- School Development
St. Michael’s College Junior School operates a Preschool which first opened its door to children in September 2012. Children attending may avail of the ECCE scheme providing they meet the eligibility criteria.
Guided by the Spiritan ethos, our youngest members of the St. Michael’s community will begin their educational journey in a purpose built space located in the Junior School. As young children learn about their world through their senses, the preschool team will provide an atmosphere of warmth, care and a space where they will experience joy in learning about themselves and the world around them.
The provision of a preschool will ease the transition to Junior Infants for all pupils as children will be already familiar with the physical environment and be acquainted with some staff. Boys will be ready for formal schooling having received very solid opportunities in the areas of language development, pre reading and pre numeracy skills. We aim to provide an excellent educational experience with a balance of informal free play and a structured approach to early learning.
Currently the School works closely with a number of speech therapists and educational psychologists as early intervention means that issues can be addressed at a younger age. In addition, necessary resources can be put in from Junior Infants as a diagnosis with appropriate recommendations has already been made.
Aistear is the curriculum framework for children from birth to six years in Ireland (www.ncca.ie) Preschool staff will plan for and provide enjoyable and challenging learning experiences, so that all children can grow and develop. Aistear is based on 12 principles of early learning and development including the uniqueness of child, children as citizens, play, the role of language and the importance of parents/ family/ community. The curriculum is based on four interconnected themes-Well Being, Identity and Belonging, Communicating, Exploring and Thinking.
The curriculum will endeavour to meet all the children’s needs, cognitive, physical, social and emotional. Under the guidance of Aistear, the curriculum will be divided into the following areas:
Gaeilge : amhráin, dánta agus foclóir nua
SESE-History, Geography and Science
Art and Craft
Music and Movement
These subject areas (also in the Primary School Curriculum) will be presented using concrete materials designed to capture and ignite the children’s imaginations and foster a lifelong love of learning. The early emphasis will be on language development, fine and gross motor skills, concentration and social skills. The children will engage in active learning where their personalities and creativity are encouraged to develop throughout their school days. Particular emphasis will be placed on pre-reading and pre-writing activities including
• jigsaws, picture dominoes, picture matching and shape matching games
• Insets for design and tracing lined designs for left to right orientation.
• Library books to promote reading readiness
• Beginning of Jolly Phonics programme, sandpaper letters colouring activities
Pre-Maths activities will include
• counting games, rhymes and songs, sensorial material for numbers -sandpaper numerals
• Sorting games
• Matching games
• Developing spatial awareness,
• Construction toys-blocks, Lego, octons, straws
Play will be structured so that the boys will experience
• Language Play- I spy, nursery rhymes, tongue twisters etc
• Pretend Play- Dressing up, making props for games, using real objects
• Physical Play- Outdoor play, PE, building blocks etc
• Play with Rules- Board games, made up games
• Creative Play- Making things
The boys will enjoy outdoor play daily (weather permitting) and have the use of all the Junior School facilities including the grounds, Sports Hall, Computer Room and Chapel. A class trip will be organised in the summer term and there will be visits from authors, story tellers, musicians and sports people as well as many other activities throughout the year. Please see the upcoming school calendar for more details.
• St. Michael’s Preschool will run from 8.15am – 1.00pm.
• Boys will be will be required to bring one lunch and one snack each day. Please note that lunches should be packed separately. Children may avail of the school milk scheme if required.
• Boys will wear school tracksuit each day- all items should be labelled clearly
• Boys will be guaranteed places in Junior Infants
• Fee includes all materials, outings & visiting speakers
For further information please contact Ms. Dorothy Hanley on 01-2189440 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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