At East Ardsley Primary Academy we believe continuous provision is the enabling environment that facilitates teaching and learning particularly in the foundation stage (FS) and key stage one (KS1). Provision is both inside and outside and our children have meaningful access to both each day. Timetabling allows children to access provision in a meaningful way for long periods of time. Children are able to return to their explorations and ideas on a daily basis and become involved in deep learning experiences. Provision is challenging and enables children to build on what they did yesterday; they know that provision will be constant enough for them to do this. For learning to become embedded children need to practise skills and explore concepts in a range of contexts. Practice and repetition strengthens the connections and links with the brain and facilitates mastery of skills and knowledge. This encourages the development of a growth mindset and desirable characteristics of effective learning such as perseverance, persistence and intrinsic motivation. Provision promotes good emotional well-being. Provision reflects the uniqueness of the Early Years within a school environment and recognises the importance and appropriateness of a play led, child – led approach to learning. It facilitates smooth transitions between FS and KS1 and fill gaps in learning. Practitioners recognise the importance of the basic provision areas as a valuable context for teaching and learning and plan to spend time with children supporting their self-initiated play. If the environment and provision is outstanding all children can be fully engaged in purposeful play of their own choice and interest, and can achieve outstanding outcomes.
Provision supports children’s learning and development across the 6 areas of the Early Years curriculum, the Characteristics of Effective learning and objectives from the National Curriculum in Y1 and 2. Objectives to be met come from the Early Years Foundation Stage and National Curriculum document. There should be a long term plan for provision which maps progression between F1, F2 and Y1. Long term plans show which objectives and skills could be met in which areas of provision. There is a range of areas of provision including most of the following:
- role play
- large and small construction
- malleable materials
- technology workshop
- music and sound
- food preparation.
Although provision for 'maths', 'mark-making' and 'computer' are included as discrete areas, opportunities for exploring purposes for using mathematical skills, writing and ICT are also available in other areas. Likewise, books are not exclusively available in the book corner, but are included to support learning in other areas of provision.
Provision is equipped with a basic set of appropriate resources that can be enhanced to support children’s individual or group interests or next steps in learning. Children are able to select the area in which to play, the resources to use and what to do with them. There are appropriate areas with varied, high quality, open-ended resources. Areas are well stocked, tidy, clearly labelled with a picture and word or with templating and arranged to allow optimum access. In all areas resources are available and accessible at all times but ideally nothing is set out. Children get out the resources themselves and because of this they know where they go at the end of the session. Children are taught how to use the resources, where they are kept and how to tidy them. Children are set challenges within the provision in F2 and KS1. Children are responsible for tidying away resources they have played with when they go somewhere else to leave the area looking inviting for someone else.
Children have different needs, interests and fascinations and these will change over the year. Provision is regularly reviewed and reflected on to see which areas are productive and which need altering. There is a clear progression of skills in areas which occur in F1, F2 and into Y1 acknowledging that not all children will have attended our setting, or indeed any other setting before us, or may not have achieved ELG at the end of FS. Provision is reviewed to link certain areas to facilitate use of resources in more than one area. Resources are assessed and review constantly and changes made as necessary. Resources are stored where they can be accessed quickly to meet observed interests and needs. Where possible resources are open-ended, natural and sourced without harming the environment; moving away from single use brightly coloured plastic branded toys.
Careful thought is given to the positioning of areas. For example painting and workshop areas work well together and small world and book areas.
Adults have a thorough knowledge of how provision and play supports effective learning in young children and what objectives can be met by playing in specific areas. Adults support children in their learning in several ways through provision. They play alongside, listening and responding to their talk and ideas. They model ideas, ask questions, and make suggestions to support children’s learning. They offer additional resources to enable children to take their ideas further or in a different direction. Adults set challenges to allow children to practice their skills in specific areas. Adults are responsible for the areas of provision; restocking, enhancing, ensuring everyday tidiness at the end of the day.
Displays reflect the children’s learning, display good examples of the children’s work, and promote good links with parents and carers.
Parents and carers are invited to find out about their child’s learning in school regularly to increase parental engagement and support positive home learning.
Daily outdoors play is a non-negotiable. Resources are left in position ready to use the next day and simplify set up. Storage is durable, hardwearing and be accessible to children. Staff spend time restocking and checking resources. Staff do not spend time setting up resources for the children before the session. All staff are responsible for stocking and preparing consumable resources. Outdoors provision does not replicate indoors but is larger scale, messier, more active and physical in nature; recognising the need for children to be active in play and learning and that children’s physical skills can take until age 7 to fully develop. There is a range of clothing available to enable children to access outdoors in all weathers and parents need to be aware of this.