Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Draft Primary Curriculum

By: MILICA ATANACKOVIC

Monday 19 April 2021

 

The National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) is reviewing and redeveloping the 1999 primary curriculum. Read the Draft Primary Curriculum Framework here. The current phase of consultation on the draft is now complete, with further re-engagement in 2021/2022. Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) welcomes the draft curriculum framework for primary school and the consultative approach and process of the NCCA in this current and exciting work. ECI believes the draft primary curriculum framework recognises and prioritises the child as a confident learner and communicator. It is placing significant value on a healthy mind, body, and spirit. The consultation process sought views and input on the proposed draft primary curriculum framework. The NCCA team's work on the draft curriculum framework is very in-depth; within this Scéalta, I am going to discuss a few aspects of the draft curriculum framework that strike us as important.  

 

The draft primary curriculum framework has both implicit and explicit links with Aistear. 

First, there is a connection between learning in ECEC, primary and post-primary, and the acknowledgement that it is essential to achieve an integrated learning journey and continuity with Aistear. Within the Early Childhood Education and Care sector, our National Quality Curriculum Framework – Aistear, does not impose an outcomes-driven curriculum. As a framework, it supports educators in implementing a local curriculum. A way of ensuring that settings can develop and have shared principles, aims, and objectives, but most importantly, there is not a 'one size fits all' approach. Recognising that methods, activities, and content will emerge with the context and the interests of the group. 

 

Within ECI, we believe that Aistear serves as an excellent framework to guide both curriculum development and the quality-of-service provision. We believe in the importance of the environment we create (physical and emotional environment) the relationships we make, and how we respond to children in the moment. The central most important practice in every setting is responding to children in the moment, building their sense of belonging through caring, trusting, and loving relationships. Environments where care and education weave together. When implementing a local curriculum for all children, we believe a focus on 'dispositions' is the starting point. When educators see children as 'confident and competent' as suggested at the centre of Aistear, their dispositions thread through everything they do. We know that some educators working in our sector have interpreted Aistear as a 'curriculum' rather than a curriculum framework. Our sector's experience is that many educators like the control of knowing what they have covered and can feel they can tick a box. We believe that bringing the focus back to the 'dispositions of learning' helps re-align the sector's thinking, helping educators interpret Aistear as its intended framework. This experience from ECEC may support the implementation of the new primary curriculum framework over time. 

 

As children become part of new learning communities within ECEC or primary education, we must remember they do not do this in isolation; they have their unique history and context. We would also highlight that it is essential that continued work is done to recognise play within primary education as a sound pedagogy. Play must not be seen as a break from learning. Or seen as a separate subject, adding to curriculum overload, which a lot of teachers’ experience. Also, allowing for a more multi-sensory approach is particularly important to meet all children's diverse learning needs. The draft curriculum framework interprets and presents five broad curriculum areas. We believe it sets out a basis for each school setting to develop a contextually suitable curriculum that reflects its own distinct needs and values. ECI welcomes the broad curriculum areas – a focus on wellbeing, social and environmental education, and arts education is particularly welcome. The curriculum area of arts education is a significant shift for many schools; however, it is an excellent and exciting opportunity for a more distributed leadership approach with school settings. That highlights the diverse skills and attributes that each teacher brings to enacting the school's vision. 

 

The draft curriculum framework shows that it recognises the past and prepares children for the future. There is flexibility within the draft curriculum framework and connections made with children's life experiences and interests. We welcome the theory that underpins the draft curriculum framework. However, the theory must translate into practice across the diverse contexts of all schools. The local curriculum must ensure that the child's voice is recognised, all children have the right to high-quality learning opportunities, with a commitment to equity in opportunities. In ECI, we believe that each child is on a unique journey and that they come into the world eager to learn, and we as educators must work to support a love of lifelong learning. Therefore, children are on a continuum of learning from ECEC into primary school. The draft curriculum framework bridges the gap between both curriculum frameworks. 

