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Learning – Children are confident and involved learners

Introduction to this Outcome

Children learn in the context of their families and communities. From birth to eight years children continue to establish learning dispositions and patterns of engagement with others that have a profound influence on their learning, behaviour, motivation and capacity for being confident and involved life-long learners.

Responsive learning relationships with all children support them to learn successfully. They are encouraged to be curious and enthusiastic about their learning.

Children are active learners exploring the world through touch, sight, sound, taste, smell and movement. The child’s brain develops rapidly through physical explorations and their active engagement with others who speak and respond to their interests. From birth, with the warmth and support of others around them, children experience and come to realise that learning is exploratory and it can be fun and rewarding. Periods of uninterrupted play give children time to invent, investigate and discover, using a rich variety of open- ended materials and resources. Time in the natural world builds confidence and supports discovery.

Young children begin to develop explanations for observed phenomena, and consider what they can learn from experiences. With encouragement, guidance, experience and learning, children further develop the capacity to reflect on their own thinking processes and approaches to learning. This is fundamental to maintaining positive learning and development trajectories.

Children who are confident and involved learners have positive dispositions toward learning, experience challenge and success in their learning and are able to contribute positively and effectively to other children’s learning.

They are motivated and resourceful in approaching new learning or taking part in new challenges. They develop and use their imagination and curiosity as they build a ‘tool kit’ of skills and processes to support problem solving, hypothesising, experimenting, researching, and investigating activity. Metacognition begins to develop as young children begin to ‘think aloud’ and discuss learning in ways that help to deepen their knowledge of information and processes. They negotiate and set achievable goals, seek to understand and can predict outcomes. With encouragement children become comfortable with taking risks. They know that failure is a valuable part of learning, are able to learn from mistakes to enhance future success, and they become more skilled at seeking help when they need it.

The ability of very young children to understand what is said to them exceeds their ability to express themselves using language. Young children learn from watching and listening, and new skills and understanding can emerge as a result of demonstration and modelling by others.

Children’s involvement in learning changes what they know, what they can do, what they value, and transforms their learning. When provided with many opportunities and a rich supply of natural and manufactured materials and tools, children create, build, sculpt, draw, paint and construct, and they enjoy taking part in sustained shared conversations focused on their interests.

When young children are supported to be relaxed and involved, they express wonder and interest in their environment. As they grow, so does their sense of inquiry and thirst for knowledge. From the earliest months of life, children learn critical patterns within events and routine care procedures. Supporting this learning by making sequences and procedures clear and predictable helps children to build their capacity and to function in the world. Children grow in confidence as they learn task- procedures, exercise imagination and help to solve problems, and they learn to stay alert and involved.

As children learn and develop they expand their scientific thinking skills. When given opportunities to generate questions about situations and phenomena, make predictions, carry out systematic courses of action and evaluate results they build further on their skills and knowledge. From birth, children are highly engaged with their environment, and this is the basis for important concept development.

Children learn with their peers, sharing their feelings and thoughts about learning with others. They begin to understand that listening to the responses of others can help them understand and make new meaning of experiences. Children teach others and broaden their learning about the world through connecting with people, places, technologies and natural materials. They manipulate objects to investigate, assemble, invent and construct, and they use their own and others’ feedback to revise and build on an idea.

Children benefit from many opportunities to generate and discuss ideas, make plans, exercise skills, brainstorm solutions to problems, reflect and give reasons for their choices. They investigate what products and systems can do, and how they work. Increasingly, they begin to use information and communication technologies to assist their thinking and to represent what they know and understand.


VEYLDF Victorian Curriculum: Levels F – 2
Children develop dispositions for learning such as curiosity, cooperation, confidence, creativity, commitment, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination and reflexivity

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • express wonder and interest in their environments
  • are curious and enthusiastic participants in their learning
  • use play to investigate, imagine and explore ideas
  • follow and extend their own interests with enthusiasm, energy and concentration
  • initiate and contribute to play experiences emerging from their own ideas
  • participate in a variety of rich and meaningful inquiry-based experiences
  • persevere and experience the satisfaction of achievement
  • persist even when they find a task difficult.

This develops, for example, when students:

Consider ways to express and describe thinking activity, including the expression of feelings about learning, both to others and self. Critical and Creative Thinking: Meta-Cognition (F–L2)

Use imagination and experimentation to explore musical ideas using voice, movement, instruments and body percussion. Music: Explore and Express Ideas (L1–L2)

Create short imaginative and informative texts that show emerging use of appropriate text structure, sentence-level grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation and appropriate multimodal elements. English: Literacy (L1)

Visualise, generate, and communicate design ideas through describing, drawing and modelling. Design and Technologies: Creating Designed Solutions (F–L2)

Organise answers to yes/no questions into simple data displays using objects and drawings. Mathematics: Statistics and Probability (F)

