In the classroom
The Teach Abhaile curriculum focuses on learning life skills in these areas:
- Practical life — Children learn how to tie their shoes and put on their coats, prepare for activities, go to the bathroom without help, and clean up after themselves if they spill something.
- Sensory awareness education — Exercises make sure children use all five senses to learn. For example, a child studying about Autumn, gathers leaves and feels how brittle they are.
- Language arts — Children are encouraged to express themselves verbally and are taught to trace and recognise letters as a precursor to learning reading, spelling, grammar, and handwriting skills. We do not teach letter’s so as to avoid confusion as various phonics programmes are being used in Primary Schools such as jolly phonics
- Mathematics and geometry — Children learn about numbers through hands-on techniques using concrete materials, such as the beads that represent the hierarchy of the decimal system.
- Cultural subjects — Children learn about other countries (geography), animals (zoology), time, history, music, movement, science, and art. At Teach Abhaile we have resident animals which the children can learn to care for.
- Creative representation — Imitation, recognition, role playing through performance for example..Pre School leader plays a tune on one of her instruments,the children have to guess the song and sing it. This always proves to be an enormously entertaining activity
- Language and literacy — Talking, describing, scribbling, dictating stories, pre writing skills, art and craft.
- Initiative and social relations — Making choices, problem-solving, relationship-building
- Movement — Bending, running, dancing. This often takes place in our outdoor soft play area.
- Music — Singing, playing instruments, percussion. The Pre School Leader plays 6 instruments most of which she uses on a daily basis.This paves the way for children to develop an interest in learning how to play various instruments.
- Classification — Describing shapes, sorting, matching.
- Serialisation — Arranging things in order and size.
- Numbers — Counting
- Space — Filling, emptying. Water play is very important as this nurtures spacial reasoning.
- Time — Starting, stopping, sequencing
All the disciplines are tied together in complementary ways. Toys and other developmentally appropriate learning materials are laid out in the Pre School room so a child can see what her choices are and then pick a task — called “work” — according to her interests. Work options include books, puzzle games, art projects, toys that test spatial relations, and more. When they’re done, children put their work back on the shelves and move on to something else. The daily schedule allows time for children to play alone or in groups, “Free play”.Children can bring their favourite toy and enjoy sharing with others during Free Play Time. This can prove very beneficial for new children as a form of comfort.
We work with children as a group and one on one, but a lot of the interaction is among the children. In our Pre School, teachers aren’t the only instructors. Older kids often help younger ones learn how to master new skills especially during play time such as Lego /block building/playing with a dolls house. That’s why each class usually includes children from a two- to three-year age span.
Who is Teach Abhaile best for?
Teach Abhaile is for “Kids who want a hands-on learning environment, love the out doors, animals, music, and baking to name but a few activities on offer – a service suited to their own individual needs,” says Connie the Pre School Owner.
Children with additional needs will thrive, especially those with attention deficit disorder (ADD) Speech and Language delay or other learning or psychological problems, because of the individual attention teachers pay to each child and the opportunity to interact and learn from other children.The Pre School Owner has worked in various services for the past 23 years for people with Intellectual Disability and is a qualified Nurse. She also has participated in a multitude of trainings such as Paediatric First Aid, M.A.P.A, Non Violent Crisis Intervention, Person Centred planning, Individual Service Design, Relationships and Sexuality, P.E.X. , Autism training, Music Appreciation, Reflexology.