Getting Ready for Prep

We all make transitions in our lives. We move house, take up new jobs, join new groups and communities and move into new environments. Sometimes we feel confident about these new changes and sometimes we are apprehensive and feel uneasy. Beginning school for the first time is no different. Each child responds differently to such changes and will deal differently with the transition into school.

jess-eastonStarting school is an important time for children and their families. Children who make a positive start to school are more likely to feel at ease, valued and self-assured as learners and have a sense of belonging to their school community. Therefore, the transition and orientation process is essential for developing an optimistic attitude towards school and learning for children.

Families play an important role in supporting children to manage the transition to school. Parents can help their children to cope with the changes by developing their social, emotional and learning skills. The following are some ideas for helping your child move into the school environment with ease:

  • Teach your child to introduce themselves and ask to join in play or, invite others to play
  • Talk about what it means to be a good friend
  • Encourage sharing and taking turns
  • Teach conversation skills such as waiting for a turn, listening without interrupting and expressing ideas
  • Develop self-help skills such as dressing and undressing, putting on shoes and socks, opening lunchboxes and packaging and going to the toilet and washing hands
  • Encourage them to ask for help when it is needed
  • Teach them to take care of their belongings
  • Develop understanding of rules – discuss the reasons for rules and their importance
  • Encourage them to focus on an activity for a period of time and persist until it is complete
  • Encourage listening skills – listening when someone is talking and when being read to
  • Help them to follow instructions
  • Encourage hand- eye coordination by using scissors, throwing and catching balls etc.

The summer holidays are a long break for young learners and often it can feel like the first day of school will never arrive. Children may enjoy counting down the days over summer until they begin school. Parents could make a countdown calendar to cross off days or place a sticker over a day as they count down. Another idea is to make a paper chain with the number of links matching the number of days until the first day of school. Each day your child can enjoy removing a link and watch the chain get smaller and smaller as the special day gets closer.

Over the holidays involve your child in the preparation for school. This includes trying on the school uniform and showing them where it will be kept in their wardrobe, purchasing and looking through the books and stationary needed for their year ahead and organising play dates with friends who will be in their class.

Finally, when the big day arrives try to ensure you are as prepared as possible the day before with uniform, packed recess and lunch and school bag. Remain as calm as possible to reduce any additional stress caused from rushing or over excitement and remember that children pick up on their parents’ feelings and behaviour so stay as positive and composed as possible.

Starting school is a special time in a little learner’s life and with a solid partnership between school and families, children can benefit from a smooth and positive transition to school which can set the tone for their educational journey.

For further information regarding St Catherine’s School Prep enrolment please contact Admissions on (03) 9828 3917 or visit

Mrs Jessica Easton

Prep Teacher

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