This year Cloneen NS welcomed nine new infants into the school. They joined Senior Infants in their bright classroom which is a constant hive of activity. Within a very short time, the children were well settled into their routine and knew which group they belonged to for whichever activity was in progress!
AISTEAR and STATION TEACHING are the methodologies used in this classroom.
Station teaching is the main approach to teaching in the infant classroom in Cloneen, station teaching allows us to differentiate learning as every child learns in a different way and have different abilities, strengths and weaknesses. A themed approach in the infants’ classroom in Cloneen allows the children to explore and learn more about the world around them. Our themes at the start of the year focus on the children themselves, growing and changing, transitioning into school, their feelings and the world around them, autumn, animals, transport and winter. Station teaching allows us to adapt teaching to improve access to learning for pupils of differing abilities. In the morning our focus is on literacy, all aspects of literacy, reading, writing and oral language. The importance of oral language cannot be underestimated, the teacher leads a small group and helps the children to develop confidence in speaking and basic social skills through game. In the mornings there is a station for ICT, where the children play literacy games online, they have great fun and are learning in the process. Our classroom is never quiet, there is always a gentle hum of activity. Children are problem solving, learning through activity, collaborative learning, they are stimulated by hearing the ideas and opinions of others and reacting to them. Station teaching allows us to work with a small group everyday so we know every child’s individual ability and how best your child learns.
We continue Aistear in the Infant Classroom in Cloneen. Aistear is an early childhood curriculum framework, its main principle is learning through play. The children in Cloneen are encouraged to use the environment to learn. Through play the children can better understand the world around them. Each week we have a different theme. Some of our themes were animals, each week we had a different focus, farm animals, under the sea, birds and jungle/exotic animals.