Aistear

Scoil Aonghusa CNS Mallow makes learning fun!

At 1pm every day, 19 energetic 5 and 6 year olds at Scoil Aonghusa CNS enter their ‘World of Fun’ and the bubbling sound of chitter-chatter, laughter and learning can be heard. This is all thanks to the playroom that was created to provide for ‘learning through play’ as part of Aistear, the early childhood curriculum framework. Scoil Aonghusa is getting the keys of their brand new state of the art school building at Castlepark at the start of November and the children can’t wait to play in the new Aistear room there as well. Teacher Stephanie Mulcahy has been actively implementing learning through play over the last two years to allow children to grow and develop their social and emotional skills whilst also integrating key concepts and skills across curriculum areas such as English, Irish, Mathematics and Art. The children learn through play using toys as tools, helping them solve problems, negotiate, share, co-operate and also to develop both fine and gross motor skills. The children’s natural curiosity, love of learning and willingness to engage are developed and each step in the Aistear journey helps them gain more of the skills they need to succeed in life.

When hearing about the implementation of the Aistear curriculum at Scoil Aonghusa CNS, Arlene Forster, Director of Curriculum and Assessment, National Council for Curriculum and Assessment commented  “Aistear (NCCA, 2009) highlights the importance of play for young children’s early learning and development. Alongside the fun it provides, play helps children to manage their feelings, develop as thinkers and language users, develop socially, and to be creative and imaginative. Play is key to building strong foundations for young children to become effective communicators and learners. Key messages from Aistear are shaping the development of the primary curriculum beginning with a new Language Curriculum (English and Irish) for all children in all primary schools”.

Infant teacher Stephanie Mulcahy said “The Aistear curriculum and playroom provides a wonderful educational experience which allows the infant children to learn through their play, developing important social skills, together with Mathematics and English Language Arts”.