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 the Convent of Mercy National School, we embrace this approach and focus on it in the Junior and Senior Infant classes this year. The socio-dramatic corner in the room will be 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 the Junior and Senior Infants teachers on our Staff have attended courses on Aistear . We aim to be 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. We integrate other curricular areas such as drama, visual arts & Gaeilge in to the Aistear programme. 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.