The first six months of Prep – what to expect

14 March 2017

As we near the end of first term, there may be some Prep students around the state starting to feel a bit tired, cranky and emotional. And when you see what they get up to each day, it’s easy to see why – there’s a lot of play and learning going on in Prep classrooms to help them prepare for the rest of their schooling journey.

While we may focus on Prep students learning their alphabet and numbers and beginning to read, social and emotional development is especially important in the first six months of Prep.

Sunshine Coast Grammar School’s prep program aims to encourage their prep students by building a culture of curiosity along with a strong sense of community, friendship and collaboration. The initial part of the year sets the foundation for social and academic learning by establishing routines and expectations and teaching independence.  It’s a time to instil in them a passion for learning and to encourage and foster lifelong friendships, along with the confidence to try new experiences without fear of mistake. 

Sharing and turn taking are still priorities along with the need to understand the needs of others through the future development of empathy. As students arrive full of excitement, the prep program aims to build on this excitement while imparting the following key lessons:

Learning how to make friends and be a friend

Many of the friends made in Prep will continue throughout school and beyond. Prep teachers encourage their students to get to know their fellow classmates and they all learn what makes a good friend and how to treat each other with kindness and respect.

Learning how to care for one another

Social learning is the foundation for academic learning. Recognising and responding to emotions and feelings is an important way that Prep students learn how to relate to others and express themselves appropriately.

Learning to become independent

Prep encourages independence in children and develops in them the desire to want to do things for themselves. If we do things for children what they can do for themselves, we rob them of the opportunity to be proudly independent.

Fostering a sense of inquiry and wonder

Prep is where passions and interests are encouraged and become the source of tailored learning experiences. As relationships are built with the whole family and each individual child is recognised, teaching approaches can be tailored to meet each child.

Sunshine Coast Grammar’s whole school approach to Prep

At Sunshine Coast Grammar school, activities, events and experiences within the school are a key focus for Preps, drawing on the different members of the school community to give children enriching learning experiences. Key staff include the School Chaplin, Dean of Student Wellbeing, Performing Arts teacher, Visual Arts teacher, Library staff, Christian Studies teacher, Head of Primary and School Principal.

The Preps attend age appropriate assemblies and share messages and examples of their learning.  They also attend Chapel services and explore virtues such as kindness, hope, gratitude, fairness and their own character traits such as courage, enthusiasm, teamwork, curiosity, and self-belief. Preps enjoy a weekly IT coding lesson as well as explore iPad, laptops in class and in the Library.

Prep students celebrate the Under 8s day – ‘Romp in the Forest’ in Term 1, allowing them to gain confidence in larger communities before heading off to ‘Prep Camp’ later in the year.

The focus of the first six months always comes back to helping each prep student to feel safe, happy, comfortable and supported in their school environment and to develop curiosity and a thirst for learning and inquiry – giving them the roots of responsibility and the wings of independence, a gift that will serve them well in their future years of schooling.

Find out more about Sunshine Coast Grammar school in our School’s Directory. 

Written by

Kids on the Coast/Kids in the City

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