Before You Start

Getting Ready for Learning

  • Children are natural learners – They have an inbuilt curiosity and an eagerness to know more about everything – about themselves, about others and about the world around them.
  • They learn fast – but only when they are ready and their interest is aroused. Because they come to us so young we must guard against putting pressure on them to learn what they are not yet ready for. Demanding too much too soon can switch a child off completely. At the same time we must cultivate readiness so that they can get moving as soon as possible.
  • The rates of progress of children can vary greatly. – We try to give them an opportunity to move ahead at their own pace or as near to it as possible.
  • Our first year in school therefore, is mainly about settling in, relating to others, making friends, feeling happy and gradually getting used to the routine of the school. On the learning side the emphasis is on getting children ready for learning by
    • Developing their oral language and expression.
    • Sharpening their senses, especially seeing, hearing and touching.
    • Developing physical co-ordination especially of hand and fingers.
    • Extending their concentration span and getting them to listen attentively….
    • Learning through play – is the most enjoyable and effective way.
    • Co-operating with the teacher and other children.
    • Performing tasks by themselves..
    • Working with others and sharing with them.
    • Getting each child to accept the general order, which is necessary for the class and school to work well.

Before your child starts

You should ensure that your child is as independent as possible – physically, emotionally and socially. If pupils can look after these areas they will feel secure and confident and settle in readily. It would help greatly if your child is able to-

  • Button and unbutton a coat and hang it up.
  • Use the toilet without help and manage pants buttons.
  • Also encourage personal hygiene and cleanliness. Your child should know how to flush the toilet and wash hands, without having to be told.
  • Use a tissue when necessary.
  • Share toys and playthings with others and ‘take turns’.
  • Tidy up and put away playthings.
  • Remain contentedly for a few hours in the home of a relation, friend or neighbour. If children had this experience, then separation from parents when they start school will not cause any great anxiety.
  • Wear ‘Velcro’ shoes, Junior Infants cannot manage laces.