'Linked Provision' is a bit of a hybrid that I first used with a Reception setting to help them to get round their issue of hearing guided readers, without compromising their Continuous Provision.
Since then I have worked on versions of it from Pre-School to Year One.
So, what is Linked Provision? Well, the clue is in the name…
It is provision that you link to a need that had been identified by observation or assessment.
I would run it as a daily session – usually at the very beginning of the day.
Everyone is engaged in activities that are themed around the identified need.
The same activities are repeated every day for a week and the children get to experience and repeat all of them.
How can you use it?
I have worked with settings that have used Linked Provision in a variety of ways.
You could use it:
- to re-enforce teaching and concepts from the week before
- to support social development – so lots of activities that involve turn taking or sharing
- as a designated talk time, where the children have been encouraged to work in large or small groups around particular aspects of talk
- to teach concepts that will then be made available in Continuous Provision, so children learn how to play games like dominoes or lotto
- to support fine and gross motor skill development
- to have a focus on problem solving or thinking skills
- to work on number recognition, number bonds, shape or measure
The list is literally endless.
A session of linked provision would last anything between 10 and 20 minutes depending on the age of the children and their stage of development.
Like Continuous Provision, Linked Provision MUST be activity based, child led, active and fun.
Linked Provision is NOT sitting down at a table with a handwriting sheet, or sitting on the carpet with a white board and pen. (Or practising your Christmas songs!!!)
It is active and engaging!
During a session of Linked Provision, I wouldn't make all areas available. Ideally this would be great, but realistically it is just too difficult to manage and maintain.
I would set up 'key' areas or 'stations' that were linked to subject that I was focusing on and let the children work in those.
What is the role of the Adult in Linked Provision?
In some settings, each adult had managed an 'activity' or 'area' especially when the link is to something like the rules of game play.
Sometimes one adult has taken an overview of the provision while the other adult or adults, had withdrawn children for interventions like speech and language support or reading.
If you pull a child out of good Continuous Provision then you run a great risk of compromising their learning. The provision isn't continuous if you keep stopping it.
Because Linked Provision is a much shorter session, themed around a more specific focus and repeated across the week, children have multiple opportunities to revisit a concept in a variety of contexts.
I would always have my Linked Provision sessions first thing, following self registration. This also allows some time for any late comers who then don't miss out on any direct input.
At the end of Linked Provision, I would then come to the carpet for a good old talk session, signposting of the day or a direct teach.
Linked Provision is by no means an essential part of your day. It is just a strategy that I have used with lots of settings now that has not only solved some timetabling issues, but has had a significant impact on attainment.
So, just to recap…
Linked Provision is a daily short session of play based, child led activities that have been planned around a specific area of need or consolidation that you have identified through observation and assessment.
The role of the adult may change depending on the focus, but primarily they are there to facilitate, teach and support quality learning through play.
Children will have the opportunity to experience and then re visit key concepts across the week
Adult will have the opportunity to withdraw individual or groups of children for focused intervention or teaching.
Have a go and see what you think!