Practical Skills for Pre-School

Practical Skills for Primary School

Practical Skills for Secondary School

Practical Skills in FE and University


Practical Skills for Primary School

Learning styles – recognising

We all learn differently

Children learn in a variety of ways- do you know the child’s learning style?

Knowing the most effective route to learning can make it easier and more effective and take less effort. There is no point pushing information through one route when another way can increase the ability by more than 50%

As an adult do you read the instructions to work the video recorder or do you push and press the buttons until it all works?

Do you listen to the radio and remember the details or forget it all after five minutes or are you better remembering the pictures in the magazine rather than the words?

Do you need to write notes, even if you don’t keep them afterwards? It is the action of doing it rather than what you have written which is important.

This indicates that we all learn differently and there is no one route that is better than others. Each of us has a preferential route to our learning and also may find that other routes may be weaker and should be avoided or at least not concentrated on.

Learning styles have been looked at in a number of ways:

If you consider the type of jobs we end up doing they are often reliant on our strengths in learning leaving behind our weaknesses.

By having an early appreciation of the child’s preferential style we can then see ways to encourage our children when working with them at home. It is also important to be aware of your own style as your teaching style may be in conflict with the child’s learning style.

Gardener considered 8 different learning styles:

If you have a look at these you may see yourself as having a mixture of styles- match these and then consider how the children vary from  you and how you can ensure you are working with their styles in a complementary manner.

Bodily kinaesthetic – likes sports, likes the big rides at the fair, better hands on or tackling something new

Linguistic – enjoys word play, reads everything, likes to do crossword puzzles, prefers English in school

Naturalistic – likes pets and other animals, likes the countryside , interested in the environment

Logical mathematical – enjoys working with numbers, interested in the sciences and mathematics, systematic in approach to work, like to see things in categories

Visual spatial-enjoys painting, likes photography and other art mediums, doodles, enjoys puzzles

Musical-plays a musical instrument, remembers tunes, likes music around him or her

Interpersonal – enjoys working with others, takes the lead, likes games with others such as Monopoly, talks about problems with others

Intrapersonal – may keep a diary of thoughts, sets personal goals, independent thinker, happy with own company

When considering the child think about the following broader categories

Visual learner

Needs and likes to visualize things

Learns through images- the child can remember the pictures on a page

Enjoys art and drawing

Reads maps, charts and diagrams well

Interested in with machines and inventions

Plays with Lego and other construction toys

Likes to do jigsaw puzzles.

Sometimes thought of as a daydreamer in class.

Tips to encourage learning

Use board games and memory games to create visual patterns.

In reading suggest visual clues.- let the child “paint” his own pictures in his mind as he is reading the story

Offer picture books of all types- even as he gets older

When reading books together, encourage visualisation of story and reinforce this at intervals

Encourage writing via using colours

In older children teach mind mapping techniques

Allow him to see videos of plays etc to reinforce the stories he is learning

Kinaesthetic learner

Processes knowledge through physical sensations

Highly active, not able to sit still long;

Communicates using body language and gestures.

Shows you rather than tells you

Wants to touch and feel the world around him or her

May be good at mimicking others

Enjoys sports or any activities where he can keep moving

Tips to encourage learning

Movement helps these children

Short, dynamic presentations  are better than long ones- so allow the child to move around after a time while studying

When concentrating the child may benefit from chewing gum ,or being able to doodle or having a  something to “ fiddle “ with such as beads

Let him or her  walk around rather than sitting for long periods

Use numerous hands-on activities and experiments, art projects, nature walks or acting out stories so the child feels the activities.

Allow the child to see the reason for the activity so they can build a goal to work towards

These children don’t tend to like

Long range goal setting

Complicated projects


Paper & pencil tasks


Auditory learner

The child thinks in words and verbalises concepts

He or she spells words accurately and easily as he or she can hear the different sounds- so tends to learn phonetically better than “look and say” techniques.

Can be a good reader or prefer the spoken word more

Has excellent memory for names, dates and trivia

Likes word games

Enjoys using tape recorders and often musically talented.

Will usually be able to learn times tables with relative ease

Tips to encourage learning

Encourage creation of own word problems.

Have child dictate a story to you and watch while you write it or type it out on a word processor

Read aloud together and tape session for later playback.

Consider purchasing some book/tape selections.

Record information on tapes- colour coding different tapes for different subjects in school with the older child.

Logical learner

Needs Help With


Thinking skills that stretch beyond the obvious

Thinks conceptually, likes to explore patterns and relationships;

Enjoys puzzles and seeing how things work;

Constantly questions and wonders

Likes routine and consistency

Capable of highly abstract forms of logical thinking at early age

Computes maths problems quickly in head

Enjoys strategy games, computers and experiments with purpose

Creates own designs to build with blocks/Lego

Tips to encourage learning

Do science experiments together and have child record results

Use computer learning games and word puzzles.

Offer context clues as a reading aid.

Introduce non-fiction and rhyming books.


Allow the child to use his memory in a variety of ways

By using different techniques with the child you can exercise the child’s ability to memorise and retain more facts.

ensure that the child is in the MOOD to learn- don’t chose the end of the week when you are both tired and you don’t have time as your mind is on other things

Introduce information that is of INTEREST to the child- link it to a hobby he already has- if he reads comics then use this as a steer- even the history of the comic can be linked back to cavemen!

Look for ways to LINK information to the memory banks that are already there- what does he already know- nothing is entirely new.

Make the information RELEVANT to the child- how does it relate to something else he is interested in or wants to be able to do in the future e.g. doing mathematics may seem a waste of time to some children- but if this is linked to him knowing how to manage his own money when he goes out to buy a CD or computer game it has far more relevance.

Make learning FUN and not overly long so it feels like a chore

OVER LEARN- better 3 short blasts at learning rather than a long one- the results will be much better

Use the right APPROACH – that suits the child-NOT you

Allow the child to SLEEP on the learning- this helps to embed the information- review it again in the morning

Use the MULTI SENSORY ROUTE will increase the learning experience

Try the child with WHOLE LEARNING first so that he can see the reason for learning- keep this big picture in mind so it continues to be relevant

The home offers the most significant learning environment for the child

You know the child better than anyone else and can offer learning opportunities in a variety of ways as you go about your daily duties

You are the child’s most important teacher