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Areas of Learning and Characteristics of Effective Learning

In the Nursery and Reception (EYFS) your child will be learning skills, acquiring new knowledge and demonstrating their understanding through 7 areas of learning and development.


In Nursery we focus on the 3 prime areas first.


These are:

  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Personal, social and emotional development.


The prime areas will then help to develop skills in 4 specific areas.


These are:

  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding the world
  • Expressive arts and design


These 7 areas are used to plan your child's learning and activities. In Nursery the activities are suited to your child's unique needs and help them to develop in all areas of learning. Children in the EYFS learn by playing and exploring, being active and through creative and critical thinking which takes place indoors and outside.


Characteristics of effective learning


Characteristics of effective learning describe the behaviours that children use in order to learn. Children who are happy, curious, enthusiastic and motivated will approach learning opportunities with confidence and energy. These characteristics of effective learning move through all of the areas of learning.


There are 3 characteristics of effective leaning:


Playing and exploring - engagement

  • Finding and exploring
  • Playing with what they know
  • Being willing to 'have a go'


Active Learning - motivation

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


Creating and thinking critically - thinking

  • Having their own ideas
  • Making links
  • Choosing ways to do things.

Most of the learning in the Nursery is ‘In the moment’, capturing the children when they are at their most engaged, motivated and interested.


At St Katherine's we follow the EYFS 2021 framework to support all young children’s learning and development.


Tell me and I forget.

Teach me and I remember.

Involve me and I learn.


Benjamin Franklin