Apply repetition in arithmetic operations, including multiplication as repeated addition and division as repeated subtraction. Mathematics: Number and Algebra (L2)

Experiment with ideas and develop characters and settings through stories using images, sounds and text. Media Arts: Explore and Represent Ideas (L1–L2)

Children develop a range of skills and processes such as problem solving, inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising, researching and investigating

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • apply a wide variety of thinking strategies to engage with situations and solve problems, and adapt these strategies to new situations
  • create and use representation to organise, record and communicate mathematical ideas and concepts
  • make predictions and generalisations about their daily activities, aspects of the natural world and environments, using patterns they generate or identify, and communicate these using mathematical language and symbols
  • explore their environment
  • manipulate objects and experiment with cause and effect, trial and error, and motion
  • contribute constructively to mathematical discussions and arguments
  • use reflective thinking to consider why things happen and what can be learnt from these experiences.

This develops, for example, when students:

Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications, and copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings. Mathematics: Number and Algebra (F)

Connect number names, numerals and quantities, including zero, initially up to 10 and then beyond. Mathematics: Number and Algebra (F)

Use direct and indirect comparisons to decide which is longer, heavier or holds more, and explain reasoning in everyday language. Mathematics: Measurement and Geometry (F)

Tell time to the half-hour. Mathematics: Measurement and Geometry (L1)

Recognise the importance of repetition of a process in solving problems. Mathematics: Number and Algebra (L1)

Recognise and interpret common uses of halves, quarters and eighths of shapes and collections. Mathematics: Number and Algebra (L2)

Group, partition and rearrange collections up to 1000 in hundreds, tens and ones to facilitate more efficient counting. Mathematics: Number and Algebra (L2)

Sort, describe and name familiar two-dimensional shapes and three-dimensional objects in the environment. Mathematics: Measurement and Geometry (F)

Investigate and describe number patterns formed by skip counting and patterns with objects. Mathematics: Number and Algebra (L1)

Compare and order several shapes and objects based on length, area, volume and capacity using appropriate uniform informal units. Mathematics: Measurement and Geometry (L2)

Respond to and pose questions, and make predictions about familiar objects and events. Science: Science Inquiry Skills (F–L2)

Participate in guided investigations, including making observations using the senses, to explore and answer questions. Science: Science Inquiry Skills (F–L2)

Explore needs or opportunities for designing, and the technologies needed to realise designed solutions. Design and Technologies: Creating Designed Solutions (F–L2)

Represent and communicate observations and ideas about changes in objects and events in a variety of ways. Science: Science Inquiry Skills (F–L2)

Explore some learning strategies, including planning, repetition, rewording, memorisation and use of mnemonics. Critical and Creative Thinking: Meta-Cognition (F–L2)

Investigate ways to problem-solve, using egocentric and experiential language. Critical and Creative Thinking: Meta-Cognition (F–L2)

Children transfer and adapt what they have learnt from one context to another

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • engage with and co-construct learning
  • develop an ability to mirror, repeat and practise the actions of others, either immediately or later
  • make connections between experiences, concepts and processes
  • use the processes of play, reflection and investigation to problem-solve
  • apply generalisations from one situation to another
  • try out strategies that were effective to solve problems in one situation in a new context
  • transfer knowledge from one setting to another.

This develops, for example, when students:

Identify, describe and use different kinds of question stems to gather information and ideas. Critical and Creative Thinking: Questions and Possibilities (F–L2)

Make simple modifications to known ideas and routine solutions to generate some different ideas and possibilities. Critical and Creative Thinking: Questions and Possibilities (F–L2)

Identify their likes and dislikes, needs and wants, abilities and strengths. Personal and Social Capability: Self-Awareness and Management (F)

Children resource their own learning through connecting with people, place, technologies and natural and processed materials

This is evident, for example, when children:

  • engage in learning relationships
  • use their senses to explore natural and built environments
  • experience the benefits and pleasures of shared learning exploration
  • explore the purpose and function of a range of tools, media, sounds and graphics
  • manipulate resources to investigate, take apart, assemble, invent and construct
  • experiment with different technologies
  • use information and communications technologies (ICT) to investigate and problem-solve
  • explore ideas and theories using imagination, creativity and play
  • use feedback from themselves and others to revise and build on an idea.

This develops, for example, when students:

Explore how technologies use forces to create movement in designed solutions. Design and Technologies: Technologies Contexts (F–L2)

Explore the characteristics and properties of materials and components that are used to create designed solutions. Design and Technologies: Technologies Contexts (F–L2)

Construct texts using software including word processing programs. English: Literacy (F)

Represent location of places and their features on maps and models, including a globe, and the location of the major geographical divisions of the world in relation to Australia. Geography: Geographical Knowledge (F–L2)

Respond to visual artworks by describing subject matter and ideas. Visual Arts: Respond and Interpret (L1–L2)

Respond to media artworks by describing ideas, characters, settings and stories. Media Arts: Respond and Interpret (F)