Poipoia te kakano kia puawai
Starting school for the first time is an exciting time for both children and parents. We do understand that it may also be an anxious time for some. We look forward to getting to know you, learning something of who you are, where you come from and working alongside you to support an effective transition to school.
Children and families are welcome to book as many visits as needed to ensure that everyone is feeling at home before the first offical day. We have Discovery Time each Friday and find that visiting during this time is helpful to children for getting to know other children and feeling at home in the environment. Other times can also be arranged by discussing this with the Team Leader, class teacher or via the school office.
Generally children start school on the Monday after their 5th birthday.
HANDY HINTS FROM THE TEACHER
The golden rule is ‘the easier, the better!’ A few suggestions that may help to ensure lunch gets eaten:
- Put a wee snip in fruit skin to make it easier to peel, especially bananas!
- Cut the corner off those impossible rice cracker packets.
- Make sure containers and drink bottles are easy to open and close.
Where ever possible, let your child pack do tasks for themselves and take ownership of the process. It is exciting to see confidence grow as children take the lead with arriving at school, hanging up bags and preparing for the day without support. It is great to be the cheerleader on the side with lots of positive praise for the progress made.
PLAY THE LONG GAME
Your child will most likely be very tired during their first few weeks at school. Ensure any after-school activities are low key as they are settling into school days and new routines.
Keep informed by reading classroom communications, school newsletters and following the school Facebook. Information on these things and other school routines can be found on the Daily Life menu on the school website.
PREPARING TO START
In the lead up to starting school:
Buy a school bag that is an appropriate size – big enough to fit your child’s book bag, lunch box, drink bottle and spare clothing. However, make sure they can carry it!
It is helpful if they can dress and undress independently, including being able to take off shoes and put them back on. Velcro or slip on shoes are preferable unless they can confidently do up their own shoelaces.
It is important children are able to toilet independently and confidently. If this is a challenge it is important you talk to your class teacher about any support that may be needed.
New Entrant Stationery packs are available for purchase from either Bay of Plenty Office Products or the Matua School office.
IS MY CHILD READY FOR SCHOOL?
We often have parents asking “what does my child need to know before he/she begins school?”
It is important to know that there isn’t a list of skills that need to be achieved before a child starts school. Children are all different and develop at their own pace. That was true when they learned to walk and the same is true was they learn to read and count. Learning is not just about numbers and letters, but is also about creative thinking, working with others and problem solving.
If you are wanting to encourage your child in their learning you could:
- read to them at least every day. Reading to a child is as valuable as them reading themselves, and fostering a love of books and reading is the best way to help your children get underway.
- model speaking in complete sentences and using a wide range of vocabulary. Strong oral language is the foundation to reading and writing.
- help them hold a pencil correctly, doing lots of drawing and exploring of letters.
- expose them to written language and help them recognise and write their name.
- regularly count object and recognise numbers to 10, and even move on to 20!
- talk about colours and shapes, getting them to identify them when out and about.
The main thing to do is encourage a love of learning new things, telling stories, solving problems and getting on with friends.