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.

Transition to school

Young girl:
Starting Kindergarten, I think, will be really exciting.

She’s really looking forward to being with her new friends and getting to know them. And I know she’s also looking forward to learning to read because she’s been trying to learn her letters.

Young girl:
And I’m also looking forward to learning how to do really hard maths. And I’m also looking forward to learning about different kinds of animals and learning to do more craft.

Oh, she’s been talking about what’s it going to be like during the school days. So will they get to have lunch break and play in the playground and who will her teachers be?

I just really hope that she will feel nurtured and comfortable there and I want her to feel really safe and secure. I want her to really be confident that she’s making friends that are going to be with her on the journey through school. And I just want her to have a sense that it’s going to be a fun place to go every day.

End of transcript

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, held 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 2.8MB) - a booklet with tips and checklists to help parents prepare their child for Kindergarten.

Daisy's First Day (PDF 5.5MB) - a children's book about Daisy the koala on her first day at primary school.

NSW Foundation Style writing guide (PDF 116.46KB).

Printed copies of these resources are posted to schools each year. For schools looking to order additional copies, visit Starting school resources (staff only).


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