Starting Prep can be an anxious time. Bec Falls, Prep teacher at Sunshine Coast Grammar School shares her tips and tricks to ensuring every family is ready for Prep.
What are the common concerns parents have about starting Prep?
The most common concerns are probably:
- Is my child ready for Prep?
- Will they have any friends?
- What do they need to bring?
- Are there before and after care options?
What would you say to alleviate those concerns?
Be organised! Attend all orientations and information sessions to ensure you are fully informed.
Enrolling your child in a Kindergarten program the year before Prep is a great way to get your child school-ready. They become familiar with a classroom and playground setting and some intentional teaching. It’s even better if the Kindergarten is a feeder school for your desired primary school as they can make friends that will continue on with them in Prep. There may also be a transition process that helps your child become familiar in their new school setting.
What do you suggest parents do over the break to ensure new students arrive ready for Prep?
Keep discussing the transition to school in a really positive way. Talk about all the fun things they will do and what they will learn at school. Play dates with friends who will be attending the same school so they have some familiar faces.
Keep all discussions positive and ensure your child knows what to expect on their first day. Don’t worry about your child memorising their letters and numbers, that is what school is for!
What tips do you have for parents for the first day of Prep?
Your school will give your directions as to how they prefer drop-off to happen so it’s best to follow them. Otherwise it’s great to arrive early on the first day. Stay to play with your child, get familiar in the space and introduce yourself and your child to other families. When the teachers call the class in you may be invited to stay for a short time but after this is over the teachers will generally invite the children to say goodbye and that’s your cue to leave. A brief reassuring hug and a kiss is the best way to leave and staff will be there to help if your child is feeling unsure. As always prepare your child for this, especially if they have not attended a Kindy or childcare before.
What tips do you have for parents to best support their child throughout the Prep year?
Try to be involved as possible so you can discuss your child’s learning with them and support them further. Get to know the teacher, participate in school events, help out with reading, PMP, art etc. and always maintain a positive attitude about school so your child will too! Any other great insider tips that a teacher would love Prep parents to know/do? Read the newsletters and emails, they will keep you informed and organised as to what is happening throughout the year. Remember that the most important thing about Prep is that your child enjoys coming to school and develops a love of learning because that will set them up for life.
Do you have a little one starting Prep? Read What is a typical day in the life of a Prep student? and Why a prep transition program really matters.