EYFS Characteristics of Effective Learning | Registered Childminding
Home » Childcare & Education

EYFS Characteristics of Effective Learning

Updated by on September 9, 2012No Comments

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) sets out three characteristics of effective learning: playing and exploring, active learning, and creating and thinking critically. This article explores the characteristics, why they are important, what they mean in practice and how you may already be incorporating them.

Playing and Exploring

Children can learn many essential life skills through play. During play children can investigate how and why things work (UW), develop fine and gross motor skills and hand-eye coordination (PD), learn how to interact with peers and adults, how to choose friends and practice social skills (PSE) chat and discuss what they are doing practicing communication skills (CL), become creative and develop their imagination (AD) and learn new skills. By learning through discovery children develop belief in their skills and abilities.

Children can represent their experiences through play and rehearse what they will be able to do without adult help later on. Play brings together ideas, feelings, relationships and the physical life of a child. Children who are encouraged to express themselves freely through play are likely to be more able to adapt and learn new skills in a school environment.

For effective learning to take place provide children with space inside and out, allowing the play to reflect their interests and preoccupations. Provide plenty of time for finding out and exploring, playing with what they already know and extending the possibilities through adding to the resources, for example, in water play if they like floating things add something that sinks.

Active Learning

Active learning often occurs naturally during exploratory play. For example, where children are concentrating on something and keep trying until they succeed in their attempts. This might be something as simple as threading beads on a string or more complex such as assembling a construction toy with bolts and a spanner.

Active learning is a ‘hands on’ approach where children are able to learn through discovery. This needs time for them to become involved and concentrate enabling them to keep trying, enjoying the achievement of their own success.

Sometimes all a childminder needs to do, having provided suitable resources, is to offer encouragement to prevent frustration and encourage the concentration and repeated efforts. For example, by rotating a jigsaw piece or drawing attention to where additional useful resources can be found.

Creativity and Critical Thinking

Creativity and critical thinking is linked to active learning and can occur where children are able and have time to develop their own ideas. To enable this, while an activity may be adult initiated, it should be child led. This helps them be able to make links between their different ideas. For example, this is often observed in schemas. Such as when children experiment with a theme like rotation. They might rotate themselves, whisk their milk with a straw and spin wheels linking how things move in circles or spirals. They might use their findings creatively in other situations using them as strategies for solving problems. For example, the way a ball on elastic spins round a pole could be used to draw circles using a pin and string on paper demonstrating both creativity and critical thinking.

Enter your email address to receive a monthly update with articles and news to help you run your childminding business:

Leave a comment!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.