What is Continuous Provision and how does it work?

St Margaret's Academy puts the well-being of the child at the forefront of everything we do. We understand that providing a stimulating environment in which children have the space and time to explore their own interests is essential to producing happy and engaged learners.
Children in KS1, and in fact all through the school, have a natural desire to learn. They want to be active, autonomous and unique learners. They love to explore, take risks and problem solve as much as possible. The best way for children to to do this is through playing - they play to learn! As they learn new things through their play synapses form in the brain and this is how a child makes progress. 
Continuous Provision is the term we use to describe the opportunities within the classroom for play.  These could be construction areas, roleplay areas, the outdoor area, areas for creativity, including junk modelling, or simply a space for quiet time. It is important that these areas remain the same so that if a child is thinking about creating a space ship for their Lego character to travel in they know where they can find the things they need.  The areas will be enhanced based on current topics or interests of the class at that time.  These enhancements ensure that the provision does not stagnate which can ultimately lead to disengagement.
A well managed and implemented Continuous Provision provides children the opportunity to lead their own learning based upon their own interests. The adult's job is to observe these 'teachable moments' and enhance this learning by moving it forward in partnership with the child. At times, the children will be left to explore the Continuous Provision environment without an adult so it is always set up in a way which provides the child with the autonomy they crave.
Teachers and Teaching Assistants in KS1 have attended workshops delivered by experts in the arena to develop their own understanding of the benefits and effective management of Continuous Provision. This training is revisited through training sessions delivered by the KS1 Phase leader over the course of the year.
Please have a look at our KS1 Continuous Provision in action on the following pages.