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Curriculum

Fun & Creativity

We offer an inclusive, comprehensive, play-based and Montessori curriculum guided by Aistear, the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework and supported by Siolta, the National Quality Framework.  Our weekly routine and curriculum planning is based on a child attending the full ECCE allocated hours of 3 hours per day, 5 days per week, 38 weeks per year as per our preschool calendar. Therefore, please note, we currently DO NOT provide education and care outside the ECCE scheme, nor do we accept part-time places such as 3 days or 2 days per week.  Children's overall well-being as well as their social and emotional development benefit greatly when they have a consistent routine, 5 days per week.  Please see our settling-in policy if you feel your child might require time to adjust to a full ECCE programme.

To encourage children's emergent interests and to help give our daily activities more structure, we incorporate weekly themes based on children's ideas, yearly celebrations or cultural festivities and age appropriate subject matters known to fascinate children.  Our yearly planner can be downloaded here.

In preparation for primary school we focus on developing children’s concentration and independence, getting them used to routine and following instruction, and developing their emotional well-being through an understanding of their emotions and how to deal with difficult emotions.  Following a structured but flexible weekly routine allows the children to build confidence.  The activities of the day are discussed with the children at the start of each session.  Together we decide the order of the day before it is displayed through pictures and words on our "This is our day" board.  Children can follow the cards as we transition from one activity to the next throughout the day.  Our daily routine serves as a guide and is flexible to adapt to the current needs of the children.  Our daily routine can be downloaded here.

 

Play-based

Play is the collective language of childhood. It is through play that children understand each other and make sense of the world around them. Children learn so much from play; it teaches them many social skills including sharing, taking turns, self-discipline and tolerance of others. Play is children’s means of assimilating the world, making sense of their experience to make it part of themselves.  The play-based curriculum involves a range of activities and learning approaches - but the child's right to learn through play is at the centre of the curriculum.

 

The job of the educator is to facilitate play and draw out and extend what children learn through play.  The daily routine is structured so that there is time for free play, both indoors and outdoors, where children choose their activities and explore and experiment with the materials around them, either on their own or in collaboration with other children.

Under the guidance of Aistear and Siolta, we encourage learning through free play with a range of activities including:

 

  • Imaginative Play

  • Books

  • Music Activities

  • Creative Play

  • Sand and Water Play

  • Arts and Crafts

  • Play Dough

  • Jig Saws,

  • Construction 

  • Small world play

  • Energetic Play

Music

Montessori

Montessori is a teaching method created by Maria Montessori.  Her method of teaching is almost a century old.  Essentially, her method is based on observations of the children, which we use to create individual lesson plans based on the child’s abilities and interests. 

 

Most lessons are taught on a one-to-one basis and at the child’s own pace.  Maria Montessori believed in the ethos of “teach me to teach myself” and this is something that is very important for the children as we teach them vital skills that will help them throughout life.  Her method also places an emphasis on the development of the whole child.

 

Montessori's emphasis is on the family as a vital support unit for the child, and parents role in understanding and encouraging a child’s growth and education.

 

The characteristics can be summed up as follows:

  • All children have ‘absorbent’ minds

  • All children pass through ‘sensitive’ periods

  • All children want to learn

  • All children learn through play/work

  • All children pass through several stages of development

  • All children want to be independent

 

The curriculum covered in our Montessori classes are as follows:

  • Practical Life – exercises which teach the child skills for life such as dressing themselves, social skills and courtesies and directionality for reading and writing.

  • Sensorial – Refining the child’s nine senses with specially designed didactic materials. (Visual, Tactile, Stereognostic, Thermic, Olfactory, gustatory, Hearing, Chromatic and Baric).

  • Mathematics – Identifying numbers 1 to 10. Counting through and early addition.

  • Language – Beginning with the phonetic alphabet, word building and early grammar.

  • Culture – Early introduction to Zoology, Botany, Geography, History, Science and Nature.

  • Arts, Crafts and play – Sand, water, dough, jigsaws, music, pretend play.

Movement

Aistear

In 2012, we incorporated the guidelines as set out in the new Early Years Curriculum Framework: Aistear.  The Framework celebrates early childhood as a time of being, and of enjoying and learning from experiences as they unfold.

 

This early learning also lays important foundations for later learning. Because early childhood marks the beginning of children’s lifelong learning journeys, this framework is called Aistear, the Irish word for journey. 

 

Purpose of 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.

 

This framework has elements which link in with the Montessori Teaching Method and include the following 4 themes:

  • Well-being

  • Identity and Belonging

  • Communicating

  • Exploring and Thinking

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