Aistear (an Irish word meaning “Journey”) is a framework for developing literacy and numeracy through play, which is very much supported and promoted by the Department of Education and Skills. In Ransboro National School, we embrace this approach and focus on it in the Junior and Senior Infant classes. The Socio-dramatic corner in the room is a focal point, while groups of children engage in carefully prepared and structured play activity and groupwork, specifically targeting certain objectives of the Primary School Curriculum. Indeed, the Aistear approach is an exciting new development in primary education and Mrs. Siobhán Buckley on our staff is a tutor on the Aistear approach, delivering training to teachers in our region.
We are well resourced for this approach, having identified themes to work on with our pupils and equipping our school with exciting equipment to implement the development of literacy and numeracy in the classroom through these themes. The classroom “socio-dramatic” corner can transform into a café, restaurant, opticians clinic, construction site, home corner, hairdressers and the list goes on. Children are encouraged to develop their skills of oral language, writing, reading, numeracy etc: through fun, play and positive interactions with teacher and their peers in a well planned learning environment.
This video from the NCCA (National Council for Curriculum and Assessment) was compiled using images of pupils in our school engaged in different aspects of the Aistear approach to infant education – role play, construction, junk art, water play, sand play, group activities. We hope you enjoy it!