Characteristics of Learning

 

The four principles of the EYFS

'Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five have a major impact on their future life chances.' (Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage, 2012).

There are four guiding principles which shape our practice:

 

A unique child: Every child is a unique child, who is constantly learning and can be resilient, capable, confident and selfassured.

Positive relationships: Children learn to be strong and independent through positive relationships.

Enabling environments: Children learn and develop well in enabling environments, in which their experiences respond to their individual needs and there is a strong partnership between practitioners and parents and/or carers.

Learning and Development: Children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. The framework covers the education and care of all children in early years provision, including children with special educational needs and disabilities.

 

Characteristics of Effective Learning:

‘The ways in which the child engages with other people and the environment—playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically—underpin learning and development across all areas and support the child to remain an effective and motivated learner.'

 

Playing and Exploring (Engagement)

This characteristic of effective learning involves:

  • Finding out and exploring
  • Showing curiosity
  • Using senses to explore
  • Engaging in open ended activities
  • Showing particular interests
  • Playing with what they know
  • Pretending with objects
  • Representing experiences
  • Role play
  • Acting out experiences
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’
  • Initiating activities
  • Seeking challenge
  • Showing a ‘can do’ attitude
  • Taking risks

Active Learning (Motivation)

This characteristic of effective learning involves:

  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Maintaining focus for a period of time
  • Showing high levels of energy or fascination
  • Paying attention to details
  • Keeping on trying
  • Persisting with challenges
  • Showing belief that a more effort or a different approach will help
  • Bouncing back after difficulties
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
  • Showing satisfaction
  • Being proud of their effort, not just the result
  • Enjoying challenge for its’ own sake, not for extrinsic rewards

Creating and Thinking Critically

This characteristic of effective learning involves:

  • Having their own ideas
  • Thinking of ideas
  • Finding ways to solve problems
  • Finding new ways to do things
  • Making links
  • Noticing patterns in their experience
  • Making predictions
  • Testing their ideas
  • Developing ideas of cause and effect
  • Choosing ways to do things
  • Planning, making decisions, solving problems and reaching a goal
  • Checking how well their activity is going
  • Changing strategy when needed
  • Reviewing how well their approach has gone

Characteristics of Effective Learning: Process over Outcome gives you prompts as to how to identify whether your child is demonstrating skills within each characteristic.