The service is committed to developing a curriculum that creates a child centered play based environment, nurtures children’s love of learning and education and is informed by child development and learning theories.
Curriculum is everything that happens, formal or informal, indoors our outdoors, planned or spontaneous. It can be the interactions we have, the questions we ask, the relationships we form, the equipment we enjoy or that is new, the places we go, the activities we do, the things we play. All of these moments give us as Teachers very important information about children. They can tell us what children like or dislike, what they know and don’t know, the skills they have or are developing, what they are interested in or are hesitant to engage with. We use all of this information to plan a curriculum of activates, resources, environments and strategies that support learning and development.
The National Curriculum framework , Aistear, is used to help us to plan curriculums that explore all areas of development including, Well-Being, Exploring and Thinking, Identity and Belonging and Communicating. Aistear’s underlying principles also encourage us to value children’s as individuals, value parent and family participation in their child’s learning experiences and value what our community can contribute our school experience.
Our approach to teaching and learning is through an Emergent and Inquiry-based curriculum. This means that the learning experiences reflect children interests, needs, identities and needs and that we teach through hands-on, play-based experiences. Inquiry-based learning also means that children are part of the learning and discovery process. We adapt our environments, approaches and strategies to meet children’s individual needs and preferences, so that we can support each child’s individual needs.
Capturing Children’s Learning and Development
We use observations and learning stories to capture children’s learning and development, and we share these with the children and with families. We also use them to reflect on the child’s experiences, which helps us to make any needed changes to our practice or environment and plan curriculum.
We use End of Term reports so that we can capture the experiences and development of the child over the past term, and set goals for the next term.