The themes describe what children learn — the dispositions, attitudes and values, skills, knowledge, and understanding. Theme: Well-being The theme of Well-being is about children being confident, happy and healthy. Well-being focuses on developing as a person. It has two main elements: psychological well-being including feeling and thinking and physical well-being. Children need to feel valued, respected, empowered, cared for, and included. They also need to respect themselves, others, and their environment.
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The themes describe what children learn — the dispositions, attitudes and values, skills, knowledge, and understanding. Theme: Well-being The theme of Well-being is about children being confident, happy and healthy. Well-being focuses on developing as a person. It has two main elements: psychological well-being including feeling and thinking and physical well-being.
Children need to feel valued, respected, empowered, cared for, and included. They also need to respect themselves, others, and their environment. They become positive about themselves and their learning when adults value them for who they are and when they promote warm and supportive relationships with them. Life is full of challenges and struggles. Therefore, being flexible and having a positive outlook on learning and on life is crucial.
All these experiences help children to become resilient and resourceful and to learn to cope with change and situations in which things go wrong.
Physical well-being is important for learning and development as this enables children to explore, to investigate, and to challenge themselves in the environment. A growing awareness of their bodies and abilities is also part of this. The adult also helps children towards independence by providing them with choice in their activities, and by providing opportunities for them to make decisions and to take the lead.
In our pre-school we: enable kids to explore and manipulate objects in a multi-sensorial way so that they can smell, taste, hear, see, touch, reach, grasp, lift, and drop objects. Theme: Identity and Belonging The theme of Identity and Belonging is about children developing a positive sense of who they are, and feeling that they are valued and respected as part of a family and community. From birth, children develop a sense of who they are. Relationships with family members, other adults and children, friends and members of their community play a key role in building their identities.
Belonging is about having a secure relationship with or a connection with a particular group of people. When children feel a sense of belonging and sense of pride in their families, their peers, and their communities, they can be emotionally strong, self-assured, and able to deal with challenges and difficulties.
This creates an important foundation for their learning and development. Giving children messages of respect, love, approval, and encouragement enables them to develop a positive sense of who they are and a feeling that they have an important contribution to make wherever they are. Positive messages about their families, backgrounds, cultures, beliefs, and languages help children to develop pride in who they are.
These messages also give them confidence to voice their views and opinions, to make choices, and to help shape their own learning. By embracing difference, by exploring their own attitudes in relation to equality and diversity, and by realising that their attitudes and values influence children, adults can develop the insights, self-awareness and skills that are needed to help children develop a strong sense of identity and belonging.
This helps to ensure that all children are respected and valued and that they can recognise and deal with discrimination and prejudice. Communicating involves giving, receiving and making sense of information. Children do this by using non-verbal means of communication, talking, listening, thinking, and understanding. In time, the skills of reading and writing enrich this experience. Communicating is a two-way activity; as well as learning to share their experiences with others children also learn to interpret what others are sharing with them.
They communicate in many different ways including facial expressions, gestures, body movements, sounds, language and for some children, through assistive technology.
It includes art, Braille, dance, drama, music, poetry, pictures, sculpture, signing, and stories. While most children eventually master spoken and written language as their key means of communicating, they continue to speak through their gestures, body movements and expressions to a greater or lesser extent.
Some children with special educational needs may need additional and consistent support throughout their lifetime to practise, learn and perfect the art of non-verbal communication. The adult encourages children to communicate by listening to them, interpreting what they are saying, responding to them, and by modelling good communication. The adult also provides an environment which motivates children to interact with each other and the adult, and with the objects and places in it.
These early experiences support children in becoming confident and competent communicators. Children use their senses, their minds and their bodies to find out about and make sense of what they see, feel and experience in the world around them.
They gather information and develop new skills, including thinking skills. They form ideas and theories and test these out. They refine their ideas through exploring their environment actively and through interacting and communicating with adults and with other children.
Much of this happens through play and other experiences that allow children to be creative, to take risks, and to make discoveries. As they learn, they retest their theories adjusting them to take on board new discoveries and new experiences. In early childhood, most children develop physically and cognitively through exploring their environment, though some have disabilities that make this more difficult to achieve.
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Aistear and Síolta
What is Aistear? Aistear is the new 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. Aistear describes the types of learning that are important for children in their early years, and offers ideas and suggestions for how this learning might be nurtured. The Framework also provides guidelines on aspects of early childhood practice. Who is Aistear for? Aistear is for practitioners and parents.
Aistear What is Aistear? Following consultation with the early childhood sector, the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment NCCA has produced Aistear, a curriculum framework for children from birth to 6 years. This national curriculum framework establishes principles and themes or goals that all early childhood services in Ireland work towards. Who is Aistear for?
National Síolta Aistear Initiative