Tips For Starting School
Starting primary school is an important milestone in a child's educational journey. Foundation is typically the first year of formal schooling in many educational systems. It sets the foundation for their future learning and development.
Here are some key aspects to consider during the transition to Foundation:
Familiarise yourself with the school: Visit the school with your child before the term begins. Attend the Storytime and transition sessions to get a sense of the learning environment and meet the teachers and staff. This can help your child feel more comfortable and excited about starting Foundation.
Establish routines: Foundation often involves a more structured daily routine compared to early childhood settings. Start gradually adjusting your child's routine, including regular wake-up and bedtime, meal times, and playtime. This will help them adapt to the new schedule.
Try not to make too big a deal of day one. Avoid the “big countdown” as the children feel pressure to “perform”.
Communication and social skills: Emphasise the importance of effective communication and social skills to your child. Encourage them to express themselves, share their needs, and interact with peers and teachers. Engaging in activities like storytelling, pretend play, and group games can aid in developing these skills.
Independence and self-help skills: Encourage your child to develop independence in daily tasks such as dressing themselves, using the toilet, and tidying up. Foundation classrooms often require children to manage their belongings and follow basic instructions, so fostering self-help skills beforehand will be beneficial.
Emotional readiness: Starting Foundation can evoke a range of emotions for both children and parents. Talk to your child about their feelings, address any concerns they may have, and reassure them that it's normal to feel a mix of excitement and nervousness. Encourage open communication and create a supportive environment at home.
Learning through play: Foundation usually incorporates a play-based approach to learning. Engage your child in activities that promote creativity, problem-solving, and imagination. Encourage them to explore different subjects, such as reading books together, engaging in age-appropriate puzzles, and practising counting or basic mathematics skills (see the Mathscots videos linked below).
Remember, every child is unique, and the transition to Foundation may vary for each individual. Patience, support, and positive reinforcement are key elements in helping your child adjust to their new educational environment.
Here are some additional resources to help you and your child get ready for Foundation.
Carly McGuaran, Psychologist Starting School Toolkit
Victorian Government Tips for Starting School
Be You Webinar Transitions: preparing children and young people for change
The Mathscots animation series has been developed to support families engage in numeracy and to build home-school connections around mathematics learning. Following the introductory episode, there are 9 stand-alone episodes (each between one and two minutes long). The videos have in-built pauses along with prompts and questions to encourage families to talk about the mathematics presented. There are also suggested activities that families may like to explore after watching the episodes.
Introduction Meet the Mathscots. Prime, the puppy, lives at 3 Ratio Road and she has fun with numbers. Prime lives with Poly (the name being short for Polygon) and Poly enjoys playing with shapes. Prime's friend, Buster, lives across the road. He likes to measure and bust maths myths. Buster lives with Chance, who likes to think about the likelihood of events.
Biscuit Patterns Biscuit the Pug is visiting Prime’s home for dinner. Biscuit likes his dog biscuits served in a particular pattern. Can Prime serve the biscuits in the pattern that Biscuit prefers?
Buying a Dog Coat Al and Prime go shopping for a new dog coat. Will they have enough money to buy a coat for Prime to wear in winter?
Hiding the Bone Buster looks for a place to bury his bone. Will the bone remain safely hidden from other dogs in the neighbourhood?
Puppy School Obstacle Course The dogs and puppies learn how to go through an obstacle course in a certain order. Will Poly complete the obstacle course in a record time?
Puppy School Photo Day It is photo day for Buster, Prime and the other dogs who attend Puppy School. Will the dogs be able to line up in order of height so that they can all be seen in the photo? Will the dogs be able to work out how to get into two even groups?
Finding the Ball Al and Poly are in the park playing fetch with the ball. Will Poly find the ball when it goes missing?
Sharing the Sausages Prime visits the butcher shop with Al and Ada to buy sausages for a doggy dinner party. But will the dinner party go to plan when some sausages fall out of the bag on their way home?
Visiting the Dog Groomers Ada takes Chance to the Dog Groomers. What is the chance of Chance receiving a spotted or striped bow tie today?
Building a Dog House Al and Ada plan to build a dog house for Prime. Buster helps as they take Prime’s measurements. When the dog house is built, will it be a good fit for Prime?