At Ashfield Infant and Nursery School we highly value continuous provision throughout our school from Nursery to Year 2. The purpose of an effective continuous provision is to offer children a constant environment that is safe for them to explore whilst challenging their learning. It allows children the freedom to explore and become independent in making choices. This is particularly an important part of the EYFS, where we support children in becoming active learners; continuous provision allows children to demonstrate this aspect and practitioners can closely observe this during their play.
“We all know that children need active learning through hands-on, play-based activities throughout their primary years, and thoughtful teachers have been developing an approach that’s often referred to as ‘continuous provision’, where children have access throughout reception, year 1, and often year 2 to many of the practical activities offered in their earlier years. Continuous provision can enable children to explore recent learning, practice new skills, and follow their own interests.”
Continuous provision refers to the resources which are always available within the classroom for the children to access. In many early years settings this may include areas such as a sand tray (with buckets, spades and small world animals), a water tray (with jugs and measuring cylinders) and a mark making area (with crayons, pens and paper). The continuous provision within the setting remains consistent for long periods of time. For example, a child choosing to access the water area will expect to see the same resources provided each time they play in this area. This enables them to revisit and build upon previous learning, as well as to explore new learning within a familiar environment.
“Continuous Provision should continue the provision for learning in the absence of an adult … the areas of provision you create should be dictated by need, linked to assessment and broadly levelled so that there is challenge and support in all areas for all children.”