The NSW Department of Education has put together some helpful resources about preparing for the start of school.
Tips for starting school
Starting school is an exciting time, but we understand that some children (and their parents) might feel a bit anxious about it. While there does seem to be lots to remember, in no time at all your child will gain confidence and settle into their new school routine. Remember your child's teacher is trained and experienced in looking after young children and helping them to settle into school. They are also always ready to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Months and weeks before
In the months and weeks before school begins, discuss Kindergarten with your child. Attend the transition to school introduction and activity mornings organised during Term 4 and express enthusiasm and excitement at all that your child is going to learn when they start school in the coming year.
A play date is usually organised in the school grounds during the holidays before the start of Term 1. This is a great opportunity for children to start to get to know some of their future classmates and for parents to meet one another too.
School uniform and equipment
Each school day your child will need to wear the appropriate uniform . On some days of the week your child will need to wear their sports uniform. The days can vary from term to term and you will be notified of changes to this. Summer uniform is worn during Terms 1 and 4 and winter uniform during Terms 2 and 3. Here are some useful tips to help your child get used to school routines:
- It is recommended that most school uniform items be purchased in advance of the start of the new school year. Wakehurst's School uniform shop is open twice each week throughout the school year and you are welcome to come in during opening times well before your child starts. The uniform shop is also usually open during the transition to school introduction and activity mornings and at additional times during the first week of the year for extra last minute items.
- All uniform items, lunch boxes, bags and shoes should be clearly marked with your child's name so that lost items can be returned to their owner. It is a good idea to attach a distinctive key-ring or other object to your child's schoolbag to make identification easy.
- Make sure your child can manage their clothes and let them try their uniform on in the holidays to ensure it is familiar and comfortable. Encourage your child to pack their school bag finding specific spots for each item, e.g. hat, notes, recess, lunch and their home reading folder. (You will receive a list of any stationery items your child will need to bring from home and details will also be posted here.)
- Throughout the year children are required to wear their school hat each day and it is a good idea to apply sunscreen before coming to school.
- A raincoat should be packed in your child's schoolbag and whenever the weather starts to become cool it is useful to also pack their school jacket. It can be helpful to pack extra underwear (and a spare pair of school shorts if appropriate) in case of small accidents.
- Favourite toys are best left at home as they may get lost or damaged. Sharp objects, toy weapons and electronic games are not to be brought to school.
- Your child's teacher will show them where to keep their school bag during the day and the location of toilets and bubblers.
Recess and lunchtime
The following tips are designed to help your child transition smoothly into our recess and lunchtime routines:
- Discuss recess (11:15am for 25 minutes) and lunch time (1pm for 50 minutes). At these times children are asked to sit and eat before they go and play.
- Talk with your child about making new friends and explain that sometimes during playtime they may lose sight of new friends. Tell your child that this is okay, that they can sit and watch until they see their friends, ask to join another game or go to the teacher on playground duty if they are upset.
- It may be helpful to pack recess and lunch separately. Teachers also encourage a short mid morning break (during class time) for children to grab a quick easy-to-eat fruit or vegetable snack from their schoolbag. We find this breaks the long morning session for little ones and gives them some extra energy, so please pack an appropriate separate snack for this.
- Some ideas for snacks at recess include small pieces of fresh or dried fruit, cheese and crackers, small tubs of yoghurt and mini muffins. Please do not include any nuts or nut based spreads (peanut butter or Nutella) as some children have severe allergies to these foods.
- Some ideas for lunch include sandwiches, cold meat and salad, sushi rolls or pasta. Remember to include a small spoon or fork if needed. Please don't send pre-packaged foods which your child cannot open independently.
- Our healthy canteen operates on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays for children to purchase snacks at recess and at lunch time. If lunch has been ordered from the canteen it will be delivered to the classroom at the start of lunch time. The canteen menu can be found on our website and orders can be placed online through Flexischools.
Arrivals and departures
Supervision of the school playground starts at 8:45am each day, with the school day starting at 9:15am. If you arrive after 9:15am, please accompany your child to the office to sign for and collect a late pass before proceeding to their classroom where the late pass is given to their teacher. It can be helpful for your child to have some trial runs getting ready in time for school before the start of the school year. More information about attendances and absences can be found here.
Kindergarten students finish their school day at 3:15pm, together with the rest of the school. Parents are asked to wait for their child in the playground behind the verandah next to KJ. Please try to collect your child on time as children can become upset if parents are late. If you are running late please contact the school office so that your child's teacher can be told or, if you are going to be significantly late, so that alternative arrangements can be made. Teachers always wait until students are collected but it is best to let them know the situation. Out of school hours care is offered by Camp Australia on the school grounds both before and after school. For more information and to register go to www.campaustralia.com.au or telephone 1300 105 343. If you have arranged for your child to attend out of school hours care, please make sure they are aware of this and let their class teacher know in advance.
If your child becomes ill
If your child becomes ill or gets hurt while at school they will be cared for by the School Administration Officer and, if necessary, can rest in the sick bay adjoining the office. Unless the problem is very minor, you or the person you have nominated will be contacted as soon as possible. For more information and for advice about how long you should keep your child away from school if they have an infectious illness, please see the Our School A-Z (under I).
Year 6 buddies
A month or two before your child starts Kindergarten they will receive a greeting card from the Year 6 'buddy' assigned to them. Year 6 students are thrilled to have a chance to mentor the little ones and all the children enjoy a combined storybook reading session on the afternoon of their first day. Shared activity sessions then continue at various times throughout the year, often resulting in enduring friendships.
News from school will come to you through a few channels: information and permission notes sent home in your child's schoolbag; our billboard newsletter is emailed once a fortnight (or you can collect a paper copy from the office); reminders, requests and invitations will be emailed by your class parent; and event details and administrative information can be found on our school website. You will also find there are lots of opportunities for parents, grandparents and guardians to get involved in the life of the school.
We look forward to having your family join the Wakehurst Public School community.