Learning to Tell the Time

In primary school, children learn to tell the time over a period of 5 years. Each year a new concept and practice is introduced and embedded before moving on to the next one. You can support your child by providing them with a watch and having a clock in the house. Take it step by step, don’t overload with too many instructions and concepts to understand at once.

The following are the learning objectives for time from Infants to 6th class:

 Junior Infants

  • develop an understanding of the concept of time through the use of appropriate vocabulary
  • sequence daily events or stages in a story

Senior Infants

  • develop an understanding of the concept of time through the use of appropriate vocabulary
  • sequence daily and weekly events or stages in a story
  • read time in one-hour intervals

1st class

  • use the vocabulary of time to sequence events
  • read and record time using simple devices
  • read time in hours and half-hours on 12-hour analogue clock
  • read day, date and month using calendar

2nd class

  • use the vocabulary of time to sequence events
  • read and record time using simple devices
  • read time in hours, half-hours and quarter-hours on 12-hour analogue clock
  • read time in hours and half-hours on digital clock
  • read day, date and month using calendar and identify the season

3rd Class

  • consolidate and develop further a sense of time passing
  • read time in five-minute intervals on analogue and digital clock (12-hour)
  • record time in analogue and digital forms
  • read and interpret simple timetables
  • read dates from calendars and express weeks as days and vice versa
  • solve and complete practical tasks and problems involving times and dates

4th Class

  • consolidate and develop further a sense of time passing
  • read time in one-minute intervals on analogue and digital clock (12-hour)
  • express digital time as analogue time and vice versa
  • read and interpret simple timetables.
  • rename minutes as hours and hours as minutes
  • read dates from calendars and express weeks as days and vice versa
  • solve and complete practical tasks and problems involving times and dates and the addition and subtraction of hours and minutes

5th Class

  • read and interpret timetables and the 24-hour clock (digital and analogue)
  • interpret and convert between times in 12-hour and 24-hour format

6th class

  • explore international time zones
  • explore the relationship between time, distance and average speed
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