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St Gregory's Catholic Primary School

'For every future, for every child'

Early Years Continuous Provision

Statement of Intent

At St Gregory's we passionately believe that young children learn best through play and exploration. Wherever possible we offer children the opportunity to experience real life events that are linked to their learning.  Every day our children get the opportunity to be an artist, writer, mathematician, scientist, designer or a storyteller to name but a few! These play-based experiences enable the children to consolidate their skills, knowledge and understanding and enable them to be become independent and resilient learners. Throughout the environment, both inside and outside, you will see busy children actively engaged in a wide range of activities that they themselves have chosen. Continuous provision supports and encourages our children and staff to have a lifelong love of learning.

In our Early Years class the room is organised to promote and develop continuous provision.  This continuous provision enables children to return to their explorations and consolidate their learning over the course of a day or a more extended period. It  also allows children to make choices and initiate play without always needing interaction with an adult. Using what they have learnt in a way that is meaningful and personal to them helps this new knowledge to stick. 

Continuous Provision in Action in Early Years


The pictures below show some examples of children directing their own learning through continuous provision.  Our Early Years children are provided with large chunks of child initiated learning throughout the day. This allows them to use what they know in ways that interest them. The role of the adults in this time is to support and question the children; making observations and pushing the learning on further. Our children have the opportunity to free flow between the classrooms and the large outside area. We provide these opportunities whatever the weather as we understand that children benefit from outside learning even in the wind and rain. There is a focus on the Prime Areas of learning as these are the building blocks for all future learning. As well as this reading and writing are promoted throughout all areas of provision. This ensures that the children's learning is purposeful and interests them.


Early Years Classrooms

The photos below show some of the areas in our Reception classroom and outside space. We also have an additional learning space called the Green Room where the children can access, large block play, sand and water play as well as being a place to change into our wet weather and mud suits. All of the resources are displayed on open shelves so the children have free and easy access. The labelling of resources is used as a way to reinforce maths skills such as matching shapes or counting objects. There are silhouettes underneath containers so that children can easily and independently tidy up resources when they have finished using them.

Water play is a fantastic activity for developing children's hand-eye coordination as they learn to pour, squeeze, stir and even paint with water.

Children can learn new skills, have fun, play and develop self-confidence by spending time in the garden tending to plants and growing their own food.

Engaging in imaginative play shows strong links to language development. Children are learning to communicate with each other verbally but also through non-verbal behaviours such as gestures, facial expressions and body language.

Fine motor skills involve the use of the small muscles that control the hand, fingers and thumb. They help children perform important tasks like feeding themselves, grasping toys, buttoning and zipping clothes, writing, drawing and more.

Small worlds, as well as being fun, are the ideal platform for nurturing children's imagination from a young age.

Learning outside the classroom activities are often authentic, hands-on, interactive and build on classroom learning.

A mud kitchen provides a space for children to retreat to for some time alone in a soothing sensory experience or to play with peers co-operating, communicating, negotiating and sharing.

Through their constructive play, a child will learn what will work and what will not. Trial-and-error is a great method in which to create structures and modify methods. Overcoming problems to build structures in a particular way will always aid creative thinking and problem solving skills.

Music can give children a way to express themselves, to unleash their creativity, to be inspired and uplifted, to relax and to relieve stress and tension.

Skills progression planning for continuous provision

Reception long term plan

Term 5 Curriculum letter

At the end of the Reception year the children will be assessed on the Early Learning Goals.