 

Our experience with ECEC recognises that effective leadership practices include identifying and articulating a collective vision in service. Requiring effective communication; encouraging reflection; monitoring and assessing practice; a commitment to ongoing, professional development; distributed leadership; building a learning community and a team culture; encouraging and facilitating parent and community partnerships. We believe it is critical to the new primary curriculum's success that leadership is key to the implementation and embedding of a local curriculum. The theory within the draft framework is very welcome; however, we acknowledge that some teachers may find the idea of this journey exciting, while daunting at the same time. Many teachers will welcome support and training on the implementation of integrated, playful, and inquiry-based learning. It was also the case within the ECEC sector when Aistear was introduced. The quality of a setting does not exceed its teachers' quality; all educators need to be innovative and committed to new ways of being and doing to nurture the creative and curious spirit in all children.

 

We look forward to the finalisation of the draft curriculum framework and the further development of documentation to support teachers. We also look forward to enhanced and meaningful connections and shared dialogue between ECEC and primary school educators in the future. 

 

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Equality(1) Sweets(1) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Leadership for INClusion in the Early Years(1) Stress(2) Early Childhood Education(2) Sessional service(1) TOY Programme(1) childcare services(1) Learning Stories Award(3) Lego(2) Arts(1) Special Needs Assistants(1) Orla Kenny(1) routine(2) UN(1) Document Learning(1) Gardening(1) Síolta(141) Thank you(1) Fee Play(1) mental health problems(1) National Research Conference 2019(1) Europe(1) timekeeping skills(1) Upcycling(1) ECCE(7) UK Government(1) Wrapping paper(1) purpose(1) Traditions(2) relationships(18) Engineering(3) Skillnet(1) Diversity(2) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Deirdre Rogers(1) First 5 transitions for children award(1) Vertical grouping(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Santa(2) children’s learning(1) quarantine kids(1) Weather(1) children development(1) Policy(2) Line-ups(1) Academics(1) Universal Design Guidelines(1) COVID-19 landscape(1) science(3) First 5 strategy(1) Childhood(2) Smiles(1) LINC Programme(1) Games(2) learning(19) youdoodle(1) Gratitude(1) Anthony Semann(1) planning(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Potential(1) NCCA(4) gender stereotype(1) Craft(1) RTE Investigates(1) show and tell(1) playleader(1) Shoes(1) family time(1) Music(3) Masterclass(2) collaboration(1) EM Standing(1) Childcare(3) Book Review(1) COVID-19 crisis(1) journey(1) InspireMe.ie(1) National Awards 2018(2) supportive environments(2) First 5(1) Building Resilience(1) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Mud kitchens(1) babies(7) Mixed age groups(3) dogs(1) Creativity(7) Maria Montessori(1) Buddies(1) play pods(2) staying connected(1) meals(3) Educators(2) guardian(1) Meal time(1) Large Doll Play(1) value(1) Children and families(2) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) Trade Unions(1) gender bias(1) Scents(1) toddlers(3) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Super Shed Stories(2) Liz Kerrins(1) multi-generational community(1) grandchild(1) an post(1) INTO(1) ICBN(1) role playing(1) Visitors(1) early years learning(1) Early Years Education(2) pets(1) Challenges(1) Early Childhood Ireland(11) Cork(1) E.coli(1) quarantine(2) Nuturing interactions(1) Qualifications(1) COVID(3) healthy eating policies(1) Croatia(1) racism(1) Primary School(3) Research Seminar(1) overhear(1) blog(60) Margy Whalley(1) code of professional responsibility(1) Photographs(1) Pen green(1) Care-giving routines(1) Unesco(1) Trick or treat(1) learning bias(1) Interests(1) Learning Stories(9) Performing(1) worries(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) Shapes(2) Learning Story Awards(2) eating(1) Through the looking glass(1) Counting(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Snack Time(1) online training(1) Mealtimes(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Creative(1) Playschool(1) documentation(4) Frustrations(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Blocks(1) Graduate(1) Children's Voice(1) Digital(1) Mantra(1) Montessori(3) phone apps(1) MA(1) trust(4) preschools(1) play