Continuous Provision are the resources on offer within the learning environment continually, these resources are selected to enable children to continue their play-based learning with or without the presence of an adult. By having resources that are readily available all year round enables children to return to their play over a day, week, month or even throughout the year to consolidate this learning.
The term play is often undervalued in education. ‘Play’ is the best word to describe children usingthe continuous provision or child-initiated learning. In foundation stage, play based learning is avital element of our day. Children’s play reflects their wide ranging and varied interests. In their play children can be inquisitive, creative, imaginative and experimental. Now imagine how empowered the children feel when they are told they can go an ‘play’.
Through play children explore and develop learning experiences which help them make sense of the world. The children are appropriately encouraged to try new activities and judge risks for themselves. Adults will often model play and play sensitively alongside the children, fitting in with their plans and ideas. In doing this sensitively we can carry out purposeful observations of the children. By modelling play the children not only begin to understand boundaries and expectations, they build up ideas for their play, giving them the opportunity be inquisitive, creative, imaginative and experimental, and we believe this is when children learn at their highest level.
In foundation stage, we often enhance the continuous provision already on offer, this is todevelop, challenge and extend the child’s learning in other ways. Enhancing the provision couldmean adding more resources in addition to what is already available or prompting the children to enhance their learning verbally. The way in which we enhance our provision is usually to enable children to develop a new learning experience or challenge and extend their learning further. These are changed regularly dependent on the adult led learning in class, the children’s needs andthe enhancement itself.
To encourage children in foundation stage to participate in the enhanced provision we have a setof ‘challenges’ for the children to complete. These are called ‘Rainbow Challenges.’ There arechallenges in set areas of the continuous provision to enhance learning outcomes. These are displayed by using colour coded recording buttons, which the children record together. The idea is for children to complete each colour coded challenge to complete the rainbow. Once they have completed the rainbow they receive a certificate and then each half term the children who havecompleted the most ‘challenges’ receive a reward. This is all displayed in the classroom so that children can check which challenges they have completed.