Starting school is a major milestone, it marks the beginning of your child’s education, setting strong foundations for life-long learning. Research shows that a positive start to school leads to better learning and wellbeing outcomes for all children. It helps to support your child’s continuity of learning and development and assists children to feel secure, confident and connected to new people and places.
At Mernda Primary School we value the importance of students making a positive start to school and run a comprehensive transition program aimed at making your child’s pathway from pre-school to school a successful and smooth experience.
Our Transition Program develops your child’s confidence by providing opportunities to learn about being at school. As it is not a one off event, you and your child will be able to grow and learn together. You will have many chances to discuss your child’s needs and ask questions. It is our intention to build success and to make commencing school both comfortable and enticing. We have designed and embedded many opportunities which aim to support children, families and early childhood professionals to become familiar with and excited about the transition into primary school.
At MPS the following STEPS show the pathways to stepping into Prep:
PREP INFORMATION NIGHT
This session marks the beginning of our Transition Program and is designed for all prospective parents wanting to find out more about our school. The session runs for an hour and is extremely informative. We appreciate how difficult it is to choose a school. During this session parents are given the opportunity to ask questions and meet our current Prep teachers.
KINDERGARTEN ” TASTE OF SCHOOL” VISITS
Building relationships with local kindergartens is vital when it comes to transition. During Term 2 & 3, the four year old kindergarten groups, in the local area, are invited to come along to visit the school for a one hour session. The children are taken on a tour of the school, visiting classrooms. The children also walk through our beautiful buildings and grounds and play on the P-2 playground.
Parents are welcome to join in the fun! What a fabulous opportunity for prospective parents to see the school in action.
The official transition program, involving your child, begins in Term 3 with our fun and interactive Story Time sessions. Families of students enrolled are given the opportunity to engage in weekly story time sessions in our state of the art library. Throughout each session children will listen to stories, sing songs and complete a crafty activity based on the theme of the day. The objective of Story Time is to help families and children enrolled at MPS become familiar with the school environment, feel comfortable in their surroundings, fostering a sense of belonging and security.
All family members are welcome to attend and sessions run from 9.30-10.30 am on Fridays (dates TBA)
SCHOOL READINESS SESSION
In the lead up to your child starting school, there are many ways that you can plan to prepare for the changes ahead. This will help your child and family make a successful start to school. We know that every family will have different preparation ideas and strategies, so it’s best to make a plan that suits the needs of your individual family.
To assist families in their understanding and knowledge of “school readiness”, an information session is held during Term 3 which covers all the facets of what school readiness means and provides some tips to help you to prepare your child for school.
During Term 4 all children enrolled in Prep will have the opportunity to participate in our Orientation Program. These sessions are where your child’s Prep journey begins. Orientation is made up of 3 sessions of Orientation, each running for 1 hour and a half. The sessions are specifically designed to be fun and engaging, providing your child with a taste of Prep and building their understanding of what being at school will entail. During each session, your child will engage in a Literacy, Perceptual Motor Program and Performing Arts lesson. The children will meet a range of teachers, including specialist teachers, making transitioning into these classes when school begins easier.
PARENT INFORMATION SESSIONS
During the Orientation program, Prep parents are invited to attend 2 Information sessions. These information sessions outline the fundamental information for parents about starting school at Mernda Primary, including core curriculum subjects, uniforms, school banking, healthy lunchboxes and other essential facts.
To end our Transition Program, families of Prep students are invited to attend a Prep BBQ at school, where you and your child will meet their teacher. Each child and their family will spend time in the classroom with their teacher and then join with staff, all new Prep parents and families for a friendly BBQ and fun-filled activities.
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
The first day of school is a very exciting, yet overwhelming time for all involved. On the first days of school we encourage you to take your child into the classroom to help them to get themselves organised and show them where to put their bag. As soon as your child is settled say a happy and friendly goodbye and leave the room.
It is extremely important that students develop good habits of punctuality and regular attendance, as well as a positive attitude towards school. Providing a routine and keeping things the same each morning helps to ensure that your child, feels safe and secure and start their school day with a smile.
From day one, Preps are expected to be at school all day, except for Wednesdays in the first month. On Wednesday, the Prep teacher conducts one on one interviews with all of the children. The interviews are designed to provide your child’s teacher with information about your child’s understanding and skills in English and Mathematics.