Junior/Senior Infants

Phonics in Junior Infants

Phonics in Junior Infants

I have put together a brief overview of the phonics programme in junior infants. If you have any questions please let me know.

Phonemic Awareness

In September we focused heavily on developing phonemic awareness. This is a skill we will continue to develop throughout the infant years. Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, move, or change sounds, called phonemes, in spoken words.  Phonemic awareness is an important basic skill that gets students ready to develop into readers. For example, we have been:

  • Clapping and count syllables in a 1 to 5 syllable word (ant, jump-per, sun-flow-er, hel-i-cop-ter, wa-ter-mel-on).
  • Blending syllables into a word (cup–cake “cupcake”).
  • Identifying whether words rhyme (cat, mat, hat; pop, top, mop).
  • Finding words that rhymes with another (“tell me a word that rhymes with ‘sun’”).
  • Finding the first sound in a word (“what is the beginning sound in “mop”?).

Parents can help to develop this skill by playing rhyming games at home, reciting rhymes, reading rhyming books and clapping the syllables in the family member’s names or objects around the house (ket-tle, lap-top, ta-ble etc.)

Jolly Phonics

We use Jolly Phonics at Stratford NS to teach letter sounds in the infant room. We will cover 26 sounds in junior infants. For the first term, we will be covering s, a, t, i, p, n, c, k, e, r and d. Each sound is taught with an action, a song and a story. Students learn the name of the letter and the sound it makes. Druing these lessons we will identify words that begin with each sound, we sill sort the sounds using images, draw pictures and play games on the interactive whiteboard.

As the children learn their sounds we will be blending. Blending is the process of saying the individual sounds in a word and then running them together to make the word. For example, sounding out c-a-t and making cat. We will begin this process in December when we will sound words like pat, sit, net, pen, tip etc. 

If you do want more information on the Jolly Phonics programme, this Youtube video introduces the programme and it also highlights the sounds and actions each sound makes.


Writing in Infants

In conjunction with teaching letter sounds, students also learn to write the letters. This process will involve tracing the letters in the air, writing it with chalk on a mini chalkboard, writing it on a mini whiteboard, tracing it in sand etc. It is important for students to form the letters correctly. We use rhymes to help them remember how to form the letters (You will find them in the homework pack). This enables them to develop a speedy, fluid and legible handwriting style.

It is also very important to continue to develop the children’s fine motor skills. Every day we spend time threading, playing with links and pegboards, cutting etc. to build up the strength in their fingers. You can support this at home with activities such as Lego, playdoh, colouring and cutting, painting and any activity that involves using their fingers.

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Posted on Tuesday 16th October 2018 in Junior/Senior Infants

Aistear - Autumn

Aistear - Autumn


I’m happy to announce Aistear is back up and running in the infant room! Aistear is the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework for children from birth to six years old in Ireland. It was introduced into early childhood settings and Infant classrooms in January 2012 and, as a result, is being implemented along with the Irish Primary School Curriculum.

The link below will bring you to a page containing some key information about the Aistear framework. For Junior and Senior Infant parents, the tip sheets for supporting young children’s play, mathematics, reading and writing should be most useful.



Our theme for the next two weeks is autumn. We will have four stations and students will rotate around the stations each day.

Role play Station – Student will buy and sell items at the autumn market. We have a soup and hot chocolate stall, a seasonal fruit and veg stall and a clothes stall with items to help keep us warm.

Junk Art Station – at the junk art station students will design and construct a hibernation nest for an animal of their choice. Students will use boxes, leaves, twigs and other recyclable materials. It’s a wonderful opportunity for students to use their imagination and have creative control.

Construction Station– students will work together to build a woodland scene with blocks for the animals as they prepare for the winter months.

Playdoh station – students will make some autumn leaves, hedgehog, acorn etc. with playdoh.

At the end of each play session, we look at photographs I have taken on the whiteboard. The children share their creations and ideas with the class and we discuss how we could develop and extend our play for the next day. I will upload more photos over the next week to show you what we are getting up to.

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Posted on Sunday 07th October 2018 in Junior/Senior Infants

September in Infants

September in Infants

Good evening parents,

During September, we have been busy settling in, establishing routines and building relationships with each other. We focused on the theme 'All About Me' and completed lots of lovely activities to help us learn more about each other. This month, we will really see some great progress as our full weeks begin.

I often use this page to keep parents up to date with all that’s happening in the classroom. It is a window into our classroom and can help fill in the gaps when your child insists they did ‘nothing’ or ‘just played on yard’ during the school day!

Over the next few weeks I will focus on one of the three core subjects, English, Irish and maths and explain a little about this subject area.

Here is a useful link to help you understand the primary school curriculum. It includes suggestions of how you can support and extend your child’s learning.


If you do want to talk to me, please make an appointment at the office. I’m happy to discuss any questions you may have.

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Posted on Thursday 04th October 2018 in Junior/Senior Infants

Welcome to Junior and Senior Infants - Sept 2018

Welcome to Junior and Senior Infants - Sept 2018

I am very excited to welcome our new junior infants and their families to our school. I also want to welcome back my lovely senior infants. I’m looking forward to catching up with them all again.

In preparation for the new school year, I have uploaded some images of our classroom to help students become familiar with their new classroom. The desk layout may change a little depending on the needs of the students. Each student is assigned a locker and a seat. These will be clearly labelled with your child’s name. We keep our school bags in the lockers and our coats on the hooks outside the classroom. 

Please take note of the school times as they are different for junior and senior infants for the first two weeks. Junior infants are on a shortened day to ease their tranisition into primary school.

On Tuesday 28th August, Junior infants will gather in the school hall with their parents or guardians and I will take you down to the class at 10am. I will be encouraging all parents to leave the classroom promptly. I understand this is an exciting and anxious time for all parents and guardians but I will take good care of your little ones.

All school information can be found in the school handbooks which you received over the summer (also available on this website.) However, I have answered some frequently asked questions below:

  • We have two lunch breaks each day. Our eating breaks are quite short so please ensure you provide your child with healthy lunches you know your child will eat.

           - 11.30am (small snack)
           - 12.30pm (main eating break)

  • After each break students spend some time out on yard. The first break is on the courts and the second break is on the field.
  • PE takes place with Ms. Finnegan every Thursday morning. Please ensure your child is wearing appropriate footwear.
  • Weekly homework will begin in October. It is should take no more than 5-10 minutes each evening.
  • Toys are not permitted in the classroom.

On Tuesday, senior infants will begin at 9am. We will spend the first hour settling in, sorting out our new books and catching up. There will be some activities on the tables.At 10am I will collect the junior infants from the hall. Parents will be asked to leave as soon as possible.

Here is the plan for the first day (all going well)

  • Colouring pages
  • Story time
  • Snack
  • Circle Time
  • Yard
  • Home Time

Ms Dunne


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Posted on Monday 20th August 2018 in Junior/Senior Infants