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.
To see examples of Aistear in action click on the following link from the NCCA website.
WHY play? Play is often described as children’s ‘work’. Playing helps your child to
- Build relationships – by helping each other, 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.
HOW can you help? You can help your child in a number of ways
- Give your child time to play every day.
- Provide things for your child to play with – old boxes, clothes and household items are often more fun than bought toys and equipment.
- Join in the play.
- Make space for play.
- When chatting, ask what your child was playing with that day.
- Show that you value play – whether it’s at home or in school.
- Let your child’s teacher know about the games, activities, books that your child enjoys.
You can also help the school by donating old toys that your child no longer wants but that are still of good quality. Please contact your child’s class teacher for more information.
In the section above you will have learned a little about the Aistear framework. For more information please visit NCCA website.