Starting Kindergarten at St Joseph’s Primary School

Early Birds

‘Early Birds’ is a transition program from preschool to big school and commences in Term 4. If you have enrolled your child in Kindergarten at the school then he/she is eligible for the Early Bird program. Information is available on enrolment at the school.

Best Start

The Best Start Assessment occurs in week one of the new school year. All Kindergarten children are given a timetabled 45 minute appointment to undergo an assessment process. This assessment informs the teacher about what your child knows and where the teacher will start the Kindergarten educational journey. Further information about Best Start is sent to families later in the year.

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Starting Big School:

What your child will need:

  • Paint shirt/apron – can be parent’s old t-shirt
  • Library bag – labelled clearly with full name
  • Lunch box – labelled clearly with full name
  • Water bottle – labelled clearly with full name
  • School hat – labelled clearly with full name
  • Track suit – labelled clearly with full name
  • School jumper – labelled clearly with full name
  • School uniform – labelled clearly with full name
  • School bag large enough to hold their lunch box, drink bottle, library bag with two large picture books, hat, jumper

Please label all items in large easy to read print so that Kindergarten students can identify their belongings among twenty other similar items.

Morning Arrival Routine

  • Students arrive at school between 8.35am and 8.55am.  A teacher commences duty at 8.35am. The safety of the children can only be guaranteed once teachers have commenced duty.
  • As soon as children arrive each day they place their bags outside their classroom and move immediately to the blue seats in the undercover area.
  • Every school day begins with a short assembly in the undercover assembly area.  Students go in line to their class from here.

Importance Of Punctuality

  • Arrive in time to play with friends
  • Have a happy farewell
  • At the start of the first lesson, students receive important information about he day
  • The first session is when optimal learning occurs often literacy and numeracy
  • A late child can disrupt the class
  • Arriving late can make a child feel self –conscious
  • Older students can fear arriving late so they miss the whole day
  • Some children need time to get rid of energy
  • Departure from school Routine

Home Time Routine

  • Dismissal is at 3.05pm when the bell rings.
  • Bus children are walked to bus lines by their class teacher. Children who will be travelling by bus need a bus pass.  Forms are available from the office.
  • Children who wait for their parents to pick them up will sit in the undercover area until they are collected.  These children are supervised until 3.30pm, so it is vital that they are collected before then.
  • Parents waiting for children are asked to wait at the blue seats and NOT outside the classroom doors as this is disruptive and an OHS issue as classes are trying to access the walkways at a very busy time.
  • All parents must use the parent car park and not the staff car park as this is very unsafe for the students considering this is where the buses come and go.

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A Good Idea:

It is important that your child knows how they are getting home each day when they arrive at school so that they do not worry and can develop confidence and independence. If there is a different routine on particular days it is a good idea to attach a picture of a bus (with bus number) or a car with a key-ring to the child’s school bag and change it on the appropriate day according to the way they will be travelling on that day. Changing routines often causes children anxiety and also makes it difficult for the school to get your child in the right place at the right time.

Crunch and Sip

Students bring fresh fruit or vegetables and water to school to have in the morning session. This is strictly fresh food, NO packet or processed food. It is a quick break for the students where they get a chance to eat a healthy snack. School will not provide spoons and forks.

Lunch Breaks

  • First Lunch 11.20am – 11.30am: children eat their lunch (supervised)
  • 11.30am – 12.00am: Play

We discourage Kindergarten students going to the canteen at this lunch. We want them to eat their own healthy lunch.

  • Second Lunch 1.20pm – 2.00pm

Play options: climbing equipment; games club; library; giant chess, pavement games; basketball courts; field, sandpit.

  • Canteen: lunch orders are available from the canteen. Write the order on a paper bag with money and place it in the silver box outside the canteen before school.
  • Online ordering is available through ‘FlexiSchools’. Ask at the canteen or office.

We encourage parents to add your name to the canteen roster.

Buddies: Kindergarten students are partnered with a Year 6 student who becomes their ‘Buddy’. The Year 6 Buddy assists your Kindergarten child to make the transition to Big School. The ‘Buddies’ are very special people in the life of your Kindergarten child. They will share lunch together for the first two weeks of school. They also get to complete craft activities together at various times throughout the year. The Buddy is a person your child gets to know and can turn to for help.

Library: Each class has a library lesson once a week and students are able to borrow two books. It is a good idea to put the library books in the same place each night so that they can be easily located when it is time to return them to school. Please assist your child to develop a sense of responsibility for their books.

Assemblies: held every week on Friday mornings.

Computer Lessons: every class uses the computers at least once a week. If you have a computer, teach your child to type their name, and practise using the shift key and space bar.

Sports Day: The children participate in dance, gymnastics and games.  Swimming lessons are held in term three.

Liturgies and Masses are held throughout the year when many special occasions are celebrated as a whole school. These are wonderful celebrations and we encourage parents to attend and join the students celebrate these special occasions.   Occasionally classes travel into Our Lady of the Rosary Church, Albert Street Taree to attend the Parish Masses. There will be ample notice of this happening via newsletters.

Parent Helpers: are always welcome, especially to listen to reading. The best time of day is before the first lunch break. There is always something to be done – scribing stories, helping with craft etc. Help with covering books in the library is always appreciated.

School banking is on Tuesdays: The children can bank with the Catholic Development Fund (CDF), or with the Commonwealth Bank.  Information for banking is available from the office.

Arrangement Of Classes

Several factors are considered when organising Kindergarten classes.  We arrange classes so that there is a mixed range of ages and a balance of boys and girls.  We also consider recommendations from pre-school teachers regarding suitable combinations of children.

Things To Practise

  • Tie their shoelaces
  • Writing their name
  • Saying the alphabet
  • Playing ‘I Spy’ using the letter sounds, not the letter names
  • Pretend writing
  • Drawing pictures
  • Saying Nursery Rhymes
  • Counting to ten
  • Counting pegs; counting sticks; eggs; spoons; shells
  • Cutting out pictures
  • Looking at and talking about books and stories
  • Playing games: eg, I went shopping and I bought…. (how many items can you remember correctly)

Tips For Working With The School

  • Partnership between parent/carers and the school creates a positive working relationship
  • Children learn best when parents/carers and school work together
  • Always approach school when in doubt
  • Support school rules with your child.
  • Schools appreciate parental assistance with reading, canteen, sports days, excursions etc. this helps to foster good relationships with the school system which has a long-term benefit for the child.
  • Attend parent/ teacher meetings
  • Attend P & F meetings
  • Attend special events eg: sports carnivals, liturgies, assemblies.
  • Make an appointment to see your class teacher to discuss ways to help your child
  • Let the school know if your child is going to be away and send a note.

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