Aistear is the early childhood curriculum framework for all children from birth to 6 years in Ireland. The framework uses four interconnected themes to describe children’s learning and development: Well-being; Identity and Belonging; Communicating; and Exploring and Thinking.

Aistear provides information to assist practitioners, including infant teachers and Early Start teachers, in planning and providing enjoyable and appropriately challenging learning experiences that afford children the opportunity to grow and develop as competent and confident learners within loving relationships with others.

Aistear outlines the types of learning that are important for children during early childhood and provides practical ideas and suggestions as to how this learning may be nurtured. The Curriculum framework also provides guidelines on supporting children’s learning through play, interactions, assessment and partnerships with parents.

Aistear in our Classroom

The new Primary Language Curriculum emphasises playful learning experiences. Play is an essential tool for learning in the infant classroom and can be integrated across all curricular areas.

Within the infant school day, it is incredibly beneficial for the children to have allocated time for child-led play. In our classroom I like to use a thematic approach to allow for integrated learning. Although it is child-led play, the teacher’s role is crucial for planning, modelling, supporting, observing and assessing the play. As the teacher I support the children in their play, rather than leading it.

– Mrs. O’ Gorman