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Questions Units KUS

What are the key factors that can affect the way pupils learn? STLS 18 K5

Each child has a preferred style. Visual, (learning through looking and using visual memory
allows the child to recognise patterns and visualise past and present situations enabling
them to understand and operate effectively in the world around them, Auditory, (learning
through listening enables the child to discriminate the sounds they hear around them,
which supports them when building new concepts and expressing their needs and responses)
and Kinaesthetic, (young children who use active exploration to learn about their
surroundings and have hands on practical experiences in a stimulating and secure
environment). All children use these styles to some degree, but to allow them to become
effective learners, we must give them the opportunity to use their preferred approach,
thus increasing their motivation to participate.

Children learn effectively when they feel confident, have familiar resources, and are
comfortable with their peers and teachers. They should be challenged and respected as
learners and respond well to staff who are interested in them and engage them in a positive
manner. All learners need to be motivated and this begins with establishing a relationship
between teacher and learner based upon mutual trust, interest and respect.
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The materials and resources provided are important for learning because children like to
work with interesting and accessible materials. The availability of these may determine the
ways in which children are grouped or the type of teaching approach which is used.

It is important to provide a positive learning environment by minimising disruptions, having


suitable lighting, enough space for each child to work, and a safe, practical layout of
furniture. A learning environment can also be created outside, where to give children an
alternative space to learn. Many schools have recognised the importance of giving children
a balance of activities because they all benefit from changes of learning situation,
especially if they have been sitting for a long time.

Age affects children's learning because the younger a child is, the less knowledge they
have and any teaching of a Reception Class would involve a lot of practicing of basic skills
and learning through play, whereas a Year 4 children would already have acquired a vast
amount of knowledge and would be extending the skills they have already learned. A young
child could only sustain short burst of intensive learning, then they would start to get tired
and loose concentration, whereas a Year 4 child would be expected to concentrate for
longer periods of time.

When it comes to school and learning, the attitudes of teachers and families regarding
gender can influence the way girls and boys learn. Educational psychologists have found
fundamental differences in the factors motivating each gender. Researchers have
consistently found that "girls are more concerned than boys are with pleasing adults, such
as parents and teachers" Most boys, on the other hand, will be less motivated to study
unless the material itself interests them. It is important, therefore to motivate both
genders equally when it comes to their learning.
Culture is important to a child's cognitive development, as cultural beliefs guide and direct
learning behaviour. Each culture has different value systems and these guide the individual.
Different cultures also view concepts such as intelligence differently. Some cultures have
placed much relevance on the concept of IQ, whilst other cultures focus on the abilities to
perform certain skills that are necessary for family life and growth.

Children's cultural experiences can, therefore, have a huge effect on the way they learn
and the way that they respond to tasks. Culture and learning are connected in important
ways. Early life experiences and the values of a person's culture affect both the
expectations and the processes of learning. The relationship of the values of their culture,
and the learning expectations and experiences in the classroom is directly related to the
child's school success academically. For example, in some cultures, such characteristics as
morality, conscientiousness, or interpersonal skills may be more highly esteemed than
cognitive ability.

The stage of a child's social and emotional development is also a key factor in the way they
learn as this involves the acquisition of a set of skills such as the ability to identify and
understand ones own feelings, managing strong emotions and their expression in a
constructive manner, regulating their behavior,and establishing and sustaining relationships.
These all help the child to learn as they are able to concentrate, work in groups, develop
positive relationships with peers and staff, and control their behaviour accordingly.

Some children may have intellectual disabilities such as ADHD, autism or aspergers'
syndrome, which affects the way they learn. Others may have physical disabilties such as
poor pencil control, hearing problems, poor sight or delayed speech. All of these disabilties
affect learning and special measures can be put into place to help such children with their
learning eg one to one support, speech and language therapy, sitting the child at the front
of the class.

Having English as a second language (EAL) has a profound effect on how children learn.
When they are taught at school in a language they do not speak at home, it is inevitable
that they will face additional challenges in developing basic academic skills and in achieving
access to the full curriculum. EAL children may be at particular risk of having their
abilities underestimated. Such children will share the same diverse range of skills, abilities,
and personality traits as other children, but this may not be obvious to all staff who teach
them. The fact that the children may have a limited command of English could well
overshadow all else. Such children should not be treated as SEN, but should be given EAL
support eg visual aids and extra sessions to increase their vocabulary and understanding of
English.

Other factors which can affect children's learning can be: a lack of a healthy diet, poor
sleep, lack of resources at home, lack of parental support and persistent absence from
school.