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Characteristics of Effective Learning

Characteristics of Effective Learning are a key element of the Early Years Foundation Stage. Each child’s individual learning characteristics will determine the way in which they learn from the environment, experiences and activities. Underpinning the Characteristics of Effective Learning is the understanding that children form attitudes about learning which will last a life -time. 


The nursery is arranged to allow flexibility indoors and outdoors with space and accessible open- ended resources which allows children to explore, create, build and move freely along with quiet spaces for concentration and calm.  Children engage with other children, adults or sometimes play alone.  During these activities they learn from ‘first-hand’ experiences by actively ‘doing’.  Practitioners prepare and plan experiences to support individual children’s current interests, talents, learning styles and stages of development allowing the children to explore and ‘have a go’.


Children’s curiosity is aroused when they are intrinsically motivated and have a deep involvement to achieve.  

  • Being involved and concentrating describes the intensity of attention that arises when children concentrate on ideas and activities which interest them. Evidence shows that high levels of concentration and involvement lead to ‘deep level learning’.

  • Keeping on trying highlights the importance of persisting in the face of challenges or difficulties, thereby building up the disposition of resilience.

  • Enjoying achieving what they set out to do refers to the reward children feel when they meet their own goals and build on the intrinsic motivation which supports long-term success, rather than relying on the approval of others.



Allowing children the opportunity to find their way, develop their own ideas, make links between ideas and develop confidence and strategies to follow their ideas through offering the opportunity to think in a flexible and creative way. 


The interactions that children have with others, their environment, and the experiences they are involved in, allows them to actively think about the meaning of what they are doing and allows them to make sense of the world and develop concepts and knowledge for life- long learning.

Active Learning - motivation

Playing and Exploring-engaging

Creating and Thinking Critically - thinking

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