The Constitution of Ireland states that as a parent, you are your child’s primary educator. You were your child’s first teacher, and in Scoil Chaitríona, we are very respectful of the role you have already played in your child’s learning. You will continue to play a major part in his or her education as he or she progresses through primary school and beyond.

 

 

Developing Independence: As your child grows up, he or she becomes able to do more on his or her own.

Developing and fostering independence in each of our students is very close to our hearts in Scoil Chaitríona and this is one of our key priorities. In terms of your child’s ongoing education, developing personal independence is crucial as it helps him or her to make decisions, solve problems, reach goals and build relationships with others. This gives your child the confidence to attempt and complete school work without saying “I can’t” before he or she has even started. It also helps children be responsible for their own belongings and assert themselves in a positive way. For younger children, this can simply involve letting them put on their own coats and carry their own school bags. For older children, having the responsibility of packing their swimming gear or knowing whether they need to wear a uniform or tracksuit can go a long way towards your child becoming independent.  At home, this can be developed through your child having certain jobs, such as tidying away toys and games, helping unpack the shopping, or, for older children, helping with the washing-up, putting out the rubbish and other house-keeping jobs. Plus, it means less for you to have to do every day!

 

 

 

Reading: All children love stories and young children in particular love books which have colourful pictures.

Reading to your child at bedtime is a great way to help your child develop the simple but important elements of reading, such as reading from left to right, turning pages, etc. In terms of older children, they will usually have reading as part of their homework and it is very beneficial for children who are beginning to read to read out loud with an adult. However, especially for children in Senior classes, reading need not just be limited to school work. Help your child find books on topics that are interesting to them so that they are reading about something they like rather then just reading. Pearse St. Library has a fantastic children’s section which your child would enjoy browsing and choosing books from.

 

Writing: When children first start school, learning how to write is a great novelty.

Having a supply of paper and pencils at home allows your child to practice this new skill of writing numbers, his or her name and just generally enjoying ‘the experience of writing. This does not involve any great expense and it provides you with a ready-made activity for your child.  Pencil grip (how the child holds the pencil) is important as holding the pencil incorrectly can cause discomfort for your child. Ask your child’s teacher to show you the way that your child is taught to hold the pencil in school, as this is a skill in itself – similar to being told to use chopsticks without being shown how! However, the really important thing is that your child is enjoying developing this new skill.  As always, if you have any questions about pencil grip, letter and number formation or ideas, just ask your child’s teacher.

 


Aistear in our Infant Classes

During the school day, we teach the 1999 Revised Primary Curriculum and In the junior classes, this is delivered in tandem with Aistear, the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. This focuses on the important role of play, relationships and language for young children’s learning (0-6 year olds). However, while your child’s formal education takes place during the school day, your child continues to learn new skills, concepts and ideas by interacting with you, other adults and other children outside of school.

So, have the chat about school on the way home - ask about friends, activities, news, etc. It will take a bit of practice for your child to be able to find the words to explain and express his or her thoughts but it will help greatly in developing those all-important oral skills.

Learning How To Write

Having a supply of paper and pencils at home allows your child to practice this new skill of writing numbers, his or her name and just generally enjoying ‘the experience of writing. This does not involve any great expense and it provides you with a ready-made activity for your child.

Pencil grip (how the child holds the pencil) is important as holding the pencil incorrectly can cause discomfort for your child. Ask your child’s teacher to show you the way that your child is taught to hold the pencil in school, as this is a skill in itself – similar to being told to use chopsticks without being shown how! However, the really important thing is that your child is enjoying developing this new skill. If you have any questions about pencil grip, letter and number formation or anything else, just ask your child’s teacher.

Play

Children in Infants classes the see ‘play time’ as part of their routine and they should. No child will ever let their teacher ever get away with a full school day without play time. :-)

As teachers, we view it differently – to begin with, we call it directed play!. While not a subject in the same sense as Maths or Irish, directed play involves set activities. The activities promote the child’s use of oral language and communication skills, social skill development, how to follow instructions or rules and to develop fine motor skills, i.e. threading beads, cutting paper, playing games such as Jenga, etc. We advise all parents to play as much as possible with their children - not only is this a lovely way to spend time together but it is a really important part of a child's life.

Talk, talk and talk some more.

Regardless of your child's age, we place a huge emphasis on Oral Language for all classes in our school. So, as a parent, just spending time talking with your child is probably the best thing you do.

For example, if you have watched a film with your child, you could ask if he or she liked it and why. This encourages the child to think beyond 'yes' and 'no' answers and also helps develop new vocabulary. You'll hear enough "yes" and "no" responses when your child gets older...:-)