Creating the Environment


This article gives a breakdown of how to create the right environment for productve learning. We aim to create the right envronment at school. A lot of the points on this list are about how a positive home environment can help your child to learn.

SAFETY AND SECURITY: from physical and emotional harm

·          Learning is risky – we don’t get things right first time

·          Put-downs make us fearful and anxious of trying new things

·          Make mistakes OK!

·          Model mistakes – make your own mistakes public knowledge in the home!!

·          Show that we learn from mistakes and that they are simply feedback to tell us what to do better next time – “OK we could improve that by…”

·          Make sure that you give 4 positive comments or praise for every 1 comment that can seem negative



·          Encourage your child to share their dreams with you about their future

·          Be positive about what’s possible – turn “I can’t” into “I can” or “I can with help”

·          Be positive and share your own aspirations  – “I am really looking forward to…”

·          Children who can dream eventually begin to set goals and work towards them

·          Teach your child to work towards goals over time – don’t give instant rewards all the time – put off the reward sometimes to later or another day

·          Choose and cut out magazine pictures with your child which show things she would like to be and do - and make a collage of dream.

 Achievement and success                           

·          Catch your child being successful often – even the smallest things – e.g. brushing hair, cleaning teeth without being told to or reminded; celebrate the occasions when they use a new word appropriately or makes a sensible suggestion; spend time celebrating work that they bring home from school.

·          “Success breeds success” If successes pass unnoticed then human beings begin to believe they “Can't do”

·          Be specific about what your child does well, say: â€œThank you for…”; “Well done for..”

·          Encourage your child to notice how they have improved on their personal best over time

·          Record success – make a “Things I Can Do” board – display it prominently – refer to it and update it often


 Â·          Our brains enjoy challenge – but too much and we perceive threat – not enough and we become unmotivated and passive.

·          Children learn best when they have a slightly difficult task they have to work at

·          Don’t “cotton-wool-ball” your child - help him deal with everyday challenges and develop his own coping strategies

·          Be there to talk your child through the mistakes and try to seek other solutions/options

·          Don’t rush to help when your child struggles with a task – encourage persistence

·          Help them to see that tasks can be broken down into smaller chunks that can be tackled one at a time

·          Use mind maps to break a task down

FEELING VALUED AND INDIVIDUAL:  building self esteem, identity and confidence


·          Every child is a unique individual – encourage individuality

·          Allow your child to follow her own interests – not just yours

·          In following own interests we build a picture up of our strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes – we begin to form a picture of who we are

·          People with a strong sense of who they are, are often more resilient and confident in life

·          Encourage your child to talk about feelings – especially boys

·          Take an interest in your child’s enthusiasms – share your own

·          Avoid negative comparisons with others in the family

·          Help your child to draw a picture of the bad feelings they have sometimes and talk them through


·          Everyone needs to feel that they belong

·          Children need to feel valued and loved by all those around them

·          Children who have a strong sense of belonging will make friends more easily

·          Make time to be with your child – talk and listen

·          Establish routines – meals, bath times, reading together, bedtime

·          Involve your child in agreeing the routines – then be consistent and fair

·          Show your child exactly what you want her to do rather than what not to do

·          Keep a family photo album - look at it together sometimes to talk about the people in it


Peter Greenhalgh


Provide challenge and celebrate success every day