Characteristics of Effective Learning Pack

Tools and activities for childminders to put the COEL into practice - £15

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Characteristics of Effective Learning (COEL) Pack

This pack gives you all the tools you need to put the COEL into practice in your childminding setting. The 65 page pack containing business tools, information, printable posters and activities is emailed as a single PDF or Word document.   

What is included in the £15 COEL pack?

The pack includes:

What do the Characteristics of Effective Learning (COEL) mean to childminders?

In many ways the COEL are more important than the Learning and Development areas, but many childminders would admit that they don’t properly understand what the COEL mean. Please don’t worry if this is you. This is what my pack is designed to help you with.

It is hardly surprising if you are confused because the COEL bullet points as you see them listed at the front of Development Matters and in the EYFS Statutory Framework don’t really explain them in a practical way that childminders can relate to. What does ‘playing and exploring’ or ‘active learning’ actually mean that you are supposed to do? It can be easy to view the COEL as little more than a series of terms you need to know to impress Ofsted during your inspection, or as a baffling row of boxes that need circling on your learning journey forms.

My pack takes the confusing terminology and bullet points and turns them into practical examples for childminders. By the time you have read through my pack I hope that you will understand the COEL better and that you will be inspired to change some of the ways you do things in your setting. By improving your understanding of what the COEL really mean, you can make a massive positive difference to children’s futures. 

Business tools for childminders

My pack includes the following business tools that you can use to implement the COEL in your childminding setting.

How to write about the COEL in your learning journeys including a quiz you can do to test your understanding.

COEL checklist – everything you should and could be doing to promote the COEL in your setting.

Examples for your self-evaluation – a series of prompts you can use for self-reflective practice when writing your setting’s self-evaluation. 

COEL information letter for parents - promoting the COEL in the children you look after will be a lot easier if you have the support of parents. This is a great way to demonstrate information-sharing.

Learning journey observation-planning pages – for the COEL

‘Praising the process’ resources 

These resources help you to praise the process rather than the finished result. When a child is working hard at something, concentrating, and persevering at a self-chosen task, they are exhibiting the COEL that will help them to succeed in school.  

Change your language worksheet – helps you to think of things you say to children that praise the end result. And then try and think of new ways you can praise children that focusses on the process rather than the end result.

Certificates – printable certificates you can give to children that praise the process and promote the COEL.

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Printable reward charts – two versatile designs

Posters and display ideas

The pack includes two printable posters and various display ideas that promote the COEL.

COEL terminology poster - Use this basic poster to remind yourself of the COEL terminology. It is the sort of thing you might want to put up when Ofsted is on the way to remind yourself of the terminology under scrutiny.

COEL in practice poster – use this poster to remind yourself of the key points in implementing the COEL in your setting.

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COEL display ideas – all focus on the messages of the COEL, NOT the terminology. Pack incudes ideas for large spaces and bulletin boards.

We like to try new things poster.jpg Concentration poster for childminders.jpg

Activities that promote the COEL 

The pack includes various planning sheets you can use to plan for activities that promote the different COEL including creating and thinking critically, playing and exploring and active learning activities. The pack also helps you to plan for role play, topics and themes. 

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Plan active learning activities Check you have enough creating and thinking critically resources

Bringing resources together in new ways worksheet – Children will become most deeply involved in an activity when you provide them with something new and unusual to explore. This worksheet helps you to brainstorm some creative new ways to use your existing toys and resources.

Printable bookmarks – you and the children can make together to promote the COEL while children read.

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Make sure that children are really ready for school by implementing the ideas in this pack 

The COEL are in many ways, more important than many of the Learning and Development goals. Because the COEL are the characteristics that set children up for becoming learners for life. The COEL are the dispositions towards learning that affect how well children perform in school and even how successful they will be as adults.

The COEL are lifelong skills but they begin in the Early Years which is why you, as their childminder, can have an enormous influence on each child’s acquisition of the COEL. Before sending him off to school you can really help a child by ensuring he has the ability to concentrate, to persevere at a task and approaches new things with a can-do attitude. The reverse is also true. If you and the education system fail to instil the COEL into children, then they grow into adults who avoid challenges because they believe they are not capable, who worry about their limitations and give up on things whenever they become too difficult.  

How to order your Characteristics of Effective Learning Pack

Click here to order a Characteristics of Effective Learning Pack for only £15 for your childminding setting today. 

My Ofsted went well, I got overall good, outstanding for personal development, welfare and behaviour. I’m really happy with that as I’d say that’s my strongest area.  The Ofsted inspector was very thorough and watched me like a hawk but was lovely too.  She called me the day before to say she’d be tracking one child of her choice and for me to plan an activity.  She said my activity was the best one she’d ever seen as it was simple but covered all the areas of learning and COEL (it was a learning tree - I tied it in with posters of trees on my wall).  Thanks to your docs my COEL knowledge was fab and she loved it.  Thanks, Donna

Yes thank you Kay, we have received the pack, and are very excited to start using it in our setting soon. It’s exactly what we do, and now we have a good format to use with parents. You make it seem so simple! Thank you very much! Valerie & Anna

Im really grateful (and relieved) you launched your Characteristics of Effective Learning pack in September and I have passed your information on to the other childminders that I know at our childminding group.     

All I can say is thank goodness for people like you, willing to share ideas/thoughts/your wonderful knowledge and keeping us all informed (with a sense of humour too!).  Louise    

 I was very impressed with the pack. It broke the information down so it was easy to absorb and clear how to put into practice. I learnt so much from it and it has improved my work in so many ways so thank you very much. I am definitely going to look into the other packs you offer as I am due an inspection next year and aiming for Outstanding. Kind regards, Jenny  

Thank you for the COEL pack. I have purchased many of your e-learning packs and have found them to be invaluable, just as I have this one. I thought I fully understood both the Observations in the Areas of Learning and the COEL. However, having received your pack, I now feel that the COEL is much clearer and I can now see just how important they are. I didn't realise we can use them in our observations in the way you demonstrate. Thanks, Maria.

This has helped me understand the coel so much better...thank you!!! Lizzie

Thank you this is amazing. I have recorded the time reading through it as CPD. Thanks, Clare.

I purchased you Characteristics of Effective Learning Pack back in the autumn. It has taken me until the Christmas holidays to look and read through it. I have found it very useful because I have put COEL to one side and not including them in my planning and observations. I also found it refreshing to read your points of view on practice.  I find I get stuck in a rut. Personally I find childminding now very isolating since the government cuts and not having any LA support. Your emails and ideas are a welcomed support. Regards, Caroline


COEL examples for self evaluation form




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