and vice versa. For a more extensive guide of developmental milestones, you may find this list put together by Community Early Learning Australia useful.

If you are considering a private education for your son, the article Why a private education matters in the early years, may offer some insights to help in the decision-making process. Pre-Kindergarten at Trinity is a unique educational choice that makes a positive difference. Trinity boys transition into their Kindergarten year with the confidence, knowledge and understanding that only Pre-Kindergarten can provide.

At Trinity Grammar School, we recognise that a great start to a boy’s learning journey can make all the difference to his academic success. Pre-Kindergarten at Trinity is a specialised option for boys that may not be quite ready for Kindergarten.

To find out why we are one of Sydney’s leading schools for boys and to learn more about our Pre-Kindergarten programme, download our Pre-Kindergarten prospectus.

Trinity pre-kindergarten prospectus download

Topics: Early years, Early learning, Education