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Starting School

Starting School – Parent Guidelines

Starting school as a five year old.
Starting school is an exciting event for your children.  They have heard many stories about school from family and friends and now it is time for them to become part of this new community.  Attending school will involve changes for your child as he or she establishes new friendships, learns new routines and takes the first steps towards independence.  For some it will also be the first separation from home and family.  We feel it is very important that starting school is a positive experience for your child because quality learning takes place when the child feels secure and happy.

How can I best prepare my child for school?
The first five years are acknowledged as critical years in a child’s development.  In the weeks prior to starting school, and throughout the early school years, you can help your child by:
–       helping them write their own name
–       looking at the various letters in their name
–       matching letters from one setting to another
–       reading and re-reading favourite stories
–       doing puzzles and making things together
–       singing and chanting nursery rhymes and songs
–       looking at road signs, labels on packets and signs in shops
–       answering their questions and encouraging them to ask questions
–       reading out recipes, shopping lists and directions
–       sharing household tasks such as baking, sweeping and laying the table
–       putting toys and equipment away after activities are finished
–       making regular visits to the local library
–       name all school clothes and belongings
–       teaching your child their full name, address and phone number
–       practising road safety procedures and becoming familiar with the route to school
–       playing games where everyone takes turns.

What opportunities are available for introducing my child to school?
We believe children will have the best possible start at school if they know their teacher, their classmates, the learning space and some of the school routines before they start school.  Introducing your child to school gradually enables familiarity with these routines and encourages the establishment of relationships with the teacher and other students.  We invite parents to bring their child to the Ready for School sessions on Tuesday afternoons to develop this familiarity and their confidence in the new surroundings.  The office will provide more information about these sessions.

Who will my child’s teacher be?
We can let you know who your child’s teacher is likely to be but unexpected enrolments can change the class cut off point at any stage.  When establishing Year 1 classes we work primarily from birth dates.  From Year 2 onwards we consider factors such as balancing the gender, strengths and needs across classes at each level, and we consider the needs of individual children in terms of successful work partnerships formed with other children.

How long should I stay with my child on their first full day at school?
The teacher will advise you about when it is best to leave.  Some children are more focused when they are away from their parents, so it is good if you settle them in before the first school bell at 8.45am, tell them you are leaving and do so in a matter of fact way.  It is often better for you to delay your parent help times for a few weeks.  Point View has a very active open door policy but the prime consideration is always what is best for each child’s learning.

Will my child be alone at playtime?
New children are given a buddy who will look after them at playtime.  A teacher is always on duty and children are supervised while they are eating.  Young children remain in the lunch area until they have finished eating.

What time does my child finish school?
Children work through to 3.00pm from their first day at school.

Managing the first day at school.
–     Bring a packed lunch, play lunch and a drink.
–     Arrive on time, anytime between 8.20am and 8.35 am, in time for the 8.45am bell.
–     Go to the office on arrival to complete final paper work before you go to the classroom.
–     Arrange to spend some time in the classroom on that first morning.  Discuss arrangements with your child, for example, who will collect them at the end of the day, how long you will stay, which food to eat at morning tea and lunch time.
–     When you leave the classroom do not linger.  Leaving your child can be hard but your concerns can cloud your child’s enthusiasm.  If you are positive about the first day at school then your child will probably be the same.  It is rare for children to be upset during the transition to school, due to thorough preparation of the child by the school and family.

Share the excitement of starting school.
Visit the classroom before or after school.  If you have any questions ask the teacher.  To discuss an issue in more detail please make an appointment.  Remember that settling fully into school can take a few weeks.  The school will keep you informed about what is happening at school through regular newsletters so check for them in your child’s school bag.  Stay in touch with the school staff and if you have concerns talk to the teacher, the Deputy Principal or the Principal.  Thus can happen informally as an opportunity arises in the classroom or formally by making an appointment through the office.