WHAT is Aistear?

Aistear is a curriculum framework for children from birth to six years in Ireland. It gives information to help plan for and provide enjoyable and challenging learning experiences so that all children can grow and develop as competent and confident learners.

HOW does Aistear work

The Aistear framework is based on 12 broad principles – many of which are similar to the aims and objectives of the primary school curriculum. Practically speaking this means that teachers will deliver the curriculum in an integrated / thematic way. Teachers will prioritise play in the classroom and school environment. We have been very lucky here at The Mercy Primary to have converted a whole prefab to an ‘Aistear’ room where classes are brought by their teachers to fully engage in this wonderful method of learning through play

Why play?

Play is often described as children’s ‘work’. Playing helps your child to Build relationships – by playing with others, sharing and taking turns; solving problems and negotiating etc.
  • Be creative – when he/she has to create an outfit from old clothes, build a house out of junk material etc. Read and write – when he/she reads or retells a story.
  • Learn about numbers – when he/she pays for things in a pretend shop etc.
  • Think – when a plan has to be made, for example – deciding what materials to use to build a den.
  • Use language – to explain the rules of the game, playing a role in pretend play etc.
  • Use small and large muscles – when he/she builds with Lego, cuts with scissors, draws or writes etc

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