Information for new families
What can you do to help your child prepare for school?
- Establish a morning routine: waking up, getting dressed, breakfast, packing bag to arrive on time
- Have regular conversations with your child about school and what an exciting adventure it will be
- Encourage children to express their thoughts and feelings
- Try your best to answer all your child’s questions about what they will do, where they will go to the toilet, where and when they will eat lunch and so on
- Practice saying and remembering the six school agreements at home and the three step telling
- Encourage independence – putting shoes on, looking after jumper/hat, packing up toys and being respectful to others
- Maintain your nightly routine: dinner time, bath/bed time, story before sleep
- Encourage independent toileting
- Practice road safety
The first day
As your child prepares to start school, take some time to think about how your family will adjust to the new routine. If you are a working parent, you may need to consider arrangements for before and after school care, or how you will organise school pick-up with your partner or other family members. You may need to allow more time in the mornings as you drop off one child at Kindergarten and the other at school. If your primary role has been mainly at home looking after your child, there might be a period of adjustment as your child is away from you for longer hours.
- Be confident about the first day with your child
- Let your child dress themselves as much as possible and check that all items are clearly named
- Pack a spare pair of underpants, socks and a change of clothes in a plastic bag. Let your child know these are in their backpack in case they have a toilet accident at school
- Pack a big snack, lunch and a water bottle
- Help your child to pack their school bag
- Tie back or plait long hair.
- Apply sunscreen and provide school hat.
- Take photos!
- Stay and calm your child and make a quick exit by saying goodbye and see you in the afternoon
- Be on time to pick up your child from outside the external classroom door
- Let your classroom teacher know that you have collected your child
Supporting your child’s Literacy development
- Read with your child every day and encourage independent reading
- Look at the title, author and illustrator
- Identify stories as having a beginning, middle and end
- Make connections between the book and your child’s experience or interest
- Say letter names and matching sounds
- Practice writing your child’s name
- Trace or copy shapes, letters and words
- Encourage drawing and art and craft activities
- Cutting skills enhance fine motor skills and help develop small muscles for writing
Supporting your child’s Numeracy development
Numeracy is the ability to apply maths concepts in all areas of life. Numeracy skills involve understanding numbers, counting, solving number problems, measuring, sorting, noticing patterns, adding and subtracting numbers and so on. Your child’s everyday experiences are full of learning opportunities that lay the foundations for numeracy.
We all need numeracy and maths skills to do everyday things like:
- solve problems – for example, which brand and size of tinned beans is the cheapest?
- analyse and interpret information – for example, how many wins does my team need to get to the top of the competition?
- understand patterns – for example, what number would the next house in this street be?
- make choices – for example, which personal loan is the best value?
Getting your child started
You can help your child start learning numeracy skills through everyday play and activities:
- count fingers, toes and toys
- recognise numbers on objects like clocks or remote controls
- cutting fruit into halves and quarters
- help set the table
- looking at the measurements on the side of cups, bottles and jugs
- various ways to fit belongings in a bag
- divide food into equal shares
- compare things of different sizes – ‘big’, ‘small’, ‘medium’
- use words to describe where things are, such as ‘over’, ‘under’ and ‘next to’
- help with the shopping and use money to buy things.
Using numeracy and maths language
Language skills and numeracy skills go hand in hand.
Talking with your child about maths concepts in your everyday activities will help her understand how and why maths is useful. For example, you can point out:
- big and small (size)
- high and low (height)
- heavy and light (weight)
- fast and slow (speed)
- close and far (distance)
- many and few (amount)
- first, second and last (order)
- morning, afternoon and night (time).