Within our EYFS and year 1 classes we have a continuous play-based approach. We adopt a child-led approach to planning where children influence the planning and the environment.
Our approach and philosophy is heavily influenced by experts, including Greg Bottrill, Alistair Bryce- Clegg and Anna Ephgrave.
'We know that well-planned and interesting play experiences in the Early Years lead to engaged and motivated learners in Year one. So why do we often see a drop in well-being and involvement during the transition from Reception? When children are just five or six weeks older after the summer holidays, we suddenly expect them to be able to handle heavily-timetabled days a dramatic shift in teaching approach- its little wonder that some children find it difficult to settle in.
A play-based approach is not just about getting out the bucket and spades, and some construction on a rug! We want children to be able to build on what they already know, to hone and extend their skills and to become effective and independent learners'
Alistair Bryce- Clegg 2017
Continuous Provision Heartwood Key Principles
Environment - Our environment creates thinkers, problem solvers and negotiators where there are no ceilings on learning. There are planned opportunities to acquire knowledge and apply to new situations. Thorough assessment informs the environment.
Curriculum- Skills based curriculum with knowledge woven throughout. We focus on the process of learning. The curriculum dictates the skills and knowledge we teach.
Play- How we engage our children. This needs to be well planned using the children’s interests and informed by observations and assessment. A play-based approach ensures that we respond to individual needs and every child can access the provision and achieve their full potential.
Talk - Opportunities are planned to increase and develop vocabulary and language. This provides high quality talk for themselves, to each other and adults. There are high expectations and planned modelling of language.
Expectations- We have the highest expectations for all of our children. The provision provides challenge for all children and ensures that children are developing their knowledge and skills. Busy time is always purposeful, where we ensure that children always challenge themselves and further their own learning. Planning ensures that adults teach and move all children’s learning on through play.
In Year 2 we transition children from continuous provision into a more traditional schooling approach. The children's interests remain at the heart of the Year 2 curriculum and we explore this through our 'Making A Difference' approach.
Year 2 Learning
Maths and English are the key focus for Year 2 children in the mornings, as well as Phonics through the Read Write Inc program.
In the afternoons the children are taught the foundation subjects (Science, Geography, History, Art, DT). The children experience this in line with our 'Making A Difference' curriculum and enjoy hands on experiences that in turn result in our children being able to make a difference in the school, local and national community. Year 2 children also have PE, Forest School, music and Computing in the afternoons.
We also enjoy enquiry days linked to key events in History or to our RE curriculum. Our children spend an entire day delving deep into the events or celebrations that occur to gain a strong understanding of why these events and celebrations are important. Some of these days include: Guy Fawkes, Sukkot and the Story of Christmas.