Wahroonga Public School conducts two orientation sessions in November. Over the two Tuesdays we meet our new kindergarten students and their families. Some are new to Wahroonga and others are from our current school community. We have an enrolment of 103 Kindergarten students for 2017.
In preparation we ask parents to provide some background information about their child/children through a questionnaire along with the Department of Education school enrolment form. We also send a short questionnaire to each child’s director or educator from their prior to school service. This gives the opportunity for information to be shared between settings to assist in a child’s transition. Some settings also send the NSW Transition to School Statements.
Before Orientation 5 of the Kindergarten and I, teachers visited a few of the local preschools to read the “I’m going to Big School” book I wrote in 2013. This gave us all an opportunity to meet many of the children. It also gives the children the chance to see teachers who will then be familiar to them when they come in the next couple of weeks and next year. Finally it allows for further information to be shared between settings about children to assist the best possible transition for families.
We visited – Fit Kids, Wahroonga and Turramurra Beehives, Explore and Develop, Pymble Turramurra Preschool, and Wahroonga KU.
This year I produced a new book for our new children “What is School Like?” – It was a question and answer style, asking our current Kindergarten a few questions , offering advice to new Kindergarten children – such as “How do you know where everything is?” “How is school the same as Preschool?” Each child’s answer also shows what preschool they came from – showing the wide range of centres we draw from. I got this idea from Boulder Journey School in Colorado in April. With illustrations by the children it is so cute. The last page is advice to parents. I asked the Year 6 Prefect team to interview parents one morning as they were dropping off at Kindergarten classrooms.
The children are divided into the 6 groups to experience two mornings in the current Kindergarten classrooms. Parents remain in the school hall to hear from schools staff, Principal, P&C representatives, CBA Banking representative, After School Care Staff, School Canteen and many more. A highlight was hearing from 6 Kindergarten Students.
We provided a huge amount of information in our new bags with the school logo I had printed ( Thank you Simply Print Anything!). In the bag we included the school handbook, Kindergarten information, a workbook for children, P&C volunteer forms, Road Safety information, and many more items.
In the classrooms, the children played together and completed a variety of activities, many to take home to show all the family.
The children toured the school, visiting the canteen, computer rooms and library. Over two weeks all the children learnt the song “Look at Me I’m Going to School”, which they performed for all the parents on the school hall stage. It was terrific!
Best Start interview times have been sent out by post to each family. It has become tradition, I started the year my son, now 15!, was beginning Kindergarten at Wahroonga PS, a date is selected for a Play in the Park a week before school begins. This gives the parents and children to connect and begin their longterm friendships.
We look forward to seeing them all in 2017