Learning Areas and Learning Goals

The key stage outcomes of pre-school education emphasise the need for children to build up confidence and social skills and be equipped with the necessary knowledge, skills and dispositions for life-long learning

Learning Areas

Pre-school curriculum should be planned carefully for the holistic development of children. The following six learning areas have been identified for this purpose:

  • Aesthetics and Creative Expression
  • Discovery of the World
  • Language and Literacy
  • Motor Skills Development
  • Numeracy
  • Social and Emotional Development

All the areas of learning and development are inter-related; development in one area influences and is influenced by the development in other areas. They cannot be separated from each other in reality. An integrated approach to learning helps children draw meaningful connections across the different learning areas and understand how knowledge and skills are linked.

nel framework


Learning Goals

A set of learning goals for each learning area has been defined and these learning goals reflect widely-held expectations about what children should know and be able to do upon completion of Kindergarten 2. Some children will have exceeded the expectations at the end of kindergarten. Others, depending on their developmental needs, will continue to work towards some of these goals.

Learning Area Learning Goals

At the end of K2, children should be able to…
Aesthetics and Creative Expression
  • Enjoy art and music and movement activities
  • Express ideas and feelings through art and music and movement
  • Create art and music and movement using experimentation and imagination
  • Share ideas and feelings about art and music and movement
Discovery of the World
  • Show an interest in the world they live in
  • Find out why things happen and how things work through simple investigations
  • Develop a positive attitude towards the world around them
Language and Literacy

For English Language:

  • Listen for information and enjoyment
    • Enjoy listening to stories, rhymes and poems
    • Understand and follow one- to two-step verbal instructions

  • Speak to convey meaning and communicate with others
    • Express personal needs and wants
    • Talk about personal experiences with others
    • Ask simple questions
    • Respond appropriately to ‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘where’ questions

  • Read with understanding and for enjoyment
    • Have print and book awareness
    • Recognise upper and lower case letters of the alphabet
    • Recognise beginning and ending sounds in words
    • Recognise familiar/sight/high frequency words
    • Show understanding of the story/rhyme/poem by responding to questions and talking about the characters and events

  • Use drawing, mark making, symbols and writing with invented and conventional spelling to communicate ideas and information
    • Recognise and write their own name
    • Form upper and lower case letters of the alphabet
    • Copy words and phrases with understanding of basic writing conventions (e.g. word spacing, appropriate use of upper and lower case letters)

For Mother Tongue Languages:

  • Have an interest in learning Mother Tongue Language
    • Actively participate in Mother Tongue Language activities
    • Enjoy Mother Tongue Language activities

  • Develop foundational language and literacy skills
    • Listen with understanding
    • Speak to convey meaning
    • Recognise words and read with assistance
    • Make marks, draw symbols and write letters/characters to represent ideas

  • Be aware of the local ethnic culture
    • Be aware of customs and traditions
    • Interact with friends, family and the community

Motor Skills Development
  • Enjoy through participation in a variety of physical activities
  • Demonstrate control, coordination and balance in gross motor tasks
  • Demonstrate control and coordination in fine motor tasks
  • Develop healthy habits and safety awareness at home, in school and at public places
Numeracy
  • Recognise and use simple relationships and patterns
    • Match, sort and compare things by one attribute (i.e. according to colour, shape or size)
    • Put things in an order according to size or length and sequence events
    • Recognise, extend and create simple patterns (i.e. AB patterns)

  • Use numbers in daily experiences
    • Rote count to at least 10
    • Count reliably up to 10 things
    • Compare the quantities of two sets of things and use ‘more’, ‘less/few’ and ‘same as’ appropriately
    • Match number name/numeral/number word to the quantity of a set of things (within 10)
    • Recognise that the quantity if a set of things is the ‘same’ irrespective of the starting point of counting
    • Recognise that the quantity of a set of things stays the same regardless of the arrangement
    • Recognise numbers (1 to 10) in numerals and in words
    • Form numbers (1 to 10) in numerals
    • Name parts that form the whole in quantity (e.g. 2 and 3 makes 5)

  • Recognise and use basic shapes and simple spatial concepts in daily experiences
    • Recognise the four basic shapes (i.e. circle, square, rectangle and triangle)
    • Use the basic shapes to form other figures (e.g. use two squares and a triangle to form a boat)
    • Name position (i.e. top/bottom, in front of/behind), direction (i.e. up/down, left/right) and distance (i.e. far/near)
Social and Emotional Development
  • Develop an awareness of personal identity
  • Manage their own emotions and behaviours
  • Show respect for diversity
  • Communicate, interact and build relationships with others
  • Take responsibility for their actions

The learning goals have been translated into knowledge, skills and dispositions to guide teachers in designing and providing meaningful experiences for children in each learning area.

Find out more about the learning goals and key knowledge, skills and dispositions in the NEL Framework. More information about the learning goals and key knowledge, skills and dispositions for Mother Tongue Languages is available in the NEL Framework for Mother Tongue Languages.