Starting school is a significant event for every child and it is important to have a smooth beginning to this journey. The transition from kindergarten to school must be well managed as it has an impact on all members of the family. At Melbourne Grammar’s co-educational primary school Grimwade House, our staff do everything they can to help Prep students and their families feel at home in the new environment.
We welcome and encourage you to visit Grimwade House on a number of occasions prior to your daughter or son starting school so you can meet the teachers and get to know the facilities.
Every care is taken to make sure your child is ready to start school and will be able to adapt to the change. Grimwade House Prep teachers may visit your child in their kindergarten environment and consult with your child’s kindergarten teachers to assess their readiness for school. Observing children at work and play ensures our teachers gain the necessary insights to make informed recommendations.
Kindergarten to School transition
At Grimwade House we organise a number of events to provide parents and students with specific information and orientation well before the school year commences.
Melbourne Grammar’s Transition to Prep evening is designed as an information session for interested parents of pre-school age children. Educational experts discuss the early years of schooling, as well as helpful hints on how parents can help their child prepare for school.
Following this session, the transition programme begins with an opportunity for parents to arrange an interview with Leonie Tamblyn, the Head of Junior Primary, to discuss their child’s particular educational needs, progress and readiness for school.
To familiarise parents further with the Prep programme and have an opportinity to meet other parents, a morning tea is held with the entire Prep team readily available to answer questions and help explain the curriculum.
Late in the year prior to starting school, families are invited to visit the School in small groups so they can meet one another in a relaxed, informal way. At this time each new Prep student meets with the Prep Coordinator or the Head of Junior Primary and simple assessment tasks are completed. During the interview, parents are able to share important information and any concerns they may have about their child commencing school the following year.
At the end of Term IV, children who are starting school the following year are invited to an orientation session so they can meet their classroom teacher and other children who will be in their class.
Finally, the day before school starts in Term I, children visit the School in small groups to reacquaint themselves with the surroundings and make sure everything is in place for a successful first day of school.
A smooth transition
To facilitate an easy transition, the carefully scheduled and organised visits provide our incoming Prep students with an opportunity to get to know their new environment and look forward to starting school.
From a teaching and learning perspective, the visits provide the foundation for the best possible beginning to a rich and rewarding educational journey at Melbourne Grammar School.
The first day of school
We recognise that our new Prep students are not the only ones settling into a new environment; our parents are settling into the Grammar community as well. The School’s parent support group, Friends of Grammar, hosts a welcome morning tea on the first day of school so new parents can meet each other and share their experiences.
Our flexible programme allows us to focus on settling children into new routines. For many children it is the first time they have been involved in a specialist programme of Music, Chinese, Art, Science, Health and Physical Education.
This is followed by an information evening early in Term I where the daily routines are explained, along with an overview of how the School’s values are introduced and supported in a Junior Primary setting. Parents are also invited to participate in reading workshops to gain an insight into the teaching of reading at Grimwade House.
“The first few days of Prep are a busy and exciting time” says Leonie Tamblyn, the Head of Junior Primary. “They are a time for us to plant the seeds for a love of learning, a positive sense of self and a feeling of belonging to a new community where the front door of Grimwade House remains open.”
Transition to School Timeline:
- Transition to Prep – early education information session
- Meet the Head of Junior Primary – meeting to discuss child’s needs and readiness for school
- Information Morning for parents – meet the Prep team and discuss the curriculum, also opportunity to meet other parents
- Group interviews – with parents and children to further determine readiness
- Kindergarten visits – conducted by the Prep team
- Orientation session for children – before the new year
- Children visit the day before School starts – to re-familiarise with their classmates, Prep teacher and environment
- First Day of School – students start their exciting journey of learning and independence
- Information Night – discuss practical issues that arise in the first month of school