Junior Infants is the first year in primary school. Children in Junior Infants are aged 4-5 years old. In Junior and Senior Infants, the children are in school for a shorter day than the senior classes (8:50 – 1:25). The children partake in 12 subject areas and learn in a thematic approach. Children partake in the 3 core subjects every day. For more information on the curricular areas and how you can help your child in Junior Infants please see some advice from the NCCA.
How to prepare your child for Junior Infants and starting Primary School.
Before your child begins their exciting journey into formal education, there are a few things that you can do at home to help prepare them for their time at school.
- Lunches – Ensure that your child can open and correctly close their lunch boxes, containers and water bottles.
- Clothing – Show and teach your child how to take on and put on their coats, hats, gloves etc.
- Property – Ensure that your child can zip up their school bag with their belongings inside and how to care and look after our belongings.
- Talk to your child about Junior Infants and ‘big school’ – what he/she is looking forward to or is anxious about.
Focus on oral language, reading and writing. Children engage in all aspects of the curriculum and literacy is integrated across all curricular areas.
Phonics is an extremely important aspect of Junior Infants literacy and the children in our school are taught using the Jolly Phonics Programme https://www.jollylearning.co.uk. In this programme the children are taught the 42 letter sounds using actions, story and song.
The children in Junior Infants engage in many pre-writing activities that build fine motor skills to prepare them for writing in the future (jigsaws, peg boards, beading etc.). They then practise writing the 42 sounds with a focus on lower case letters.
Children engage in daily Gaeilge lessons and Irish is informally used throughout the school day. Children develop vocabulary based on different topics and focus on orally forming sentences. Children engage in songs, games, poems and stories through Gaeilge. The programme used for Junior Infants in our school is Abair Liom.
Children engage in daily Maths lessons. Maths is taught through counting activities, number rhymes, hands on maths activities and through play.
Other Curricular Areas
The 9 other curricular areas taught throughout the week include History, Geography, Science, SPHE, PE, Learn Together, Music, Visual Arts and Drama. These are taught through individual lessons and also through integrated learning along with other subject areas. More information about the Irish Primary Curriculum can be found at https://www.curriculumonline.ie/primary.
Aistear is the curriculum framework for children from birth to 6 years in Ireland. It is not a separate subject but a way of teaching all of the subjects, which places an important emphasis on learning through play. This play is structured play, designed carefully by the teacher. It consists of various stations such as role play, small world play, construction, junk art, water etc. A new Aistear theme is chosen each month and the children are encouraged to develop their language skills in an appropriate context during Aistear time. Examples of themes might be People Who Help Us, Space, The Garden Centre and much more. More information can be found at https://curriculumonline.ie/early-childhood.
Suggested books for children in Junior Infants.