Primary Years

Preparing your Child for Transition

Transitioning from Prep to Year 1, moving between sub-schools and starting a new year level is an important time for children and families. Preparations for this change is a gradual process that naturally occurs throughout the year. This includes things such as: 

  • increasing our expectations of independence with organisational tasks such as: unpacking school bags, opening lunch wrappers, and organising belongings for learning;
  • Year 4 students attending Sport for Life with Upper Primary students;
  • accessing the specialist art room facilities;
  • conversations and discussions in class; and
  • Chapel and assemblies as a Prep to Year 6 sub-school.

In Term 4, we start to prepare for this process more formally by having buddy play sessions between Prep students and Senior School prefects on Stolz oval. Other initiatives to assist with the transition process include an Upper Primary Familiarisation Day for our Year 4 students later in the term and a ‘Step-up’ transition session when each child will visit the year level that they will transition to next year to become familiar with their new routines, physical space and academic opportunities on the horizon. Our Year 4 students will also participate in a ‘Picnic and Play’ in the Upper Primary when they have a lunch and play in what will be their new surrounds next year. 

These sessions acknowledge that transition is not just about the first day; it is a process that happens over time as children and families start to think about and prepare for the upcoming change, which can bring up a mixture of feelings. Children can often feel excited about going up a year level or to a new ‘big school’, making new friends and learning new things, but it is not unusual for children to also feel nervous.

Parents play an important role in supporting children through these changes and you can help your child to feel confident about starting school, which will assist them to cope with the possible jitters that come up before a change. As simple as it sounds, speaking positively and enthusiastically about the upcoming transition provides support for children, as does listening to concerns and reassuring them that it is okay to feel nervous about change and encourage them to ask questions so that you can clarify any of their worries.

Later in the term, I will share with you some ideas and tips on how you can support your child to develop some of the important skills they will need to manage the changes during a transition. Many of the suggestions may be things that you are already doing at home, but you may like to choose one or two to focus on over the coming months. Choosing a small number of skills is important as you do not want to overwhelm your child in the lead up to a transition. 

Remember that every child is different and they each bring their own set of strengths and skills to a changed environment. It is these strengths and skills, along with the support provided by you and our school community that will help them to manage the changes during this period. 

Teachers’ Ongoing Professional Learning

Each year, teachers are required to participate in a number of hours of professional learning in order to continue their accreditation as well as ensuring that their understandings of educational practice align with the most current research and requirements under which they work. Throughout the year, teachers are involved with a variety of opportunities including professional readings, guest speakers, workshops and lecture-style undertakings.

One such session was held here at St Peters last Friday, involving Deputy Heads of Independent Primary schools from South East Queensland. Hosted by Mrs Izatt and Ms Trevisan, the session showcased our College as a school of excellence  in the area of pastoral care and wellbeing, focussing on restorative practices. Mr Kotzur and I also had the opportunity to talk to this large group of leaders who were very impressed with the work that is going on here at St Peters.

Another example of ongoing professional learning was the opportunity for our staff to combine with other Lutheran schools in our region. There was a particular focus on technology and innovation for 21st century learners. This is extremely rewarding for teachers, who I am sure will return to classrooms invigorated and affirmed in their practice.

Uniform Requirement Reminder

A reminder that the Primary Years uniform consists of sports-style attire for the majority of the students’ weeks. The sports uniform shoe requirement is a white jogger. Coloured joggers do not form part of this uniform so please do not send your child to school with these. Children who come to school with coloured joggers will be given a reminder that this does not constitute the uniform requirements.

Pam Carden – Head of Primary Years