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Characteristics of Effective Learning

In planning and guiding activities, we reflect on the different ways that children learn. 

Playing and exploring

We have a play-based curriculum where children are provided with opportunities to; find out their own interests, explore and try things out, make their own choices and decisions, play collaboratively with peers and adults, develop a 'can-do' attitude to learning and use what they know and experiment through play. We have stimulating resources which are accessible, open ended and can be used and combined in a variety of ways and are relevant to the children’s interests. We have space indoors and outdoors where children are given challenges that are appropriate to the development of the individual child.

 Active learning

Children are provided with opportunities for self-chosen and self-directed play. We get to know our children well and observe and reflect on a daily basis, both formally and informally, on what rouses the children’s curiosity, looking for signs of deep involvement. Therefore we can provide activities and experiences that are related to their interests and areas of enthusiasm.  We ensure children are given the time and freedom to become deeply involved in activities. Children are given verbal and emotional support to help them to persist and keep trying in order to achieve their aims. We give positive feedback to behaviour that shows children’s learning processes – such as concentrating, trying different approaches, persisting and having new ideas.

Creating and thinking critically

We establish boundaries in space, time, resources, choice and supportive relationships that children can explore within. We support children’s interests over time, remind them of previous approaches and encourage them to make connections between their experiences. We build in opportunities for children to play and explore with ideas and resources before or after a planned task. Adults also try to be sensitive conversational partners and co-thinkers to children’s problems, showing and talking about strategies and sometimes modelling the creative process. Children are encouraged to learn together and from each other. We try to foster a learning community which focuses on how, and not just what, we are learning.

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