Kindergarten orientation and transition

Starting school is a big event for everyone. Find out about your school's orientation and transition programs so you can make it the best start.

Schools will run different transition to school programs to meet the needs of the children and families in their communities. So what's the difference between Kindergarten orientation and transition?

Orientation

Most schools will organise orientation days towards the end of the year for children and families who will be starting school the following year. These may run for one day or for several days.

Orientation helps you and your child get to know the school. You will find out about school routines, staff, uniforms, bell times and how to keep in touch with the teachers and the school. Orientation will often include tours of the school where you will find out about the office, canteen, library and classrooms. You may go to an information session for the family, meet the school staff and visit the classrooms where your child might do some activities with other children and the teachers.

Transition

Transition to school is about much more than orientation or the first day at school. It is a process over time, beginning before your child starts school. It may extend into the first year at school until you and your child feel that you belong. You, as your child's first teacher, and early childhood education and care programs are important to help your child make a strong start at school.

If your child attends a preschool or childcare centre the school can work with them to help get to know your child and for you and your child to get to know the school.

Some schools may offer transition sessions for you and your child.

This may be where:

  • children and their families attend the school for a series of visits or a session - usually in Term 3 or Term 4 in the year before school
  • schools run parent workshops while children engage in classroom experiences
  • parents support their child with play-based activities.

Schools will organise individual transition planning for children with additional needs. If your child has a disability or support need arrange a meeting with the school principal in advance.

Contact your local school for details.

What information do you need to provide the school?

Find out about the important information you need to provide your school before your child starts Kindergarten.

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