The Purposeful Provision principles
What does it mean for your Provision to be Purposeful? Well... It means that each part of the provision, every area, every resources, every activity and each interaction is done to support the children rather than it being DONE TO THEM. We achieve this by examining all aspects of our approach and realigning to truly place children at the centre of our practice.
Through my coaching, training and consultancy services I follow a set of Purposeful Provision Principles. I consider these essential if any setting is going to be truly Purposeful!
1. Adults as Co-learners
One of the most seriously misunderstood concepts is that of the 'third teacher.' It doesn't mean to establish a provision and leave the children to it. It means to provide an environment which adults and children can explore together and learn from, together. Whilst adults have a wealth of knowledge that can be scaffolding into a child's life, we must accept there are things that we don't know. Our environment should allow us to explore those things alongside the children. Timetables should bend around the most important part of our day, which is to work with children in the provision we created together.
2. Learning is a Journey
Each provocation, each new experience and each schema can lead our children down roads to exciting new learning. We as adults recognise this and support children on this journey. We don't place a limit and tell them when they've achieved it, we keep going so long as their enthusiasm and energy allows.
3. Meet the children where they are
Each of our children is unique. They have different play diets, cultures and ideas. Our provision should reflect this and be unique. We don't follow a set approach or scheme and we can explain why our provision looks this way.
4. Children have ownership
Children decide where and when their learning happens. No child is expected to 'park' their interest simply because an adult doesn't have time. Our provision areas are created alongside the children. They support us in sourcing and tell us when something no longer has purpose.
5. Function over form
Beauty has a purpose and it is important but it can't dictate how our environments function. If something looks good but isn't adding anything to the environment, we think carefully about what we can use instead that CAN add purpose.