Arundel CofE Primary School

Characteristics of Learning


Playing and Exploring



Active Learning


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