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Basic Provision versus Continuous Provision


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Hi, I need a little help. I know lots of people read ABC does blog and I was very lucky to recently go to his conference. He discussed lots about continuous provision, enhanced provision and basic provision.

Basically you begin the year with basic provision, then once you have assessed the children you then level and add to the provision according to your assessment and this is continuous provision and then when you add resources which are catered to your children's interests this is enhance provision.

At the minute in my setting we have provision which we were calling continuous provision but it isn't related to assessment so have realised that we are WRONG! AAAHHH!!

We have decided that we are going to address this with only two areas first, the sand and water because this is where the most low level play occurs. So at last to my problem!

I don't really know what provision is basic? How much provision should you have out for basic? At the minute we have 3 shelves for both sand and water but if this is only basic and we need to add to it for continuous provision then that is a lot of equipment!

Does anybody run their setting like this?

If so any advice would be greatly received.

Thank you in advance

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

 

Basic provision should allow you to do a variety of things over the year so it can grow with the children. So in my water area for example I have three different sized jugs, beakers, tubes and funnels. At the start of the year the children just enjoy filling and emptying by the end of the year they are available for a variety of challenges related to capacity. I may enhance this provision around children's interests for example just read Rattletrap Car and the children made razzleberry fizz so enhanced the basic provision with droppers of food colouring, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda. As the children were familiar with the measuring equipment they can they use it effectively. If you look on the Early Excellence centre website lots of examples of basic provision.

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At the minute in my setting we have provision which we were calling continuous provision but it isn't related to assessment so have realised that we are WRONG! AAAHHH!!

Can I just say - whatever another person says does not necessarily make what you do wrong! You can call your provision what you like really. ABC's approach is one way of approaching things but not the only one!! I call the basic provision "continuous" because it provides the range of experiences which I know will provide for the statutory educational programmes as described in the statutory framework. The "additional provision" are the things added because of ongoing assessments to meet needs and interests and support children to embed new learning. Same thing - different name! It's good to ensure your assessments are being used to inform on-going adjustments to the provision though and reflecting on the areas where low level activity takes place will be beneficial I am sure.

If your children are making progress and achieving the skills they need to achieve then whatever you call your provision, you are doing the right thing!!

Cx

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Just what I wanted to say but never got round to it!

As Early years practitioners we are often very quick to assume that we are doing things wrong when someone else suggests a different way (the reason I both love and hate courses!) I don't think it's helpful to ourselves to think we are doing things 'wrong' unless our children are not making any progress! There are always things we want to change or new things we want to try and that's a good place to be. I have read lots of different peoples views on how continuous provision should be set up and run and I have taken many ideas - some have worked, some haven't or don't suit the our setting or our thinking. As with many things in life - not ONE idea is right for all - I listen to all ideas then often take a bit of each and mould my own idea from this.

Green Hippo x

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Perhaps you could have a look at your provision in light of the info from ABC but also from others in this thread. Is there an area where you feel children are not making the progress you would like, or where play seems to be consistently low level and not challenging? Rather than assume everything is wrong use the ABC method as a way to address specific areas of the provision rather than as a whole. This way it is less overwhelming and, importantly, you are recognising what is already working well in your setting.

There are lots of great ideas out there and lots of interesting approaches but trying to implement them all across the board is going to be very stressful!

Good luck and let us know what if any changes you make.

Mel

x

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I wonder if its one of those 'whats in a name' questions. I dont think it really matters what you call it, I only ever had continuous and enhanced.

I agree with catma greenhippo and melcatfish, and loom at what you are providing, and ensuring that it is varied and interesting, meets their developing needs over the year and responds to their interests. If you are doing that, that you are doing OK. If you feel you are not doing that because you are not responding to your assessments, the n this is the area to think about. You could think of it as 'what to I need to add, take away or change in this area as a result of my knowledge about the children'. You possibly do this already, lots of people do, without really realizing they are doing it.

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I think you are absolutely right Mundia "lots of people do, without really realising they are doing it." I think it's back to the age-old problem of RECORDING!!! Although we were led to believe that the EYFS was about LESS paperwork we all feel under tremendous pressure to record every time we breath/move etc and actually we do lots of things spontaneously/naturally which is just part of our job but then are back to the question: do I need to record this?/How do I record it? ABC suggests using environment plans for just this. So far I have not done this but do outline on my Medium Term plan changes to provision to meet the needs.

I very regularly consider what I know about the children and add to the basic provision in-line with the children's needs e.g. Maths area - some children are starting to count, recognise and use numerals over 10 so I would ensure that the resources promote this stage in their learning (and would also think about the maths in other areas). Sometimes I would remove some things but other times things need to remain to support the learning of children at a lower stage. On my continuous provision planners I have made the 'basic provision' a list of possible items that would stay out for longer periods of time but not tying myself to keeping things there all year if they are not supporting the learning. Of course, some areas are more likely to have basic provision that would stay out all year e.g. my mark-making area will always have plain and coloured paper and pencils but will have many different alternatives to this matched to needs (continuous) and interests (enhanced).

Green Hippo x

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Thank you very much for your replies. They have made me feel better about what I am doing. I am going to spend some time looking at my provision because I think it isn't always related to assessment but have realised I don't necessarily need to reinvent the wheel.

:)

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