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AR - Aistear

Delivering for learning through child led play in infants

About the Course

This course is designed to introduce teachers to Aistear, the early childhood curriculum. The course provides teachers with a thorough grounding in the principles and practices of Aistear that specifically relate to primary school children. We also include contributions from our experienced team of junior class teachers as they share their approaches & methodologies and their acquired insights and materials. These teachers are successfully implementing the Aistear framework, principles and practices, thereby providing challenging, enjoyable and high quality experiences which help children to play, grow and develop.


The online format of this course enables you to study at a time and place that best suits your own needs. 

You can access your course from July 1st to August 16th 2024.

Within this highly interactive web based course, a dynamic learning experience awaits, where you can interact with your fellow course participants through the in-course chat forums and communication tools provided by the CPD College learning system. 

Our friendly and knowledgeable tutors actively support each course, providing expert interaction, guidance and feedback for all participants on chat questions and assignments which call for critical reflection, self-analysis and a reasoned response. 

On successful completion of your course, you can download and print off your CPD record and certificate of completion.

We look forward to welcoming you to your course.

Learning outcomes

This course aims to:

  • Provide teachers with a detailed working knowledge of the themes, principles and practices of the Aistear framework
  • Critique and justify the essential place for a play based approach to learning in the infant classroom
  • Share the classroom experiences and effective practices of fellow teachers implementing Aistear
  • Equip teachers with ideas to engineer and create Aistear informed, well structured, engaging and rich learning environments and experiences
  • Help teachers craft and develop Aistear informed integrated thematic units of work
  • Develop appreciation for the Aistear approach to curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment
  • Provide a selection of research papers / readings on aspects of, and approaches to early childhood education from which ideas and best practices can be extrapolated
  • Itemise some digital tools and software that can facilitate work in early childhood education
  • Look at, review and score one’s own ‘Teacher Practice in Literacy’ as part of the SSE process.
01 - Aistear is a framework that asks teachers to provide challenging, enjoyable and high quality experiences that help children to grow and develop, with all work centred around 4 broad themes i.e. wellbeing, identity & belonging, communicating and exploring & thinking. As teachers work to develop a quality infant curriculum, they are tasked to do so in the spirit of the principles, themes and evidence based approaches suggested by the framework. To guide and inspire their work, we have some teachers share their experiences of introducing and working the Aistear approach.
02 - Learning through play is key in early childhood education and is core to Aistear, for all the reasons we highlight in this module. We look at planning and organising for play, the role of the teacher, the teacher/child interactions during play, the opportunities for observing & assessing and share some teacher experiences & units of work, while organising play as a context for learning & development.
03 - Children have a fundamental need to be with other people. They learn and develop through these nurturing relationships/interactions with adults and other children, and the quality of these interactions impacts on their language learning and development. Language development opportunities abound in playful routines; be they creative, physical, pretend, language games, etc. combined with conversation stimuli such as real objects, photographs, walks in the community etc., all providing a wealth of authentic language development opportunities that can be built into a suite of integrated units of work.
04 - From booking a holiday with a travel agent, to advising customers at the pet shop; from the garden centre to the corner shop, there is endless scope for creating structured & rich learning environments around creative units of work full of inbuilt learning opportunities. The units of work develop maths language and concepts in a fun engaging way around counting, sorting, comparing, measuring, building, patterning, buying & selling, travel and weather etc. as they book holidays, care for pets and run a busy corner shop.
05 - Drawing upon the Aistear framework, principles & themes, teachers plan integrated units of work that incorporate rich learning experiences for the children, while providing opportunities for the teacher to monitor and document the learning and progression, milestone by milestone.

"I feel that the course was excellently put together, and though I have always thought the courses that CPD College offers to be of a very high standard, I felt this was the best to date. I especially thought the videos by Maria and the podcasts were excellent for practical tips, and that the integrated topic plans for Aistear were excellent. Thank you for putting this course together."  Joan, 2023