Aistear2017-02-03T12:56:35+01:00

In this section you will find an outline of the Aistear framework. For more information please visit the NCCA website.

Aistear is the curriculum framework for children from birth to 6 years and is implemented in Barefield N.S with Junior and Senior Infant classes. Aistear describes the types of learning that are important for children in their early years and offers ideas and suggestions as to how this learning might be nurtured at home and in school. The framework also provides guidelines on supporting children’s learning through partnerships with parents, interactions, play, and assessment (NCCA,2009).

Partnerships with parents are encouraged through informing parents of the theme being explored by the class, for example ‘The Café’. Parents are encouraged to send in resources for each theme and also ask their child about what learning station he/she participated in each day. Your child may have been at the art station engaging in creative play, the construction station engaging in physical play, the small world station engaging in pretend play, or the socio-dramatic station engaging in pretend play. The type and number of stations may vary. Also, photographs of the children at their play stations may be uploaded to the school website from time to time. Parents can help make the learning experience relevant for their child by bringing him/her to a real café for example when this theme is being explored or to the pet shop or market during these themes so that the child can use new language acquired.

Interactions: The importance of promoting positive inter-child interactions and also interactions between the children and teacher before, during, and after play is highlighted in the Aistear framework. Children are encouraged to help each other, share skills and knowledge with each other, and solve problems. The teacher may also adopt a role with the play and interacts regularly with the children in the context of the play and models language and communication skills.

Play: There are many different types of play and children may engage in more than one type of play at a given time. Creative play may involve creating at the art station. Pretend play occurs at the socio-dramatic station (for example examining a patient at the Doctor’s Surgery) and the Small World Station (engaging in make believe play with the doll’s house, making a small farm etc). Physical play may involve building with blocks or manipulating playdough. While children may show preferences for one type of play it is important that they experience a variety of types to support their learning and development across the four themes of Well-being, Identity and Belonging, Communicating, and Exploring and Thinking.

Assessment is the ongoing process of collecting, documenting, reflecting on, and using information to develop rich portraits of children as learners in order to support and enhance their future learning, as assessment for learning requires (NCCA, 2009). The children’s learning is documented in many ways such as through observing the children, completing checklists, collecting work samples, conferencing, and children’s self-assessment of their work.

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