The characteristics of effective learning are factors which play a central role in a child becoming an effective learner. The characteristics of learning run through and underpin all areas of learning and development; they are processes rather than outcomes. Information describing these characteristics are vital elements which support the transition process from Reception into Year 1, and will provide Year 1 teachers with vital background and context when considering the child’s next stage of development and future learning needs.
1. Playing and exploring - engagement
- 'Finding out and exploring' is concerned with the child’s open-ended hands-on experiences which result from innate curiosity and provide raw sensory material from which the child builds concepts, tests ideas and finds out.
- 'Using what they know in their play' describes how children use play to bring together their current understanding, combining, refining and exploring their ideas in imaginative ways. Representing experiences through imaginative play supports the development of narrative thought, the ability to see from other perspectives, and symbolic thinking.
- 'Being willing to have a go' refers to the child finding an interest, initiating activities, seeking challenge, having a ‘can do’ approach, being willing to take a risk in new experiences, and developing the view that failure opens up opportunities to learn.
2. Active learning - motivation
- 'Being involved and concentrating' describes the intensity of attention that arises from children concentrating on following a line of interest in their activities.
- 'Keeping on trying' refers to the importance of persistence even in the face of challenge or difficulties an element of purposeful control which supports resilience.
- 'Enjoying achieving what they set out to do' refers to the reward of meeting one’s own goals, building on the intrinsic motivation which supports long-term success, rather than relying on the approval of others.
3. Creating and thinking critically - thinking
- 'Having their own ideas' covers the critical area of creativity - generating new ideas and approaches in all areas of endeavour. Being inventive allows children to find new problems as they seek challenge, and to explore ways of solving these.
- 'Using what they already know to learn new things' refers to the way in which children develop and link concepts, find meaning in sequence, cause and effect and in the intentions of others through both narrative and scientific modes of thought.
- 'Choosing ways to do things and finding new ways' involves approaching goal-directed activity in organised ways making choices and decisions about how to approach tasks