How We Learn

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Characteristics of Effective Learning

What are they?
• Playing and Exploring – Active Learning – Creative and Critically Thinking
They are the different ways in which children learn and engage with other people and their environment.
What do they mean?
• Playing and Exploring Children investigate and experience things and have a go
• Active Learning - Children concentrate and keep on trying even if they encounter difficulties and they enjoy achievements
• Creating and Critically Thinking - Children have and develop their own ideas and make links between ideas and develop strategies for doing things

What does the characteristics of effective learning look like in practice?

• Adults provide a wide range of stimulating resources which are accessible, open-ended and relevant to children’s interests.
• There is flexible space indoors and outside for children to explore and move around.
• Adults join in play sensitively, fitting in with children’s existing play ideas.
• Children have uninterrupted time to play and explore.
• Adults provide additional prop to extend children’s imagination and creativity.
• Adults only intervene in children’s play to support, stimulate or extend children’s learning when needed.

• Adults observe and reflect on what arouses children’s curiosity and interests.
• Children have opportunities to exercise choice over their activities – setting their own goals and methods.
• Adults ensure children have time and freedom to become deeply involved in activities.
• Adults provide stimulating resources and experiences related to children’s current interests to encourage involvement.
• Adults observe children and note signs of deep involvement and sustained concentration. (the ability to stay focused long enough to complete the task).
• Adults recognise and praise children’s successes.

• Adults show and talk about strategies – how to do things, including problem solving.
• Children are encouraged to learn together and from each other
• Adults need to focus on how, and not just what we are learning.

As part of the daily routine practitioners ensure that:-
• There is sufficient time for children to create their own play and explore their own ideas.
• Children play and their thought processes are not interrupted.
• Time is allowed for children’s play and creativity to reach it’s own conclusions
• Children have the time and necessary resources to solve their own problems.
• Children have opportunities to explore different ways of doing things and find alternative uses for objects.

The environment - practitioners ensure that:-
• A wide range of resources are readily accessible and visible to children.
• Practitioners allow children to move resources freely around to support their play and ideas.
• Play and learning consistently takes place in all areas, including outdoors
• Practitioners observe and support children’s play without inhibiting learning and creativity.
• Open-ended resources are provided which have no intended outcome of use.

Contact Ark Day Nursery in Nottingham on 0115 822 6973 to find out more - we look forward to speaking with you soon.
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