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Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools NVQ Level 3

STL18 Support pupilsâ learning activities

K5 The key factors that can affect the way pupils learn including age, gender,
and physical, intellectual, linguistic, social, cultural and emotional developm
Each child has a preferred style. Visual, (learning through looking and using vi
sual memory allows the child to recognise patterns and visualise past and presen
t situations enabling them to understand and operate effectively in the world ar
ound them, Auditory, (learning through listening enables the child to discrimin
ate the sounds they hear around them, which supports them when building new conc
epts and expressing their needs and responses) and Kinaesthetic, (young childr
en who use active exploration to learn about their surroundings and have hands o
n 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 increas
ing their motivation to participate.
Children learn effectively when they feel confident, have familiar resources, an
d 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 e
ngage them in a positive manner. All learners need to be motivated and this begi
ns with establishing a relationship between teacher and learner based upon mutua
l trust, interest and respect.
The materials and resources provided are important for learning because children
like to work with interesting and accessible materials. The availability of the
se 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 disrupt
ions, having suitable lighting, enough space for each child to work, and a safe,
practical layout of furniture. A learning environment can also be created outs
ide, where to give children an alternative space to learn. Many schools have re
cognised the importance of giving children a balance of activities because they
all benefit from changes of learning situation, especially if they have been sit
ting for a long time.
Age affects children's learning because the younger a child is, the less knowled
ge they have and any teaching of a Reception Class would involve a lot of pract
icing 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 ski
lls 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 ti
When it comes to school and learning, the attitudes of teachers and families reg
arding gender can influence the way girls and boys learn. Educational psychologi
sts have found fundamental differences in the factors motivating each gender. Re
searchers have consistently found that "girls are more concerned than boys are w
ith 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
Culture is important to a child's cognitive development, as cultural beliefs gui
de and direct learning behaviour. Each culture has different value systems and t
hese guide the individual. Different cultures also view concepts such as intelli
gence differently. Some cultures have placed much relevance on the concept of IQ
, whilst other cultures focus on the abilities to perform certain skills that ar
e necessary for family life and growth.
Children's cultural experiences can, therefore, have a huge effect on the way th
ey learn and the way that they respond to tasks. Culture and learning are conne
cted in important ways. Early life experiences and the values of a person's cult
ure affect both the expectations and the processes of learning. The relationshi
p 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, conscientiousn
ess, 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 t
he ability to identify and understand oneâ s own feelings, managing strong emotions
and their expression in a constructive manner, regulating their behavior,and es
tablishing and sustaining relationships. These all help the child to learn as t
hey 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 asperge
rs' syndrome, which affects the way they learn. Others may have physical disabi
lties such as poor pencil control, hearing problems, poor sight or delayed speec
h. All of these disabilties affect learning and special measures can be put int
o 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 a
cademic skills and in achieving access to the full curriculum. EAL children may
be at particular risk of having their abilities underestimated. Such children w
ill 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 fa
ct 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 under
standing of English.
Other factors which can affect children's learning can be: a lack of a healthy d
iet, poor sleep, lack of resources at home, lack of parental support and persist
ent absence from school.