Characteristics of Learning
Playing and Exploring
Creating and thinking critically
Finding out and exploring
· What areas / activities are they drawn to?
· Do they prefer to work in a group / alone?
· Do they initiate activities themselves or join in an existing one with a group?
· Do they think aloud describing what they do?
Being involved and concentrating
· Do the children keep focused on a self-initiated activity for a long period of time?
· Are they concentrating and involved in the activity without being distracted?
· Do they show care with what they’re doing?
· Do they demonstrate concentration through silence or thinking aloud?
Having their own ideas
· Do they try something different rather than follow what someone else has done?
· Do they address a problem with a strategy?
· Retaining independence – not asking for support even if it takes longer to achieve the outcome
Using what they know in their play
· In play do they draw on experiences from home / outside school?
· Do they act out situations in the role play area?
· Are they confident in finding tools, materials and resources they need for a particular project or idea?
Keeping on trying
· Do children show persistence – not giving up even if it means starting again?
· Do they ask for help / support if they need it?
· Do they discuss solutions for challenges with peers / adults or work things through themselves?
Using what they already know to learn new things
· Do they understand patterns and predictability of events?
· Talks about / explains how their process links to a previous experience
· Do they draw upon knowledge or experiences not immediately related to their activity?
Being willing to have a go
· Levels of persistence – do they give up at first hurdle or keep trying?
· Are they eager to try new ideas or do they stay with what they are familiar with?
· Are they able to talk about / review what they’ve done if things haven’t worked?
· Do they work best with continual support or prefer to get on with activities themselves?
Enjoying achieving what they set out to do
· Is there a sense of satisfaction and pride when they have completed an activity; do they want to show / tell people?
· Do they relish challenges and continually try to make things better?
· Do they evaluate themselves and try different things as a result?
· Are they ‘intrinsically motivated’- achieving things for themselves as opposed to adult praise?
Choosing ways to do things and finding new ways
· Are they confident in using a ‘trial; and error’ approach and talking about why some things do / don’t work
· Choosing different ways of approaching activities and adapting if it doesn’t work