ADVICE FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN
Each school year are broken up into four terms. Usually terms are of ten weeks duration with two weeks holiday in between, but there will be variations because it is based around when Easter falls.
Due to their participation in the Best Start program which involves a one to one hour interview between the class room teacher and the Kindergarten student, Kindergarten begins their formal schooling a week after the other students in years 1-6.
ENROLLING NOW FOR 2014
Kindergarten Orientation Sessions
In the term prior to the year Kindergarten children commence school, three orientation sessions are held during one week. The sessions involve a morning at school in the Kindergarten room working to normal classroom routine from 9-11a.m. Parents are notified of these sessions when offers of enrolment are made. While children are at school, parent information sessions and morning tea are held. The sessions will involve pastoral, educational and housekeeping information.
There will be a compulsory meeting held at night which is run by a speech therapist to inform you of the preparation you can do for your child in the upcoming months to get them ready for full time school.
All uniforms are available at Lowes Tweed City.
1. A library bag (with a drawstring) approximately pillow slip size.
2. An old shirt for painting.
3. A chair bag - These also can be bought from Lowes or you can make them yourself.
4. Spare underpants or pants should be kept in your child's school bag throughout the year.
5. A raincoat is a must. Please do not send in umbrellas as they are quite dangerous.
6. All the above items and uniforms, hats, lunch-boxes, drink bottles, school bags, books, etc., must be clearly and indelibly marked with name tapes or proper marking pens. Biro and pen become illegible after a few weeks.
7. The school hat must be marked inside the crown of the hat (white liquid paper has the best effect), please do not put any markings on the inside of the brim.
As most children have similar school bags, the problem of trying to identify their own among many others can cause considerable distress to small children who cannot read their own names. Therefore, in addition to the child's name and address inside the bag, perhaps you could place a transfer or sticker or ornament on the outside to aid identification by the child.
Free Bus travel for students who live in Australia is provided by the State Government if they live more than 5 kilometres from the school. ( Students in K-2 are free even if they live less than 5 kilometres) Bus Travel forms are available from the school office. Buses drop children off in Francis St in the mornings and pick them up from Enid St in the afternoon.
The school has an afternoon pick up zone in Francis St. The students being picked up by parents will be waiting inside the school gates and the teachers will usher the children into the cars. Parents must not get out of their cars here as the ranger will fine them.
If there is to be any variation from normal travel arrangements for your child, please send a note, not a verbal message. This is most important with small children, especially when catching a bus. When catching the bus for the first time it is advisable that the parent either catches the bus with the child or follows the bus on the same route home.
After School Care
St Joseph's School does provide after school care in the school grounds. This is a private business and you can contact the school to get further information. Other local institutions, PCYC, Freckles and Teddy Bears also provide after school care and provide buses that pick children up from our school. Also children can catch the school bus to 'OOsh' at South Tweed Primary School. You will need to contact these after school care agencies to organise after school care for your children.
Bringing Possessions To School
Some small children feel more secure if they bring something familiar and comforting with them to school. While we would not wish to cause anxiety by asking that these things be left at home, please realise that very precious possessions and expensive toys can be damaged or mislaid. Therefore, anything brought to school should be suitably marked with the owner's name and the child be made aware of the responsibility of looking after it.
Ways In Which You Can Prepare Your Child For School
1. Give your child many opportunities to use pencils, crayons, scissors.
2. Read and tell stories frequently. Try to use different types of literature - stories, rhymes, poems, alphabet and number books. Make sure they often repeat or sing Nursery Rhymes. Learn colours
3. Encourage your child to talk. Answer his/her questions and encourage his/her interest in his/her daily environment and activities. The best preparation for reading and writing is good oral language development.
4. Enrol your child in the local library and visit it regularly.
5. Give the family time to talk with each other by sometimes turning off the television.
6. Encourage drawing and writing.
7. Sometimes scribe for your child, ie write down a "story" as your child tells it.
8. If your child wishes to write his/her name, please do not use capital letters, eg it should be John not JOHN. This is a habit which is very hard to break. Make sure your child holds the pencil correctly.
9. Teach your child to use and flush the toilet and wash their hands without help.
Settling Into School
The change from short sessions at pre-school to a full day, five days a week, brings many pressures to bear on small children, some of whom find it very difficult to cope, especially in Term 1. You can help your child settle into school by observing some of the following suggestions:
1. Lunch - Many little children find lunchtime with a large group of children quite disconcerting and eat poorly at the beginning of the year. It is best to give them smaller quantities of known favourites. Children are asked to take home what they do not eat. This prevents waste and allows you to adjust lunches accordingly.
2. It is helpful if your child can go to bed early. A tired child cannot benefit from a full day at school.
3. Kindergarten children often get very tired and feel the strain of being part of a large group.You will notice this particularly towards the end of the week for the first few months. Please let us know if this occurs.
4. Should your child be unhappy at school, for any reason, please let us know. We cannot help with a problem unless we know it exists. It would be appreciated if parents could use the time before and after school and lunchtimes for interviews and not class time. Kindergarten children require constant supervision and any interruptions can cause considerable disruption.
Children enrolling in Kindergarten are required to provide the school with an Immunisation Certificate. Immunisation itself is not compulsory however, in the event of an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease in a school, unimmunised children will be required to remain at home for the duration of the outbreak for their own protection. The vaccine-preventable diseases are Diphtheria, Tetanus, Rubella, Whooping Cough, Polio, Mumps and Measles.