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Pinxton Nursery School

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Characteristics of Effective Learning

The Characteristics of Effective Learning and the Prime and Specific Areas of Learning and Development are all inter-connected.


Different elements of learning are identified in the EYFS, to make the complex picture of learning clearer. But children use many or all of these elements  at the same time as they interact with people and things. The Characteristics of Effective Learning describe behaviours children use in order to learn. To learn well, children must approach opportunities with curiosity, energy and enthusiasm. Effective learning must be meaningful to a child, so that they are able to use what they have learned and apply it in new situations. These abilities and attitudes of strong learners will support them to learn well and make good progress in all the Areas of Learning and Development.


Playing and Exploring


  • Finding out and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to ‘have a go’


At Pinxton Nursery School this is encouraged through use of role play and small world play, enabling children to take ideas from theri own experiences and learn through them. Children have access to continuous provision throughout their time at Nursery, and are always encouraged to explore. 


Active Learning


  • Being involved and concentrating
  • Keep trying
  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do


We use the Ferre Laevers emotional well being and involvement scales in order to judge how active the children are in their learning, and this enables us to put in place any support needed to allow all of our children to be active learners. We celebrate perseverance as well as the end result


Creative and Critical Thinking


  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Working with ideas


Children are encouraged to problem solve within the environment, with lots of open ended opportunities. We also talk about the children's previous experiences and encourage them to make links. 

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