Aistear in Junior Infants in Scoil Naomh Micheál
Our Junior 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, encourage oral language development and support learning in many subject areas. We call these play sessions “Aistear” sessions because the planning of these is 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:
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!

img_8829 img_8845 img_8847 img_8848 img_8854 img_8855 img_8856 img_8858 img_8859

When we had finished this theme, Norma Dunlea, a local nurse with children in our school, came to visit. The children had an opportunity to ask her questions about her job. The Junior Infants recorded this visit by drawing pictures in their SESE copies.
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.

img_9248 img_9249 img_9254 img_9255 img_9256 img_9373 img_9374 img_9392 img_9397

During December our theme is Santa’s Workshop. The children are writing letters to Santa at the writing table. Santa is making a list of all the children in the class. The elves and reindeer are building the sleigh and making toys for children all over the world.

img_9423 img_9424 img_9425 img_9426 img_9427 img_9428 img_9429

During January and February we moved on to the theme of The Construction Site. All the of boys and girls learned about planning and building and all of the different jobs on the building site. all of the groups then took turns playing Construction Site in the pretend play corner, building with Lego, drawing up architects’ plans, and making 3D models out of recyclable materials.

Belle’s Dad, who is an engineer, came to school to tell us about his job. He showed us pictures of some of the jobs he has worked on. He also brought in some plans for us to look at. We learned a lot from his visit.

img_9742 img_9743-1 img_9744 img_9748 img_9749 img_9750-1

img_9770 img_9771

For March, our theme was ‘Vets’. The children loved this theme and brought a lot of sick and hurt toy animals from home into school to get treated. All of the boys and girls took turns in the pretend play corner, dressing up as vets and caring for the animals. As you will see from the photos it was a very busy practice!

At the Writing Station, groups wrote and designed a poster for a lost pet and wrote instructions on how to care for a goldfish. Ms. Duggan helped all of the children to plan and carry out these writing tasks.

Children built enclosures and kennels for the different types of animals at the Construction station.

On April 3rd, we had a visit from a real vet. Rose and Lily May Kelleher’s Mum came in and told us all about her job. The children listened very well and asked great questions that they had prepared earlier. A big thank you to Norma Kelleher for taking time out of her busy job to visit us.