therapy(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) STEAM(1) Role play(1) books(5) child-centric(1) Bereavement(2) CIT(1) COVID-19 Reopening(2) Intention(1) Prexit(1) ears(1) Valentine's Day(3) Certificate(1) Learning Journal(2) Covid response(2) Winter(1) Limerick(1) Leaders in Practice(1) early life(1) SPICE Framework(1) Exit interview(1) Loss(1) Snakes(1) Awards 2018(3) Early Years Educators(3) upskilling(1) Plants(1) Glitter(2) women in research(1) Time(1) Sleep(1) listen(1) Yoga(1) Art(6) parents(7) National Pyjama Day(1) Quality(4) Child Care(1) Elders(1) Whole Group(1) Jenga(1) Dolly Partons Imagination Library(1) research submissions(1) Workplace well-being(1) listening(1) Exploring(1) early year’s classrooms(1) Communicating(1) Adoption(1) Irish guidelines(1) bloom app(1) Sequins(1) CPD(1) Reggio(1) Impact(1) Easter(1) Obesity(1) Iceland(2) man up(1) Snacks(1) Plastic(1) Builders(1) Exploratory Play(1) Universal Design(2) Culture(2) Study Trip(1) Budget 2018(1) peer group(1) MECPI(1) curiosity(3) Christmas Creativity(2) Love(3) AIM(2) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) food(1) Mayo(1) Inspirational(2) Our Little Seed(1) Imagination(3) Time Out(1) inspiring interactions(1) Effect of Lockdown(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) European Early Childhood Education Research Association(2) risk(2) Competent(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Laughter(1) Relaxation(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) conference(1) National Awards 2019(1) june29(1) San Miniato(4) Pre-School Services(1) Brain(1) Thinking(1) ReCreate(2) Confidence(1) Infection Control(1) Ceremony(1) research(8) Consent(1) Flowers(1) presentation skills(1) Advocacy(1) Wesco(1) Inclusion(4) Interactions(3) Maternity Leave(1) Map(1) Return to Work Training(1) friendships(1) Self Help Skills(1) Pobal sector profile(1) Magic(1) Maths(6) democratic citizens(1) emotional well-being(1) Wilenski(1) art of the relationship(1) Biting(1) Pedagogical leaders(1) Family(1) Fabric(1) feisty(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) code of ethics(1) Twitter(1) Siolta blog(8) Pedagogy(2) Traffic Lights(1) stories(3) Recycle(1) awards 2020(1) child safeguarding(1) Touch(1) Tuscan Approach(2) transitions(10) Positivity(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) developing motor skills(1) Staff Motivation(1) Aistear Siolta in Action(1) Reggio Emilia(2) Kids Own(1) Early Years(1) pablo(1) Treasure(1) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(2) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) PIP(1) Queues(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Trigonometry(1) Children's Book Club(1) Well-Being(10) budget(1) Workplace Relations(3) early childhood(1) partnership with families(1) Engineering Ireland(1) emotional environment(2) conversations(1) UNICEF report(1) coronavirus(1) risk assessment(1) Inspiring Practice(1) Storytelling(8) development(9) Regulation 23(1) Graduation(1) continual professional development(1) risky play(2) Covid pandemic(3) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Patterns(1) maternity health(1) Early Learning and Care(2) Inter-generational learning(2) Buddy Bench(1) Autism(4) ECEC(4) Names(1) Funding(1) Book Club(2) Engineers Week(2) Maynooth University(2) Children(8) Annual Conference 2017(2) Looking Forward(1) Magda Gerber(1) Mathematicians(1) NAEYC(1) Mo Scéal(1) communication(4) movement behaviours(1) curriculum(7) National Holiday(1) Story(2) DES Inspection(1) partnership(1) Event Guide(1) outdoor space(3) World book day(1) Children's Research Network(2) doodle families(1) Giraffe(2) Sustainability(3) ECEC Setting(2) Spiders(1) Italy(1) dublin(2) Degree(1) interacting(2) Child mental health(1) Wendy Lee(4) Meet the Members(1) Norway(2) Social Skills(1) Magnavacchi(1) education(2) outdoor environment(1) dining(1) UNCRC(2) Halloween(2) World Health Organisation(1) early years settings(1) Investment(2) Feeding(1) Arlene Forster(1) Communications(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Party(1) community(5) Awards Night(1) Reading Time(2) Rich Documentation(1) Your place(1) Appreciation(1) Hand Hygiene(2) imotion(1) AsIAm(2) Women(1) ERASMUS+(3) Running(1) child led(1) Celebrations(4) Mental Health(4) Recycling(2) National Childcare Scheme(1) Titles(1) Summer(2) Confident(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) Syria(1) environments(2) Children's Rights(3) Thanks(1) Professionalisation(5) Penguins(1) Seas Suas(1) Malaguzzi(1) Self-regulation(1) lockdown(1) emotions(2) Looking Back(1) Favouritism(1) Academic Skills(1) Performance