Starting school is a big challenge for both children and families. That’s why Forster Public School has developed a pre-school transition program that helps incoming students become familiar with the school environment.
All local pre-schools offer attendance at numerous Forster Public School sessions to facilitate familiarity with routines and the physical environment.
Forster Public School assistant principal, Anne Evans said that it is also helpful when older siblings already attend the school.
“The younger siblings can participate in the classroom visits and attend assemblies and performances, all the while getting used to the space,” Anne said.
“All these experiences serve to prepare children for the challenges of the classroom, the grounds, toilets, and bubbler drinking fountains, as well as the noise and hustle and bustle of large numbers of students of varying ages.
“Parents can help get their children ready to start school by explaining basic school rules such as putting up your hand, asking permission to go to the toilet, listening quietly to the teacher’s instructions and doing what a teacher requests.
“Parents also need to identify a safe and legal drop-off location at the school and clarify with their child the details of being picked up after school.
“Other practical hints include trying on the uniform and shoes before the first day, ensuring that the school bag contains a hat, library bag (a pillow slip will suffice), ensuring that the lunch box can be opened, and reading books about starting school.
“Parents also need to prepare themselves for the start of school in terms of managing their emotions at the time. Presenting as sad or worried will cast a shadow over the child, so mums and dads should plan a reward for themselves, such as going out to lunch after the big first drop off.
“In addition, parents should approach their child’s teacher and share any concerns regarding the child as, when school and home work together, the best outcomes can be planned and achieved.”