Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework celebrates early childhood as a time of being, and of enjoying and learning from experiences as they unfold. (NCCA)
What is Aistear?
Aistear, meaning journey, is one of the many teaching and learning tools we use in the CBS to explore and implement the primary school curriculum.
Aistear is an opportunity for your child to explore different types of play under different themes.
What are the themes my child will explore?
Each month your child will explore a different theme. Each class teacher may explore different elements of this theme.
Here are some examples:
Food: The restaurant, the supermarket, the café
Animals: The vet, the pet shop, the farm
People in our community: The hospital, the hairdresser, the post office
Christmas: Mrs. Claus’ kitchen, the elves workshop, The North Pole
Keep an eye on homework sheets and class blogs to find out what the monthly theme is.
How does it benefit my child?
Children love the social experience of playing with their peers. It is a great opportunity to develop their social and emotional skills as well as making the child feel part of the class community.
Engaging in active play in the classroom encourages the development of language skills. As the children will be playing in small groups, the teacher has the opportunity to really support their language development by asking questions as well as encouraging conversations with others.
While Aistear time is planned and organized by the teacher, it promotes independence and fosters creativity among the children. They are encouraged to design, plan and chat about their task with their friends and teacher and it is up to them to organise their space and clean up after!
Finally, the children have so much fun, they don’t even notice they are learning!
How often does my child partake in Aistear?
Aistear is timetabled at least three times a week for up to an hour.
Who is involved?
Every infant class is assigned a support teacher for Aistear time. The teachers plan a number of activities for each area and set the classroom up every day. However, the children are encouraged to plan their time at each station and report back to the class on what they did that day.
What can I do as a parent?
Find out the theme of the month. Try to bring these themes to life for your child: bring them to a fire station or Post Office, borrow library books on the topic and try to use the language as often as possible!
To find out more about Aistear, please visit the NCCA website: www.ncca.ie/en/early-childhood/aistear