Having a curriculum in Early Childhood and School Age Education is simply a way of supporting your child’s play, therefore enabling your child to develop and become an independent person. At Tír na nÓg we do this through a Play Based programme, under the Aistear/Síolta National Framework.
We have developed an emergent and inquiry-based curriculum. This type of curriculum is called emergent because it evolves as choices and connections are made by the children, as they discover the world around them. There is an emphasis on child-led learning. The teacher shares control with the children; their actions, thoughts, play, ideas, and conversations guide the curriculum. At times, topics emerge from children’s interests. At other times, teachers introduce specific topics to support children’s learning and development, linked to Aistear’s themes.
We provide an inviting environment whereby children have free choice and freedom of movement within the classroom. During arts and crafts children are supplied with materials that allow them to create their own masterpieces, without any direction from the teacher.
We see immense benefits to stepping away from plastic pretend resources and use a rich array of recycled materials and natural resources. We are committed to promoting sustainability in early years. By adopting this approach, we teach the children the importance of recycling and reducing waste, and we are fostering creativity and resourcefulness.
Loose parts encourage open ended learning. Open ended materials (materials that can be used in a variety of different ways) environments and experiences encourage problem solving. Children involve themselves in concrete experiences using loose parts, which lead to explorations that occur naturally, as opposed to adult directed. They have no predetermined outcome; therefore, children decide how they are used, developing cognitive thinking, imagination and creativity.
Children’s idea of identity and belonging is nurtured through activities within the classroom and the wider community. We invite parents and grandparents to visit and to educate the children about their careers or hobbies. Children are taken on excursions to community centres, the library and the local park.
Outdoor playtime is an essential part of our Part-time ECCE classes. The outdoors is the best learning environment for your children, providing opportunities for play, movement, communication and sensory experience on a much greater scale than indoors. Research shows that children who play outdoors regularly are less likely to be sick, stressed, anxious and are more adaptable to life’s unpredictable turns. In both Tír na nÓg Huntstown and Tír na nÓg Hartstown we have created inviting, interesting gardens, with many opportunities to explore and discover. Our ground surface is suitable for all weathers and is safe and hygienically cleanable. We encourage parents to send warm, water proof outdoor clothing for children during the colder months.
We are fortunate that both creches are located within a safe walking route from Hartstown park. Children are regularly taken to the park on nature and discovery walks. Parents must pre-sign an outings permission form and extra staff accompany the troops.
Aistear is the early childhood curriculum framework for all children in Ireland from birth to six years. Aistear equips teachers with information to help them plan for and provide enjoyable and challenging learning experiences. Aistear celebrates early childhood as a time of being and learning from experiences as they unfold. Aistear describes the types of learning (dispositions, values and attitudes, skills, knowledge and understanding) that are important for children in early years and offers ideas and suggestions as to how this learning can be nurtured.
The framework uses four themes:
- Identity and Belonging
- Exploring and Thinking
Tír na nÓg Huntstown
26 Huntstown Lawn, Mulhuddart, Dublin 15
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Tír na nÓg Hartstown
6 Oakview Lawn, Hartstown, Dublin 15
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