At St Patrick’s, we aim to ensure the transition into Kindergarten is a smooth and positive experience for all students.
Our transition program includes our popular afternoon playgroups which currently run throughout Term 2 and 3. These playgroups enable the Kindergarten teachers as well as the Learning Support Team to meet and build familiar relationships with both parents and students. Our playgroups are based around the CSO Early Learning Policy and support the play-based learning model through a series of carefully constructed play provocations.
In Term 4, we then move into our Orientation Phase which comprises of an official Parent Information Session conducted by our school Principal and other key members of the St Patrick’s school community. This session enables parents to learn vital information about school readiness and life here at St Patrick’s. On this day and on two other occasions, our new Kindergarten children have scheduled opportunities to participate in classroom activities as part of the orientation process.
Our new Kindergarten children are well and truly a part of the school community prior to their official first day of school. Here at St Patrick’s, we have a very successful ‘Buddy Program’ where each new Kindergarten student is assigned a ‘School Buddy’. This ensures that each new student has at least one familiar face on the first day of school. The students build a beautiful long-term bond and friendship as a result of this wonderful program.
Students transitioning to high school are involved in two officially scheduled Orientation Days to the local Catholic school, St Joseph’s College, Lochinvar. Executive members from St Joseph’s College also visit St Patrick’s to talk to our Year 6 students about life in the high school context. Generally a PowerPoint presentation is shown and former students of our school run a Q&A session with the present Year 6 students. This is a very successful format and allows the students to ask as many pertinent and relevant questions as they like with some very honest answers from our former students.
A Parent Information Session evening is held for the incoming Year 7 students and their parents. This is a very comprehensive presentation in which all aspects of high school life are discussed.
The Learning Support Team from St Joseph’s also visit St Patrick’s to discuss the needs of the students with the Year 6 teachers in order to build a profile of the students before they arrive at high school. This allows St Joseph’s to better meet the needs of the students when they first arrive at the college.