Characteristics of Effective Learning
Playing and exploring – engagement
Finding out and exploring
Playing with what they know
Being willing to ‘have a go’
Active learning – motivation
Being involved and concentrating
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
Creating and thinking critically – thinking
Having their own ideas
Choosing ways to do things
The Characteristics of Effective Learning are generic: they are about how every child learns. But, to support children’s learning and development effectively, we need to pay attention to the uniqueness of every child. The role of our practitioners:
• Talking with parents: supporting children’s learning and development starts with finding out about them from those who know them best, their parents, and working in close partnership with them.
• Ensuring inclusion means being aware of the different ways that children learn and ensuring that planning supports each unique child.
• Tuning in and following children’s interests is essential if practitioners are to meet the learning and development needs of every child. This means observing and listening first, so that you can tailor your input to what the child is focusing on.
• Building confidence and a can-do attitude: being positive, providing emotional support, encouraging children to have a go.
• Encouraging the children to make their own choices as well as decisions on how they may want to do things.
• Taking care with how you praise is important in helping children to develop a growth mindset. Talk with them about the strategies they are using as they attempt new challenges and solve problems. Give praise for trying, not for ‘being clever’.
• Providing a stimulating environment, inside and outside, not only responds to children’s interests, but also provokes new ones.
• Motivate and challenge children’s thinking, with opportunities for them to explore, investigate and solve problems, and plenty to fire the imagination, with and without adult support. A child who is not given the opportunity to play, explore and investigate is far less likely to be a resilient, creative learner willing to have a go, persist or think critically.
• Allow time for children to think and reflect.
• Remember that play and exploration are fundamental to learning and thinking.