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New Canavan Byrne Curriculum Planning and Documentation Training Video

Over a period of time Canavan Byrne have observed, from conducting research within the Early Years Sector and from feedback on training courses carried out with services currently working in the Early Years Sector, that the same questions regarding curriculum are asked over and over again.

With that in mind, Canavan Byrne devised an easy way to answer these questions and have made it available in the form of this great training video that is now available to purchase online on The Early Years Shop . This amazing new training video was made in collaboration with an award-winning setting that has received 4 excellents in their most recent DES inspection and who is fully compliant with Tusla.

The video aims to answer those recurring questions received from educators and explores all components of a successful curriculum. It is worth noting that for the purpose of this training video Canavan Byrne features their specially designed learning journals. However, services can also compile their own records by using scrapbooks.

The most frequently asked questions in the Curriculum Planning Video Training

So what are the questions that services ask over and over again? The questions all relate to Curriculum and how Early Years Services can devise an effective curriculum in a busy Early Years Setting. Some of the most frequently asked questions are;

  1. How do I devise an effective and stimulating curriculum in a busy early years setting?
  2. How do I develop a curriculum inspired by children’s emerging interests?
  3. How do I create an environment where children can learn through play, enquiry and exploration?
  4. How do I provide a stimulating, more child led space where children are free to fuel their own learning, curiosities and interests?
  5. How do I put theory into practice?

The training video sets out to answer all of the above questions over 5 chapters to include: How Young Children Learn, The Impact the Physical Environment has on Learning, The Emergent Curriculum, The Emergent Curriculum in Action and Documenting Your Curriculum. The video sets out to guide you on how to plan your curriculum and how you should promote and use the Aistear and Síolta Practice when planning, implementing, recording and reflecting on your curriculum plans.

After watching the video, take a short evaluation quiz and receive a downloadable Certificate of Completion from Canavan Byrne, personalised with your name and the date of completion.

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Curriculum Planning for the Better Days Ahead

It is important to keep up to date with the ever changing news of the Covid-19 Coronavirus pandemic but you don’t have to be consumed by it all day long. Make a conscious effort to put some space aside in your daily routine and use the time to prepare and plan for when you do go back to your classroom. It might only be for an hour each day but it will help you greatly. Not just for being better organised when you do go back but also to give your own mind a break from the constant stream of news and reports that we are exposed to on a daily basis! 

Early Years services have a great opportunity to give children a love for life-long learning. Early Years curriculum is an important part of the learning process of a child as essentially it is everything that children learn while at Early Years Services. Curriculums can be child or adult-led and can be planned or done on the spot. The Aistear Síolta Practice Guide supports services to use Aistear and Síolta together to build an emergent and inquiry based curriculum. This type of curriculum uses children’s and practitioners’ interests, questions and experiences as starting points for curriculum planning.Typically curriculum planning can be short, medium or long term;

  • Short Term Curriculum Planning
    Short Term Curriculum Planning involves responding to children’s current interests and enquiries, events and news in their families and their community.
  • Medium Term Curriculum Planning
    Medium Term Curriculum Planning may include some project work such as building a city, celebrating Diwali if there are children in the service who celebrate it, birthday celebrations, Spring,  Easter and Summer to name but a few. 
  • Long Term Curriculum Planning
    Long-term planning outlines what a setting plans to do to support children’s learning and development over a long period of time and to acknowledge and reward their achievements. The long term plan is based on the setting’s mission statement and Curriculum Statement. Planning for big school and graduation ceremonies are an important part of this planning.

You will find a number of Curriculum Plans on our online shop that have been developed by Canavan Byrne to support your curriculum planning. These curriculum plans are specifically designed to support Aistear, Síolta and Montessori learnings. Each activity clearly outlines what learning area from Aistear and Montessori is supported. These curriculum plans are not prescribed templates, instead they are a bank of curriculum ideas that can be used to respond to children’s needs. All Curriculum Packs include observation sheets that you can print off and have to hand for when you are observing individual children in your classroom.

There is also the Curriculum Planning Toolkit which is a great guide to assist you with your Curriculum Planning and includes templates for your short, medium and long term plans. To help with your preparation and planning for returning to school there is now 25% off all curriculum planning products on the Early Years Shop. We have curriculum plans on various themes such as Spring, Summer, Easter, Celebrating Difference as well as role play Curriculum Plans such as Outer Space, At the Cinema and At The Hospital. Check out our various packs now at the Early Years Shop !

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Thursday Tip: Keeping in Touch with Families during the Covid-19 Crisis

Services are currently closed so it is more important than ever to have good communication systems in place and to consider means of staying in touch:


Many educators are making videos to send to parents so children can see a familiar face. The excitement and comfort of seeing ‘the teacher’ sing a familiar song, tell a story or play a game cannot be underestimated.


Why not send parents curriculum plans to do at home. What a great way to educate parents about Aistear! There are lots of curriculum plans to choose from on our shop, and all are marked down 25% until Easter!


Send parents a newsletter. We offer a create-your-own newsletter tool that allows you to produce a personalised newsletter for your service with your service name and contact details. Choose from helpful articles provided by Canavan Byrne and add your own news specific to your service. The newsletter is FREE for April and also comes with a free Family Notice with helpful tips for parents on keeping children busy while they are at home.


Set up a Whatsapp group and use it to share ideas and tips.

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FREE April Newsletter – Communicate With Parents During the Stay Home Period!

To help services keep in touch with the parents this month the Early Years Shop is giving the April newsletter for FREE to all Early Years Services. Normally monthly newsletters are purchased from the Early Years Shop or are FREE for EYRF members but this month it is FREE for all services. The newsletter is easy to use and in addition to your own news, we provide free content for you to use that is created by our partners, Canavan Byrne. The newsletter also includes a FREE family notice which you can include with your newsletter. This month’s Family Notice is ‘Some Great Activity Ideas To Do at Home’.

Keeping in contact with the parents of the children in your service is a great way to show your support at this difficult time of self-isolation. Parents’ lives will be very busy, juggling working from home, while trying to keep the children home schooled, occupied, fed and exercised. Bombarding them with too much information is not ideal but if you can strike the right balance they will most certainly appreciate it. A newsletter is a great way of communicating with parents and may be something that you already do on a monthly basis.

The newsletter will give you an opportunity to include up to date information, new ideas for keeping the children active and occupied, talk about ways to celebrate any upcoming celebrations while at home and a chance for you to deliver a message of support from you and your team during this difficult time. The newsletter can be emailed directly to each parent or posted to a closed group that you have with them.

Our special feature gives details of our new ‘live’ Butterfly Garden products available from the Early Years Shop for services and parents for their homes. Bring a little Spring into your homes and teach children how butterflies are formed from little caterpillars in a couple of months. Most children will be familiar with the famous Eric Carle book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This colourful book tells the story of a little caterpillar who hatches from an egg one Sunday morning and takes a journey through the various stages of metamorphosis until the egg finally becomes a beautiful butterfly. Now children can experience this themselves with the Insect Lore Butterfly Garden. The children will receive 3-5 caterpillars and will be able to watch them eat their way through their feed, grow up to 10 times their original size before turning into adult butterflies in their special butterfly net enclosure. The transformation from caterpillar to butterfly will take approximately 3-4 weeks and is a great way to educate young children on the life cycle of an insect, while having first hand experience and lots of fun!