Orientation For Kindergarten
Having just completed 3 Kindergarten Orientation days for Mr. 4, our second child, I feel ever more ready and prepared as a parent to ensure a smooth transition for Mr. 4 to start school. Even as a second-time kindergarten parent, listening to the principal’s or the teachers’ presentation on the day gave me a nice refresher on how to prepare Mr. 4 for the early weeks at school.
Kindergarten Orientation days are a great way for kids to experience a brief but engaging and fun session at school. It is a small taster for what classroom life will be in the coming year. It is also a great opportunity for parents to see how their child reacts to being at “big school”. Most children seem to enjoy their orientation days, but if your child came out with a negative experience, it is a good time for you to discuss their feelings and any issues they may have had.
Below, I’ve provided some information and what to expect at Orientation days. If for whatever reason, you and your child missed these sessions, hopefully, the below tips and advice would be beneficial for you to get as much information as you can before school starts.
General Information on Kindergarten Orientations
- When is kindergarten orientation: Kindergarten Orientation Days often start in Term 4 of the school year. After submitting your enrolment forms, be sure to put down your child’s name to attend the Orientation session(s). Depending on the school, there may be one or several sessions.
- Your child will be separated from you for a short time to go into the classroom to do some introductory kindergarten activities. This helps your child to get to know their teacher, classmates, the inside of a classroom as well as learning to be independent from you, and understanding that you will be there waiting for them when the session ends.
- The class that your child is assigned to during orientation may change when school starts. Be sure to let your child know that teachers and classmates can and will change during their time at school. Also, take note of any class changes to ensure a smooth first day at school.
- Best Start Assessment – this is a literacy and numeracy assessment conducted for all Kindergarten students in the first 5 weeks of all NSW public schools since 2010. Teachers will sit with a student individually and administrative tasks that will help them gain an understanding of the student’s literacy and numeracy skills. The results will help the teacher obtain a better picture on where each student is developmentally and will allow them to plan their teaching accordingly.
- There’ll be information and reminders on:
- School meals – such as splitting up your child’s meals into 3 lunchboxes for crunch ‘n’ sip, recess and lunch so that kindergarteners are aware of what foods to eat when;
- Uniforms – when and where to purchase uniforms. It is often advised to not leave it til the last minute to buy them. Buy them early to avoid queues but keep the price tags on for exchanges in case your child outgrows their uniform by the time school starts;
- Shopping list – there may be a shopping list given to you so your children can bring some stationery items in the first week of school. Again, it is a good idea to not leave this until too late as often times, stores can also run out of stock;
- Start and finish times – kindergarteners often start school later and finish school earlier than the rest of the school for the first term. This is to ensure that kindergarteners are safely dropped off and picked up without being overwhelmed by the rest of the school rushing around at the same time
- Road Safety – this is an important one as often parents feel rushed in the mornings and ignore road safety rules. Whether you are travelling to school by car or walking, it is vital to learn where the pedestrian crossings are, the different parking zones and safe entry and exit points in and around the school
- Preparatory Reading Materials – you will probably be given some reading materials to read to your child in the lead up to the first day of school. “Getting Ready for School” and “A Special Place” are two resources developed by the NSW Department of Education. It is a wonderful idea to sit down and read these together as they contain very useful information and advice that is tailored for a kindergartener. If you need a copy of these books, you can also find them here.
Kindergarten Orientation Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Kindergarten Orientation?
Kindergarten orientation is an event or series of events organized by schools to introduce activities and learning strategies to new students who will start their kindergarten career. These orientations usually aim to familiarize the children and their parents or guardians with the school’s expectations and environment, including meeting their teachers, exploring the classrooms, and participating in age-appropriate activities. The orientation program also helps the parents and guardians to learn about school policies, schedules, and curriculum, which makes the transition to kindergarten smoother for both the child and the parents.
What To Expect In Kindergarten?
In kindergarten, the focus is on building a child’s foundational skills and fostering a love for learning. Here are some of the things that a child can expect in kindergarten:
- Basic Reading and Writing Skills – Children will learn the letters of the alphabet and their sounds. They will also learn to read simple sentences and write basic words and sentences.
- Numeracy Skills – Children will learn basic math, including counting to 100, addition and subtraction, and recognizing basic shapes and patterns.
- Social and Emotional Learning – Kindergarten is a great time for children to learn social and emotional skills. This includes learning to interact positively with others and to control their emotions in different situations.
- Creative Expression – Children will be introduced to a range of creative activities, including drawing, coloring, painting, and singing.
- Physical Development – In kindergarten, children will also develop their physical abilities through games, activities, and exercise. This includes learning to balance, run, jump, throw and catch.
Overall, kindergarten is a year of exploration, socialization, and learning new skills that will prepare children for their educational journey ahead.
How Long Is Kindergarten Orientation?
Kindergarten orientation typically lasts for a brief but informative period of time.
What Happens At Kindergarten Orientation?
Kindergarten orientation is a vital event that introduces parents and their little ones to the school community. Its purpose is to familiarize families with the school environment, routines, and expectations. From interactive tours and curriculum discussions to meeting fellow parents, orientation aims to instill confidence and excitement in children as they begin their educational journey.
What are some fun kindergarten orientation ideas crafts my child can do on their orientation day?
Kindergarten orientations are a great time for simple arts and crafts to get kids excited, like making name tags, paper bag puppets, or road safety themed coloring pages to take home in their new library bag.
How can I use the kindergarten orientation to promote road safety for when my child starts travelling to and from school?
Use the library orientation road safety library bag they receive to introduce some key road safety messages about stopping, looking, listening and thinking every time they cross the road. Resources like safety door stop stickers and posters help reinforce these learnings.
What supplies should I have ready at home to excite my child and prepare them for their first day of kindergarten?
Have their school bag packed, clothes laid out the night before, and a healthy breakfast planned to help make the first day of school an exciting time. Putting a family photo or familiar item in their bag can also help comfort your child.
How can I ease my child’s anxiety about the new sensory experiences of kindergarten?
Read books together about starting school, drive by the school so they become familiar with the route, and use the library bag to let them practice packing their own school bag to get used to new content.
What is a great way to promote safe drop-off on the first day of kindergarten?
Introduce your child to kiss and drop zones during orientation so they know what to expect. Also, use the safety door sticker from their orientation bag as a visual cue. Stay positive – your reassurance will help make their first day of school a great experience!
I hope the above information can be of assistance in helping both you and your child in getting prepared for what is to be expected when school starts. If there is anything I may have missed, please do comment below to let me know.
* Read tips about how to prepare your child for the first day of school here.