Aistear is the early childhood curriculum framework for children in the early years in Ireland. The Framework uses four interconnected themes to describe the content of children's learning and development: Well-being, Identity and Belonging, Communicating, and Exploring and Thinking. (NCCA)
Senior Infants and First Class began the school year playing under the theme of 'The School'. Play was structured in six stations: a malleable station, two role-play stations, a small-world station, junk art and construction. Students were taught themed vocabulary beforehand and were assisted by three teachers and an S.N.A. who helped draw out language and encourage students to effectively communicate with others in a meaningful way.
Children planned their work before hand and used these plans to inform their play. Students review each session-describing their experiences, sharing things they have learned and commenting on aspects that went well and identifying things they could improve.
I hope you will see from the pictures just how much fun they have and how many opportunities for learning structured play affords the students.
It is interesting and fantastic to see evidence of the progression the students have made (especially in construction and junk art) from September until now, and of course into the new year.