St.Patrick's N.S. Curtlestown


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Curriculum

Curriculum

The Curriculum

Our school follows the curriculum of the Department. of Education and Skills
This is available to view on-line at ncca.ie or in your local library.

Learning in the curriculum is spiral in nature, i.e. children's learning is built on concepts and skills, learned in previous years.

The curriculum is laid out in 2-year blocks of learning

Jun.-Sen. Infants
1st and 2nd Class
3rd and 4th Class
5th and 6th Class


Planning for learning in the school is done in 2/3 years cycles so that pupils will cover the material in appropriate blocks of learning for their class.
Mathematics and reading are the exception to this, as learning in these subject areas is sequential by its nature and must be built up in a more structured fashion.

There are eleven subjects grouped into six areas.

Languages; where children learn to communicate in English and Irish. They learn to speak, read and write. These skills they acquire, particularly listening and speaking, form the basis for other language learning which they may undertake later in life.

Mathematics; children learn about number, measure, space, shape, data and problem solving skills. Work in Mathematics is made practical and relevant to their own lives.

In
Social, Environmental and Science Education, the children learn about the natural, historical, social and cultural dimensions of life.
They are enabled to develop an open, critical and responsible attitude to society and the environment. The school achieved its second Green Flag for energy awareness and conservation in 2008 and is at present year working towards achieving the 3rd flag for water conservation.

Children's imaginative life is developed in the
Visual Arts, Music and Drama. In Visual Art the children have opportunities to work in paint and colour, clay, construction, fabric and fibre. They are also introduced to the work of famous artists and craftsmen, learning how to relate and respond to these works and their own pieces.
Drama helps the children to develop empathy for people in situations that may be outside their own experience. In Music the children learn to enjoy, understand and appreciate music. They are given opportunities to experience the excitement and satisfaction of being involved in musical creativity and to develop self-esteem and confidence through participation in musical performance, both in class for their peers and in the Christmas play which has a high musical content. Music is an integral part of the child centred curriculum, not just because it enhances other areas of learning but because it deepens the child's sense of humanity, teaching him/her to recognise beauty and to be sensitive to and to appreciate more fully the world in which he/she lives.

In
Physical Education children learn the physical skills and co-ordination necessary for a full, active and healthy life.

Social, Personal and Health Education (or S.P.H.E.) concentrates on their personal development, health and well-being. It teaches the children to care for themselves, relate to others and how to deal with emotions.

Programmes on Staying Safe and Relationships and Sexual Education are included and are presented on alternate years. In the multi-grade classroom, we ensure that the programme covered is appropriate for the youngest class-group present in that room, by dividing the school into 4 groups of 2 class grades.The Resource/learning support teacher takes 4th grouping, normally 3rd and 4th class. This year's programme is the Stay Safe programme.

Religious Education is also taught to enable the child to develop spiritual and moral values and come to a knowledge of God. As the school is under the patronage of the Archbishop of Dublin, pupils are prepared for the sacraments in second and fifth/sixth class.

Skills
Child's learning involves not only content, but skills. The children are learning to question, observe, problem solve, predict, estimate, evaluate, analyse and record. They learn how to be historians, to conduct 'fair' experiments, authors, poets, compose their own short pieces of music, to design and construct.

A
ctive learning
Children are involved in active learning. In History for example, first hand or primary sources are often used. Children interview grandparents and neighbours to find out about life in the past. Each year we have a History week, where historical artefacts along a certain theme are sourced and brought into the school by the children for first hand experiences. As part of the Green Schools programme, the children conduct research, environmental audits and record and analyse their findings.
Children learn to work co-operatively, in pairs and in groups on assignments and projects.

Through these and many other activities, children acquire the skills to become life-long learners.




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