We place a strong emphasis on the importance of language development. We recognise that a child’s ability with language strongly effects their learning outcomes. The children are introduced to new ideas and concepts through listening and reading and they are encouraged to express their understanding and recount their experiences through speaking and writing. The children are introduced to reading through a phonetic programme. We have a comprehensive range of graded pre-reading and early reading materials and text books. Each child works through an individual reading programme and is given the opportunity to read daily either with the class teacher or the reading resource teacher.
We strive to foster a positive learning experience of the Irish language.
We encourage the early acquisition of the language through songs, poetry, drama, dialogue and story telling.
We aim to develop a love of mathematics. We have a vast range of manipulative materials to support the acquisition and understanding of mathematical concepts and processes.
The children are enabled to acquire proficiency in fundamental mathematical skills and in recalling basic number facts at an individual pace, appropriate to their level of development and ability.
Social, Environmental and Scientific Education (SESE)
SESE is presented under three distinctive yet closely related headings: history, geography and science. The SESE curriculum seeks to enable the children to come to an understanding of the physical world, the relationships of humans with their environment, and the historical process through which that relationship has grown. In developing this understanding, the curriculum helps the child to acquire open, critical and responsible attitudes and to live as an informed and caring member of the local and wider communities.
We use a broad range of classroom approaches and methodologies to arouse enthusiasm and curiosity about the past. The primary curriculum is further enhanced through the use of Montessori materials helping children to develop a strong sense of their place in time.
The geography curriculum encompasses the study of the earth, its inhabitants and the interrelationships between them. The children are encouraged to explore themes of place, space and environment through the use of attractive and stimulating materials.
Through the exploration and study of living and non-living things, the children are encouraged to develop a keen interest in and curiosity about the world they live in. They are taught the skills of observation, questioning, analysis and evaluation in order to develop and apply constructive thinking in scientific investigation.
Arts Education, Music and Drama
We place great emphasis on the importance of art in the child’s development. In Ardtona we integrate art into all aspects of the curriculum. Children are introduced to a wide range of skills and materials, enabling them to have an enjoyable and purposeful experience of different art media and to have opportunities to explore, experiment, design, invent, imagine and communicate.
We aim to foster an appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts and provide opportunities for the children to explore how the work of artists relates to their own work. They are introduced to the work of famous artists and a visit to the National Gallery is an annual event.</p
Music is integrated into all aspects of the daily programme through singing and music appreciation.
The children are also introduced to Music Foundation by our visiting music teacher, who also offers private group recorder and violin lessons through the Kodaly method.
Drama is also integrated into many aspects of the curriculum and the School Plays are always a very enjoyable experience.
We also have a visiting drama teacher who takes each class on a weekly basis.
Our extensive garden offers the children great scope to enhance their physical development. Children are introduced to an appropriate range of movement and ball skills. There is a wide range of equipment available to facilitate the implementation of the P.E. programme.
Social, Personal and Health Education (SPHE)
Through the SPHE programme, we promote the intrapersonal and interpersonal development of each child. They are helped to recognise, understand and accept themselves and others as unique individuals who are valued and loved. We cultivate a nurturing environment, which facilitates the children’s development of a strong sense of self-worth and self-confidence.
Religious education is developed through the Alive-0 religious education programme.
Children are prepared for the Sacraments of First Penance and First Communion.