Our teachers’ tips to get your child school ready

Our Foundation teachers share their advice to help parents prepare their children for school.

Is your child set to start school next year? We know it can be a huge change for little ones – and their parents!

But never fear – our Foundation teachers have been guiding children and their families through the shift from kindergarten to primary school for decades now, so they know a thing or two about smoothing the transition.

Here’s a selection of their top tips for preparing your child now, so that they are comfortable and ready to embrace school next year.

Encourage independence

Ensure your child is confident in being able to independently undertake key everyday tasks. This can include taking themselves to the toilet – and knowing how to lock and unlock a toilet door. Teach them how to dress themselves, wash their hands, pack and unpack their bag, eat from a lunchbox, ask for help with a task if they need it.

Talk about school

One of the best ways to take the uncertainty out of school is to talk about it – explain what happens in a school day, talk about how your child’s classroom might look and what they might learn. Answer any questions they might have.

Familiarise you and your child with your school

At St Mark’s we offer an extensive transition program to support our new Foundation students because we know that students who feel comfortable within their environment are more confident learners.

Through our program, students visit our school to play, meet other children who will be their peers and allow families to meet each other. Students also spend time in the rooms that will be their classroom, and the school library, undertaking activities. All of this familiarises them with our spaces, teachers, Principal and their peers so that when they arrive on their first day they already feel at home.

You might also like to encourage your child to try on their school uniform so they are comfortable with wearing it on their first day.

Start some basic learning at home

Children will start school at different learning levels because they are beginning at such varying ages under the new single intake system – but don’t worry – we’re prepared for that too. There are some things you can do to help your child including reading regularly with your child, familiarising your child with the alphabet (make this fun through songs, puzzles and games that combine letter recognition), teaching your child to recognise some numbers, using counting games and songs, cutting with scissors, holding a pencil or texta to draw. Teaching them to recognise their name, particularly when it’s written in lower case letters, can also be helpful.

Talk to your educators

Ask your child’s early childhood educator if there are specific ways you can help your child become school-ready. If there are any areas where your child needs extra support, communicate these with us so we are best placed to provide a welcoming and supportive beginning to school.

At St Mark’s, we liaise directly with our new students’ families and their kindergarten and early childhood educators to talk through each child’s specific needs before they begin so our teachers can prepare to make their learning journey as enjoyable as possible.

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