Scoil Aonghusa CNS makes learning fun

At 10am every day, 19 energetic 5 and 6 year olds at Scoil Aonghusa Community National

School enter their ‘World of Fun’ and the bubbling sound of chitter­chatter, laughter and

learning can be heard. This is all thanks to the new Aistear Centre Playroom that has

been created to provide for ‘learning through play’ as part of Aistear, the early childhood

curriculum framework. Aistear team lead Nora O’Sullivan and Class teacher Eimear

O’Driscoll are actively implementing learning through play 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 that help them solve problems, negotiate, share,

co­operate 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.

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”. Scoil Aonghusa CNS Aistear team lead Nora O’Sullivan, experienced in early

years education, welcomed the use of Aistear and the Aistear Centre saying “the

Aistear Curriculum Framework is giving the children a rich educational experience which

will allow them to develop important social skills such as empathy and perspective

taking together with mathematical and English language skills”.

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