Assistant Principal and Kindergarten teacher Kate Jones gives us the lowdown on one of the biggest days of a young child’s life – the very first day of school.
Preparing for the big day
Ms Jones has seen a lot of tiny feet come through the doors of Orange Grove Public School in Sydney. She shares her tips on how you can help your child prepare for their big day.
Keep your school talk positive
Talk positively with your child about school and the different experiences they can look forward to. Your words will help them feel more capable and independent.
Encourage your child to help you prepare
In the days leading up to their first day, encourage your child to pack their own lunch box and bag. Let them practise organising their belongings and use the time to chat about what they think the year ahead will look like.
“Give them the opportunity to be problem solvers in their everyday lives and to apply this at school,” Ms Jones says.
Ask your child to be the tour guide
Even though the first week will likely be a blur, it’s a good idea to ask your child to show you around. Ask them to show you their classroom and where they unpack their bag. It’s a good chance for you to connect with them in their new space.
Enjoy this time – the teachers certainly do
Kindergarten is an important year because it’s a student’s first taste of formal schooling.
“Kindergarten students are like sponges and the growth you see as a teacher is incredibly rewarding,” Ms Jones says. “Cherish these moments, as this year you will see a huge amount of growth in their learning.”
Be prepared for your child to share – a lot!
A Kindergarten teacher is a pivotal person in your child’s life.
“They will literally be bursting at the seams to share every detail of their lives – yes, every detail,” Ms Jones says. “Before we have even made it to the classroom, on average, five of them have told me what they had for breakfast, who is visiting their family and something new they bought on the weekend.”
Understand the first day is a big day for everyone
The first day of school is a day that parents, teachers and students will remember for a long time.
“This is a huge day for parents, as for some, this is the first time they are leaving their children in the hands of another person,” Ms Jones says. “All their trust and hopes are handed over to [the teacher].
“You may struggle with this letting go more than they will, but they are ready – trust me.”