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St Mary's Catholic Primary School

St Mary's Catholic

Primary School

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Further information about Continuous Provision


Why is Continuous Provision important?


Carefully planned continuous provision will enable children to learn skills, will challenge their thinking and help them to embed concepts. It should also provide the context for a variety of learning conversations between children and adults with rich opportunities for modelling and extending speech and vocabulary. It is within this learning environment that the children will also develop key learning attributes. How our environment is planned, resourced, valued and used can have a profound impact on children’s engagement, independence, collaboration, self-confidence, resilience and curiosity.


At St Mary’s we are confident that the resources and materials provided offer a broad range of possibilities, that allow our children to learn and develop by using them over an extended period of time. We find that changing resources on a regular basis will not support the children’s independence and it won’t lead to a progression of ideas. We strive to create well-planned learning environments that encourage children to follow their own interests and express their own ideas. Materials and resources are separated out into small containers or baskets so that the children can easily see what is available to them. Consistency is important for developing independent learners so we store materials and resources in the same way every day.


Our Early Years children are given long periods of time throughout the day, for child-initiated learning. This allows them to use what they know in ways that interest and motivate them. The role of the adult is to support and question the children; observe and move their learning on in a meaningful interaction. Our children can free flow in both reception classrooms and the large outdoor area- whatever the weather!


The Importance of Defined Spaces: within our continuous provision, we have created enclosed and clearly defined spaces that encourage our learners to be more engaged. Creating provision areas in this way tends to lead to fewer distractions and also provides the context for children to collaborate, form relationships and communicate. As we created the spaces, we thought carefully about the layout of the rooms at St Mary’s, considering which areas are likely to work well together or alongside each other in order to promote mathematical thinking or meaningful writing opportunities.