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Well-being

Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework

Well-being

Theme: Well-being
The theme of Well-being is about children being confident, happy and healthy. Well-being focuses on developing as a person. It has two main elements: psychological well-being (including feeling and thinking) and physical well-being. Children’s relationships and interactions with their families and communities contribute significantly to their sense of well-being. Children need to feel valued, respected, empowered, cared for, and included. They also need to respect themselves, others, and their environment. They become positive about themselves and their learning when adults value them for who they are and when they promote warm and supportive relationships with them. Expressing themselves creatively and experiencing a spiritual dimension in life enhances children’s sense of well-being. Life is full of challenges and struggles. Therefore, being flexible and having a positive outlook on learning and on life is crucial. All these experiences help children to become resilient and resourceful and to learn to cope with change and situations in which things go wrong. Physical well-being is important for learning and development as this enables children to explore, to investigate, and to challenge themselves in the environment. A growing awareness of their bodies and abilities is also part of this. The adult supports children’s psychological and physical well-being by helping them to make healthy choices about nutrition, hygiene and exercise. He/she plans for and provides opportunities for children to express themselves, to encourage them to play and work with others, and to deal with challenges. The adult also helps children towards independence by providing them with choice in their activities, and by providing opportunities for them to make decisions and to take the lead.

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Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework

Well-being

Table 1: Aims and learning goals for Well-being

Well-being
Aims Aim 1 Children will be strong psychologically and socially. Learning goals In partnership with the adult, children will 1. make strong attachments and develop warm and supportive relationships with family, peers and adults in out-of-home settings and in their community 2. be aware of and name their own feelings, and understand that others may have different feelings 3. handle transitions and changes well 4. be confident and self-reliant 5. respect themselves, others and the environment 6. make decisions and choices about their own learning and development. In 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. In 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. partnership with the adult, children will gain increasing control and co-ordination of body movements be aware of their bodies, their bodily functions, and their changing abilities discover, explore and refine gross and fine motor skills use self-help skills in caring for their own bodies show good judgement when taking risks make healthy choices and demonstrate positive attitudes to nutrition, hygiene, exercise, and routine. partnership with the adult, children will express themselves creatively and experience the arts express themselves through a variety of types of play develop and nurture their sense of wonder and awe become reflective and think flexibly care for the environment understand that others may have beliefs and values different to their own.

Aim 2 Children will be as healthy and fit as they can be.

Aim 3 Children will be creative and spiritual.

Aim 4 Children will have positive outlooks on learning and on life.

In partnership with the adult, children will 1. show increasing independence, and be able to make choices and decisions 2. demonstrate a sense of mastery and belief in their own abilities and display learning dispositions, such as determination and perseverance 3. think positively, take learning risks, and become resilient and resourceful when things go wrong 4. motivate themselves, and...
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