In the Snowy Monaro region, the commencement of the 2018 school year is fast approaching. The students embarking on their formal schooling journey this year will be the graduating class of 2030! It’s exciting to think how the next thirteen years will help shape our region’s youngest citizens and what careers and pathways they will choose to explore.

For Kindergarten starters and their families, this is a major milestone, one filled with excitement and anticipation. The fear of the unknowns of ‘big school’ can at times contribute to some anxiety as the first day of school draws near.

As parents and carers, how can you help ease your kindergartener’s anxiety or fear of the first day? Here are a few tools that you may want to employ before your little one starts their first day at ‘big school’.

  1. Visit the school – before school starts, children should be aware of drop-off and pick-up zones, the location of bathrooms, where they will eat lunch, where they will play, etc. For many families, their child may have participated in a Kindergarten start program like ‘Let’s Explore’ or have had an alternative opportunity to tour the school. This is also the time that many new school starters are likely to have met their teacher, the head of junior school, the school captains, and the principal. Familiarity with these people and spaces will help with decreasing the list of unknowns and thus any potential anxiety your child may have.
  2. Talk about the fun new experiences your child is about to encounter as they step through the doors at big school – such as meeting new friends and learning new skills. Read a book to your child about starting Kindergarten; for example, ‘First Day’ by Andrew Daddo, ‘I Am Too Absolutely Small for School’ by Lauren Child or ‘My First Day At School’ by Meredith Costain.
  3. Run through the daily school schedule with them so they are aware of the routine – talk about the different lessons they will participate in (e.g. maths, reading, art, music, etc.), who will be teaching them, when they will eat lunch, when they will have recess and when you will pick them up.
  4. Find out if some of your child’s current friends will be attending Kindergarten at the same school – a familiar face is always a comfort! Try and organise a play date before the start of school.
  5. Establish a morning routine prior to the start of school – this can include the wake-up time required on school days, laying out clothes the night before, eating breakfast at a set time or even going to bed at a ‘school day’-appropriate time. Even try having your child dress in their new school clothes as part of this routine – a new uniform can be the most exciting part of the new journey for some!

The first day of school is sure to be a memorable day for both your little one and the rest of your family!

Junior School at SMGS

The Junior School is a very special part of the Snowy Mountains Grammar School educational model. The Junior School years are fundamental in the establishment of strong educational foundations and work practices.

With small class sizes and a total population of up to 80, the concept of individual programming at SMGS Junior School is a reality, not a dream. Our students can gain full benefit from the close attention to detail that is an integral part of everyday life in the Junior School.