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Starting school

Children who have a positive start to school are likely to engage and experience ongoing academic and social success.

Starting school is a significant event in the life of children and their families. Strong relationships and information sharing between families, early childhood settings and schools help support a child's successful transition to school.

In the following video, 'Transition to school' (1 min 20 sec) we listen to what a young girl is looking forward to as she prepares to start Kindergarten.

Video – Transition to school

Duration – 1:21

Transcript of 'Transition to school' video

When to start

Children can start Kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if they turn 5 on or before 31 July that year. By law, all children must be in compulsory schooling by their 6th birthday.

When your child starts school is an individual decision. You may wish to discuss this with your child's preschool teacher, carer, doctor or your local primary school. Our teachers are trained to work with your child regardless of their age or level of development.

Children develop at different rates and learn skills in different ways. Your school will respond to the needs, learning styles and rates of progress of individual students. Schools also plan learning experiences based on the skills students bring with them to school.

Orientation Day

Most schools have orientation days towards the end of the year to welcome children starting Kindergarten the following year. Many schools also have transition to Kindergarten programs over several weeks in the second half of the year. Contact your local school for details.

The school year starts in late January, after the summer vacation period. The school calendar lists school term dates.

Additional resources

The following resources may be helpful in getting your child ready to start school.

Getting ready for primary school (PDF 2832.19KB) – a booklet with tips and checklists to help parents prepare their child for Kindergarten.

Daisy's First Day (PDF 5650.96KB) – a children's book about Daisy the koala on her first day at primary school.

A Special Place (PDF 2453.31KB) – a children's book showing what it's like to go to school.

NSW Foundation Style writing guide (PDF 116.46KB)

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