We Learn - New Preps

New Preps

Pascoe Vale North Primary School provides integrated program activities, which encourage a continuation of the way the children have been learning at home. Your child has been learning by imitation, play, problem solving and knowledge seeking. Many Prep activities will be centred on play to allow for natural progression in learning. Sometimes your child may say, “We only played today”, but it is these structured activities, planned by the teacher, that promote the foundations for your child’s further education. It is important in these early stages that work be relevant to the children’s experience thus making learning more meaningful. The Prep grade introduces and develops the skills necessary for future learning.  

The tasks, which incorporate cutting, pasting, drawing, classifying, sorting, communicating and sharing, play a major part in this important year. Before children can competently read or write, they express themselves through these activities. Therefore we ask parents to be patient and encouraging with their children’s efforts to develop these skills. Remember there are four P’s for Prep children: patience, practice, perseverance and praise! Children are encouraged to write from the first day at school. At first their writing may appear to be just scribble but letters, words, and finally sentences, will evolve during writing sessions, as children are encouraged to express their thoughts and ideas. A Home Reading Program through which the child shares a story with the family provides a valuable foundation for reading and the enjoyment of books.

Prep Transition

Starting school is a big adventure, which each child copes with differently. Expect tiredness and grumpiness in the first weeks as they adjust to social demands of the classroom and the wider school community. The socialisation of the children is important during the first term and will require the acceptance of the differences of others, tolerance and patience. We encourage parents to assist with classroom activities. This supervision of small groups during short-term activities aids the teacher in catering for short attention spans of prep children.

This is the beginning of the partnership between school and the home in which we both contribute to the development of your child’s potential Prep Orientation An orientation program of three sessions is conducted late in Term 4 for the following year’s Preps. The program consists of activities for children, a series of talks by staff and a visit by an animal farm. The preps will also have an opportunity to meet their ‘Buddy’ who will help them transition to school.

Buddy System

Each Prep is introduced to a Grade 5 or 6 student during orientation who will be their buddy for the transition to school. Usually it is on a one to one basis but at times there may be two children who share the responsibility. The idea of the buddies is to provide a senior school child for each prep child, who will help them in their transition from home/ kinder to school. The buddies are allocated during Prep Orientation. Buddies wear bright red hats so that they are easily spotted by the preps. During the first couple of weeks the buddies help preps find their way around school and to their lines, they help them get organized for playtime and lunchtime and generally look out for them in the yard. They try to provide a positive role model. The buddies initially stay with the preps in the yard for a few days at which time they encourage them to play with other preps. This support is reduced gradually. Buddies wear their red hats for all of Term 1.

Prep School Days

Term 1 The 2013 school year begins for prep students on Thursday 31st January. During the first week of school, parents should bring their child to the designated class and leave the room quickly to avoid ‘first day’ emotional stress. We then invite parents to joins us for a ‘Meet and Greet’ morning tea in the MPR. On Thursday 31st and Friday 1st February the children will finish school at 1.15pm. Two small lunches will be required every day. Prep children do not attend school on Wednesdays in Term One. This time is set aside for individual testing. You will be notified when your child needs to attend.

To Help Your Child Adjust To School

Talk to your children about starting school, where they will meet new friends, play games, sing and make things.

Children should wear clothes that are easy to manage, for example, the school uniform. There should be large loops on coats and pullovers so that they can be hung up easily.  Label carefully all possessions they will bring to school with full name – raincoats, hats, items of uniform, bags, cases, plastic bottles and lunch boxes, story books, etc. Be sure to check from time to time whether the label is still intact and legible. Unless articles are named, it is difficult for teachers to find correct owners. (Regularly check the lost property box.)

Ensure that your child is at school on time each day. The literacy block is conducted between 9.00 and 11.00am each morning. Remember, young children like a routine free from undue tension. Latecomers often become emotionally upset – which can spoil their day at school.

Give them duties to perform around the home, which require only one to two simple directions. This will give confidence to complete small tasks.  

Give school work a place of honour in your home. In this way children will feel encouraged to share their achievements with the family.  

Select appropriate stories, picture books, radio and television programs for your children. Encourage them to discuss these with you.

Help them to become independent. Encourage them to put belongings in appropriate areas by themselves (eg. clothing pegs, lockers).  

Lunch and play lunch/snacks should be wrapped separately to allow the child easy selection. Lunch is eaten in the classroom with teacher supervision.

Provide a bag to carry library books.