Many parents of four-year-old children often find themselves wondering if their child is ready to start school. There are many aspects that need to be considered when making this important decision; the right decision will vary depending on the needs of each individual child. All children who turn five years old by the 30th June in the year they begin school are eligible, however, this means there can be an 11-month age difference between the oldest and youngest child. The social, emotional and academic development of children at this age can vary greatly, and the level at which your child is at will determine how they cope with starting school. At this age, children have had a variety of care experiences. Some have been cared for by family, others have attended a group care setting such as a Kindergarten Program or Day Care centre. All of these care settings have an influence on a child’s development, however, irrespective of the setting, each child will nevertheless develop at their own pace. The Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training refers parents to a School Readiness fact sheet to assist them in making the all-important decision about when their child should begin school. The fact sheet contains aspects parents should consider and these include: Language skills; Physical well-being; Motor co-ordination and skills; Concentration and emotional adjustment; Independence. The fact sheet also provides some simple activities that parents can do with their child to assist them in preparing to start school. These activities include: Reading to your child; Making everyday things an exploration of language; Encouraging independence; Providing pencils, crayons and paper to draw and write on; Encouraging your child to socialise with other children. Further information about these activities and the developmental aspects can be found on the fact sheet. The fact sheet is available through the Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training website, here. To assist with the transition to Prep, Caloundra City Private School offers children in City Stars Pre-Prep program, and the children attending Pelican’s Nest Early Learning Centre, the chance to have Transition Visits to the Prep classroom and play area. Once school readiness has been established and the child is enrolled in Prep, the School also invites children to an orientation morning at the end of year, before they begin school, and a class party the week before they begin Prep. These events enable children to participate in Prep activities as well as become familiar with their fellow students, the Prep environment, and our teaching staff. The transition visits, orientation day and class party have proven very successful in preparing our children for school and relieving any apprehension they may have about going to ‘big school’. Reach out to us today for a personal tour of our facilities and watch your child light up with excitement.  You can also download our Information Booklet here. Gabrielle Frisby Head of Junior School Download the Transitioning to Prep: Getting ready to start school

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