Aistear in the Infant classes in Scoil Naomh Micheál
Our Junior and Senior Infants get opportunities to learn through play throughout their school day and across all subjects in the curriculum. We also have specific play times which are theme based and encourage oral language development and support learning in many subject areas. We call these play sessions “Aistear” sessions because the planning of these are strongly influenced by the Aistear curriculum, which is the curriculum framework for children from birth to six years in Ireland. You can learn more about Aistear here: http://www.ncca.biz/Aistear/
In September and October our theme for socio-dramatic play (pretend play) was the Doctor’s Surgery. Children engaged in pretend play using relevant toys and costumes. The children learned from each other during these sessions as well as extending their expressive and receptive language and their social skills. Perhaps most importantly, they had great fun as the pictures below show! When we had finished this theme, Dr. Quinlan, a local doctor with children in our school, came to visit. The children had an opportunity to ask him questions and to look at, and try out, some of his equipment. The Junior Infants recorded his visit by drawing pictures while our Seniors wrote a short piece about it.
For November our theme of the Café was a big success. The children enjoyed setting the table, taking and making orders, serving each other and writing their menus. See pictures below. Stay tuned to find out next month’s very exciting theme…
December’s theme has been Santa’s Workshop. The children loved getting dressed up as elves, reindeer and, of course, Santa himself. They made lists, wrapped presents and loaded up Santa’s sack. In other groups, children wrote or drew their letters to Santa, built a sleigh and Santa’s village from construction toys and did some cutting and sticking using toy catalogues and card.
Our theme this half term is the Construction Site and there really is no recession being felt in here! Our surveyors, foremen and forewomen, builders, painters and decorators are hard at work 5 days a week! We listened closely to Luke and Lucy’s Dad who is a builder and are trying our best to follow his plans – let’s hope our houses turn out well built!
During March and April, Junior Infants have been enjoying Water Play and Junk Art as part of their Aistear programme. Water Play gives our children a chance to work independently, enhance confidence and learn how to take turns and co-operate. Some of the objectives from the Science curriculum are met during this time (Strand Unit: Materials and Change). As we have recently been learning about ‘Capacity’ in Maths, water play allows the children to consolidate and further explore what they have learned.
In Junk Art, the children choose their materials from a variety of old, clean packaging, wrapping paper, containers, ribbon, material and string to make their own creation. Junk Art gives them an opportunity to make and express their own choices and to experience a wide range of materials to work with. Again, children are collaborating, sharing and problem solving during this time. We are meeting objectives from several areas of the curriculum while doing Junk art, including Geography and SPHE (learning about the environment and recycling), Maths (matching, sorting, ordering, comparing) and Oral Language.