Galbally NS

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Early Years

Aistear introduced to Galbally NS.
We are delighted and really excited about Aistear.This  is the new curriculum framework for children from birth to six years in Ireland. It helps plan for and provide enjoyable and challenging learning experiences so that all children can grow and develop as competent and confident learners.
The Aistear Framework has been integrated easily with our primary school Infant curriculum here in Galbally
Also it builds on and develops further the work in place in our Pre-school.Indeed we are delighted with the liason and ongoing discussion between our Infants teacher and the Childcare service  so that children are assured of the most modern ideas and educational practices .
Scroll down to learn more about our Early Years curriculum.


Learning and Life in Galbally National School
Literacy and Numeracy in the Early Years

Learning for Life
Current education policy has pledged to significantly improve literacy and numeracy skills among our young people by 2020 (Literacy and Numeracy for Learning and Life, 2011).
We at Galbally National School are working hard towards achieving this goal.
As literacy and numeracy skills have traditionally been understood to be the same as one’s reading ability or score on a maths test, attempts to improve children’s literacy and numeracy skills have generally consisted of working on extra reading or extra maths problems. At Galbally National School we believe that excellent literacy and numeracy standards can be achieved by enhancing children’s overall learning experiences.

Nurturing Your Child’s Development

Children learn to talk in order to communicate what they want and need. All language was created on this basis. Yet often children approach reading, writing and problem-solving with caution rather than enthusiasm, afraid that they will ‘get it wrong’. This can lead to a loss of confidence which often results in literacy and numeracy difficulties. The power of play in overcoming literacy and numeracy difficulties is rarely explored. Integrating writing and problem-solving into play allows children to see the purpose of literacy and numeracy. They see, for example, that all writing is created with a reader in mind (food orders, shopping lists, recipes, police records, patient notes etc.)

Below our  children Learning Through Play at the 'Garda Station' and 'Hairdressers'

Literacy, Numeracy and Play
Research shows that developing literacy and numeracy skills in young children through play has lifelong benefits. Children are provided with literacy and numeracy experiences that are real and rewarding. These experiences instil a feeling of pride and ownership within all children, enticing them to participate enthusiastically in literacy and numeracy practices throughout their lives.

Below Learning through play at the 'Post Office'


The 4 themes of Aistear     .        

Implementing the Aistear Framework
The Aistear Framework for Early Childhood Learning is based on the fact that children learn many different things at the same time throughout their lives.
The Framework uses four interconnected themes to describe the content of children's learning and development:
Well-being, Identity and Belonging, Communicating, and Exploring and Thinking.
Aistear highlights the critical role of play, relationships and language for young children's learning. The Aistear Framework has been integrated easily with our primary school curriculum here in Galbally National School. We understand and appreciate the importance of children’s literacy and numeracy skills during all types of play (pretend, language, small-world, physical etc.) thus fusing the essential elements of our curriculum with the lives of the children.


Importance of Skills in Learning for Life
Young children’s literacy and numeracy experiences are more rewarding for them if others can easily interpret their work. A clear grasp of phonics and number concepts is essential. Children are introduced to approximately 50 phonetic ‘sounds’ in their first year in Galbally National School. These sounds are presented using imaginative stories, songs and poems which the children love and remember easily when reading or writing. Number stories are presented in the same way. The children enjoy learning these skills and apply them without difficulty throughout the school day.

Learning for Life Across the Curriculum
The opportunity to learn through play is not confined to playtime alone but can be easily integrated with all curricular areas (Irish, English, Maths, History, Geography, Science, PE, Music, Art, Drama and SPHE). In fact, using dramatic play, small world play, language play etc. as a teaching tool makes the topics taught more meaningful for children as they can make connections between their own experience and the wider world. The purpose of learning becomes clearer to them and, as a result, motivation and enthusiasm levels increase, thus improving standards across the curriculum.

Below Children Working on the ‘length’ and ‘weight’ maths strands in the ‘builders’ and the ‘café’


And finally we see Children using the ‘Travel Agents’, ‘Mini Ocean’ and ‘Three Little Pigs’ story box to achieve educational objectives in Geography, Science and History.

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