Curriculum Foundations consists of six fortnightly workshops introducing concepts that are further explored in the Animating Aistear and Nurturing Interaction phases. Stage 1 is underpinned by the common principles of Aistear and Síolta and the theories of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Reflective Practice. Each workshop comprises a set of learning aims and objectives specific to early years practice. Participants identify personal Practice Goals following each workshop. Throughout the Curriculum Foundations stage the Early Years Mentors provide one to one mentoring and coaching support to assist participants to accomplish goals and embed new learning into practice. On completion of Curriculum Foundations participants create their vision for professional practice collectively and bring this vision to life in the next stages, Animating Aistear and Nurturing Interactions.
Our early years quality mentor provides formal training and on-site professional development for early years educators that includes:
- Presentations and workshops
- Observation and feedback
- Regular opportunities for reflective conversations
Over time settings are supported to:
- Use Aistear’s guidelines for good practice to develop and enhance their curriculum
- Create a curriculum statement to make children’s learning visible to parents and other visitors to the setting
- Adapt and improve the learning environment
- Understand and use Aistear’s planning and assessment tools and methods
High quality early years education has been shown to have positive benefits for children’s learning and development.
“The children are much more involved in planning of activities as I now use their interests for large and small groups. I also use the camera to document the children’s learning and interests and I find parents are much more involved as showing them their child’s learning portfolio and learning journal brings learning to life.”
“I learnt so much, I really enjoyed it. Planning, small groups and paperwork is lots more fun and child led now.”
“All the mentors were great and very easy to understand, very supportive and positive. I learnt lots of new skills and have a lot more confidence.”
“I’ve gained a lot of knowledge about Aistear and how it relates to our day to day activities. All the children are much more involved and the parents are more interested in individual learning portfolios. I use smaller groups and use the camera more to capture the children’s learning and development”.