Continuous Provision in Year One
Our research and school experience shows us that young children learn best through play and exploration. This is why we have continued the approach used in our Early Years classroom.
Our classroom environment supports this approach with cosy corners, engaging learning stations and interactive displays inviting our children to take part in the latest provocation and challenge; every day our children get the chance to be a designer, an artist, a writer, a scientist, a musician, a mathematician, a storyteller, an athlete, geographer or historian.
Carefully planned play-based experiences inspire the children to consolidate their skills, knowledge and understanding enabling them to be independent, resilient learners who motivate themselves to take on the next challenge and push themselves to their limits. Throughout the environment, you will see busy children actively engaged in a wide range of activities that they themselves have chosen.
What does learning in Year One at KWS look like?
Continuous provision refers to the resources which are always available within the classroom for the children to access. We offer a range of areas for children to explore including a construction area, small world, art zone, sewing station, office, tinker table, atelia (loose parts for art), book corner and junk modelling workshop. This provision remains consistent for long periods of time enabling children to revisit and build upon previous learning, as well as to explore new learning within a familiar environment. We will ‘enhance’ these areas of provision by providing items or resources to stimulate discussion or play within the children’s current interests or our topic themes. We keep focused teaching sessions at either end of the day to allow for long periods of play where the children to take control of their own learning and follow their own interests. This leads to happy and engaged learners who thrive at our school and are ready for more formal learning when it arrives. We build up to this formal learning across the year in small steps.
We have a daily phonics for reading session led by the class teacher. If a child needs extra help with their phonics then an intervention may be given by the class teacher. Although we have very skilled teaching assistants we do believe that it is the teacher who is best placed to give this additional support. Within the environment we have a huge range of books which children can read for pleasure across the day and our daily ‘quiet reading’ session is a big hit with children. During this time, they can read a book quietly and get to choose to sit anywhere within the room, under the table is especially popular. We also have daily ‘book time’ sessions where we share a book as a class. This same book will be revisited every day that week but with a varying focus including vocabulary, retrieval questions, inference or sequencing. Children will be given an individual reading book in line with their growing phonic knowledge and we will hear them reading this book every week.
We have daily phonics for writing sessions to allow the children to apply their new learning directly into their writing. We also have two ‘English’ mornings a week where the teacher leads a whole class teaching session focused on a national curriculum objective. The children will then come to ‘tutor table’ in groups to produce a written task for their book once a week. Within their continuous provision time the children have access to writing materials in every area of the classroom so they can follow their own interests and write for pleasure. They also love completing writing ‘play projects’.
Everyday we begin with a focused maths session looking at number and the number system for ten minutes. This includes daily counting. We then have two maths mornings each week where the teacher delivers a whole class session in small steps to meet national curriculum objectives. Children come to ‘tutor table’ in small groups across that morning to complete a task in their maths book. We have a well equipped maths shelf within the classroom which offers plenty of opportunities for children to self explore maths during continuous provision.
To support us in delivering a well-balanced curriculum we use ‘play projects’ during the children’s continuous provision time. Every afternoon the teacher delivers a whole class session based on the wider curriculum and linked to ongoing topics. This could be science, geography, history, art, design technology or music. We then link these to our play projects so children have the opportunity to further explore their learning and to ‘create’, ‘construct’, ‘write’ and ‘draw’ within the theme.