Aistear in Junior Infants

The children in Junior Infants have been engaging in Aistear since January. So far they have experienced The Vets, Home, The Doctors and The Supermarket. Each session lasts approximately 45 minutes and the children work in different designated areas (Socio dramatic, Construction, Small world, Sand/Water, Junk art/ Art). We aim to incorporate activities within these areas connected with our theme whilst also meeting curriculum needs.

What is Aistear?

Aistear is the curriculum framework for children from birth to six years in Ireland. It provides information for adults to help them plan for and provide enjoyable and challenging learning experiences, so that all children can grow and develop as competent and confident learners within loving relationships with others. Aistear describes the types of learning (dispositions, values and attitudes, skills, knowledge, and understanding) that are important for children in their early years, and offers ideas and suggestions as to how this learning might be nurtured. The Framework also provides guidelines on supporting children’s learning through partnerships with parents, interactions, play, and assessment.

In supporting children’s early learning and development Aistear

identifies what and how children should learn, and describes the types of experiences that can support this
makes connections in children’s learning throughout the early childhood years and as they move from one setting to another
supports parents as their children’s primary educators during early childhood, and promotes effective partnerships between parents and practitioners
complements and extends existing curriculums and materials
informs practice across a range of settings, disciplines and professions, and encourages interdisciplinary work.
Principles of early learning and development

Aistear is based on 12 principles of early learning and development. These are presented in three groups:

1. The first group concerns children and their lives in early childhood:

the child’s uniqueness
equality and diversity
children as citizens.
2. The second group concerns children’s connections with others:

parents, family and community
the adult’s role.
3. The third group concerns how children learn and develop:

holistic learning and development
active learning
play and hands-on experiences
relevant and meaningful experiences
communication and language
the learning environment.

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