Before Starting School...
Your child's education began as soon as he or she was born, and the years of preparation to formal schooling are very important. We, as teachers, appreciate that many parents have spent a lot of time and energy giving children meaningful experiences and talking with and listening to them talk about their world, and of course, we realise that you know more about your child at age 5 than we do. The positive preparation to school can help parents and children face going to school with confidence. By making cheerful comments about school, your child will know that school is a happy, interesting place where friends will be made. If you are relaxed and positive so will your child be. However, there is a difference between being positive and building too high an expectation of school and also of your child. The kinds of skills that children would find helpful before coming to school would include being able to dress and undress themselves for swimming, blow nose, toilet independence, recognise colours, manage pencils, crayons and scissors, recognise their own name, knowing some alphabet letters etc.
These suggestions are of course not considered as pre-requisites and in fact some children may take some time to acquire all these skills and others may have many more skills in their repertoire. New entrant teachers expect children to have a variety of skills and they are trained to accept your child at whatever stage of development and work from there. If there is over emphasis on performance and knowing certain skills, your child can become fearful and over-concerned. This can also happen if school is portrayed in a negative way, e.g. "Wait till you get to school, the teacher will sort you out!" Keep to the positive and everyone will feel better about the start.
If at all possible we would like to know beforehand that you intend to enrol your child at Borough School. It is suggested that notice of this is given two months prior to enrolment. This information helps us make preparations for receiving your child. It also helps us in making decisions on class size adjustments that may be necessary to accommodate an intake of new entrants to give our new people the best possible start to school.
Preparation for school will also involve pre-enrolment visits, negotiated with new entrant staff. The main objective of these visits are:-
To meet the teacher of the class. It is important for your child to begin to get to know the person they are going to spend a large part of their day with, and for the teacher to start building a relationship with your child. The first visit sets a good grounding.
To have some idea of where they will be going on their first day. If they feel they are in familiar surroundings and a warm, caring environment there will be less stress in the first few days.
To make at least one special friend. It is comforting for your child to know someone there, and if there is no-one familiar in the class we assign a friend for the morning. When your child returns on their first day they won't feel anxious about who to have lunch with and who will be their friend.
On the first pre-entry morning parents/caregivers and children are invited to the school office where the principal will welcome them to school and direct them to the New Entrant room. If parents/caregivers have not already received an enrolment package please collect this from the office on the first pre-entry morning. On second/third pre-entry mornings parents/caregivers and children go directly to classroom by 8.40 a.m.
On your child's enrolment day at school (not pre-entry days), parents/caregivers and new entrants report to the office to complete the formal enrolment procedures for your child. You will need to complete an enrolment form and have your child's immunisation certificate (signed by your doctor) for us to sight. A copy of your child's birth certificate is essential. Please ensure that you do report to the school office prior to going to the classroom.