Young children come to school from a variety of different backgrounds, having had a range of diverse learning experiences at home and for most, some form of pre-school education.
The Foundation Stage aims to build on these learning experiences by providing children with an appropriate learning programme to develop their dispositions to learn and to provide them with the skills and competencies they will need to succeed in school and future life. The Foundation Stage also endorses good early practice where teachers have more flexibility in terms of what they teach.
This flexibility allows teachers to follow the interests of children, encouraging them to see links in their learning and to appreciate that the skills they learn in one area can be applied elsewhere.
The areas of learning in the Northern Ireland Curriculum are:
Language & Literacy
This area focuses on Talking and Listening, Reading and Writing. It develops the skills that enable children to interact effectively in the world around them. Our recently extended school library gives children the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction books that will help foster positive reading habits.
Mathematics & Numeracy
Teachers enable children to develop knowledge, understanding and skills in: Sorting, Patterns and Relationships, Number, Measures, Shape and Space, Handling Data and Processes in Mathematics. Children have the opportunity to explore a range of computer packages and internet sites to enhance their understanding of mathematics.
The World Around Us
This Area of Learning has combined to provide a balance of experiences across the areas of History, Geography, Science and Technology. This provides opportunity for children to development an awareness of themselves, their place in the world and their environment.
The development of movement skills are nurtured, not only because they are important for the child's long term health and well-being, but because they support the child's physical development. Children experience a sense of fun, enjoyment and achievement through a variety of progressively challenging and innovative activities.
The Department of Education's Core Syllabus for Religious Education is delivered as is statutory for each Key Stage. This syllabus focuses on three learning objectives-
The Revelation of God
- The Christian Church
In addition to this, preparation for the Sacraments is offered, as appropriate, to children of the Roman Catholic faith.
Personal Development & Mutual Understanding
Personal Development and Mutual Understanding focuses on encouraging each child to become personally, emotionally and socially effective. This should encourage children to lead healthy, safe and fulfilled lives and become confident, independent and responsible citizens. The ability to make informed and responsible choices and decisions in the future is promoted.
In today's curriculum there is less emphasis on gaining knowledge and a greater emphasis on gaining skills.
Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities have become an intrinsic part of classroom practice across all Areas of Learning. They highlight the processes of learning and not just the products and therefore engage pupils in active rather than passive learning.
In development personal capabilities children are encouraged to experiment with ideas, take initiatives, learn from mistakes, work collaboratively and become more self-directed in their learning. These skills will be encouraged through the areas of learning.