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Continuous Provision

Continuous Provision

Play is the highest form of research - Albert Einstein


In Early Years and Key Stage 1, we use a teaching and learning approach called Continuous Provision where carefully planned activities are set up and children are able to choose which activities to complete during their 'choosing time'. Research shows that young children benefit from a curriculum that is play-based and 'hands on' and where there is a greater degree of choice. Piaget (1952) described the stage of development between 2 and 6 years as being a time when children learn to use language, begin to represent ideas using pictures and objects and are highly active, learning through pretend play and first-hand experiences. The use of Continuous Provision beyond Early Years and into Key Stage 1 is also supported by Early Excellence, an organisation that is established as a national leader in the pedagogy and practice of teaching young children.


Whilst Continuous Provision is well established within our Early Years setting, it was developed in Year 1 last year and is now being introduced to Year 2 this academic year. There are whole class teaching sessions as well as adult-led small group activities, ensuring that children receive direct adult instruction and also that any additional support that may be needed can be provided. In Year 1 and 2, challenges are set for the children and they know what they are expected to complete within a day or a week. There is a focus on providing opportunities for children to develop independent writing for a purpose and Year 1 and 2 children are encouraged to select pieces of written work to put in their learning journals. Our youngest children in school demonstrate fantastic independence and engagement in their learning, responding positively to the challenges they are set by their teachers.


As a school, we are keen to further develop our use of Continuous Provision in the future and to ensure that children further up the school are able to gain from the benefits seen of this approach. There are more photos of our Continuous Provision at the bottom of the page. 


Self-Led Learning

Whilst we do not currently use Continuous Provision above Year 2, with our older children we have begun developing self-led learning days where children have a variety of learning activities to complete independently over the course of the day while staff focus on teaching one or two specific skills to small groups. Activities for the children to complete link to a variety of different curriculum areas, often including elements of research, independent application of learning and creative tasks. 


Our self-led learning days were started with Years 5 and 6 but are now regular features in all of Key Stage 2. Our children have hugely impressed us with their enthusiasm, independence and perseverance and many have commented that they enjoy the element of choice that is incorporated into the days and also the flexibility around when they complete tasks and how long they spend on them.

Our Continuous Provision

Self-Led Learning in Years 5 and 6