Management(1) Visual Impairment(1) Cognitive development(1) Participation(2) Workforce(1) dining experiences(1) Little Buddies(1) STEM(3) Early Childhood Care and Education(2) Awards(2) Research Conference 2019(1) primary education(1) Iraq(1) responsive relationships(1) preschool settings(1) natural environment(2) College(1) Dance(1) memories(1) Xbox(1) Budget 2019(2) respect(5) Mark Twain(1) christmas(9) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) mushrooms(1) Aistear(132) EECERA(1) Arithmetic(1) EECERA 2016(1) Belonging(3) Youtube Series(1) built environments(1) keep in touch(1) New Appointments(1) Support(1) early childhood ireland research(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Administrative Burden(1) International Narratives(1) Community involvement(1) Inspired Practice Awards(1) Horizon 2020(1) The Jelly King(1) Learning Story(1) Mindfulness(3) educarer(1) Scéalta Blog(106) GDPR(1) educating(1) annual awards(1) Environment(2) Anxiety(2) Painting(1) Loving Relationships(2) Childhood Development Initiative(1) Aldo Fortunati(4) Maths Week(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Síolta QAP(1) Sport(1) Facebook(1) outdoor play(7) Laugh(1) Interaction(1) Trade union(1) Nonverbal(1) Sustainable(1) aistear blog(4) Inter-generational(2) Kerry(1) doodle den(1) UK(1) Albert Einstein(1) animals(2) Identity and Belonging(4) social media(2) Reflective Practice(1) preschool(4) subject knowledge(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Learning journals(1) Reopening Childcare(1) SAC(1) learning hub(2) social science(1) National Annual Awards 2020(1) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) Afghanistan(1) The Play and Learning in the Early Years(1) social media policy(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) dolly parton library(1) United Nations(1) reopening ireland(1) Covid19 crisis(1) Fire Safety(1) Oireachtas(1) Learning through Storytelling(2) Empathy(1) Kindness(1) University(1) Fantasy play(1) Trauma-Sensitive(1) Supernanny(1) play stories(2) TUSLA(1) Family wall(1) nutritional learning(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Awards 2019(1) Affordability(1) CCTV(1) Drawing(2) Socioemotional development(1) Reggio Children Network(1) Nordic model(1) Change(1) Training(3) Death(2) Leadership(1) Playdough(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) Pobal(1) annual conference(1) Kindness Challenge(1) Wonder(1) Celebrate(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) Human Resources(1) Kilkenny(1) ELC(1) worldbookday(1) Exclusion(1) Body Language(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) baby room(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) play pod(1) child-centred approach(1) creche(1) Irish(1) Online Research Symposium(3) Vietnam(1) early years research(3) Budget 2020(1) Window(1) Leprechauns(1) COVID-19(18) Care routines(1) keezy(1) European Project(1) Mount Everest(1) behavioural science(1) Breathing(2) linc(2) HR(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) ECIAwards20(1) Teamwork(1) Inspired Practice Award(6) scéalta(61) Adverse Childhood Experiences(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) life long learning(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Digital Devices(1) Japan(1) Infectious diseases(1) early childhood educator(2) Seanchaí(1) Home Corner(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Rituals(1) scientific and artistic processes(1) Capable(1) GoToMeeting app(1) under 3's(3) Settling in(4) Employee(1) Exercise(1) outdoors(4) RIE philosphy(1) democracy(1) Nutrition(1) Proceedings Journal(1) UD(1) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(2) Growing up Outdoors(2) Independence(1) structure(1) IGL(1) Behaviour(3) National Early Childhood Research Conference(2) Sculptures(1) Leargas(1) Decision Making(1) Decisions(1) TRAP(1) Self-Esteem(1) learners(1) refugees(1) Light table(1) Pretend Play(1) Design(1) Return to Work(1) Covid-19 lockdown(1) apps for children(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) Routines(2) play(37) Inspections(1) Health(2) Identity(5) School Age Childcare(2) iOS(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Treasure Chest(1) Engagement(1) homeschool(1) story time(2) Maynooth(1) DCYA(6) science week(2) Opportunities(1) experience(1) Technology(3) Online(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) education system(1) QRF(1) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(2) reading(6) Small World Play(1) bonds(1) Eritrea(1) reopening(1) Grief(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine