St Michael’s Church of England Infant School 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 all year groups throughout 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 do this is through their own independent exploration of learning opportunities and resources available to them. As they explore freely as active learners, synapses form in the brain and consequently, a child makes progress as well as consolidating prior knowledge.
Continuous Provision is the term we use to describe the opportunities within the classroom for independent learning. These could be construction areas, roleplay areas, the outdoor area, areas for creativity, including junk modelling, or simply a space for quiet time. The areas also provide ‘challenges’ to allow the children to deepen their thinking. 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. This is called Discovery Time and there will be times every day designated to Discovery Time.
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.
Butterfly Classroom is setup slightly differently as we need to prepare the children for their transition to the Junior school. However, we still ensure that Challenge and Independent learning is at the forefront of all that we do.