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How will I know if my child is ready for preschool?

Children must have turned three to start at Currambena preschool. They should be able to go to the toilet themselves and be able to manage the day without a nap. It may be difficult to see if your child is ready for the new adventure of starting preschool but we will work with you to support them to enjoy their preschool day. Come and talk to us at an information morning or call for an appointment if you need more advice about your individual child.

How do we transition into preschool? What will this be like for my child?

Preschool is an opportunity for children to develop and experience the joy of their independence. We view our little people as capable and very willing to make new relationships with adults and children at preschool. For a few children preschool is their first experience in a group setting away from their parents. We acknowledge that this process can be a big challenge and a little scary  for parents as well as children.We will work with you on the best way to step out and allow your child to make connections with others and have a smooth transition to preschool. Katrina, Tui, and Michael have years of experience in guiding children through the separation process and will work with each child and their family to create an appropriate plan for separating if needed. Children benefit most from preschool when they are able to feel that they belong and have trusting, nurturing relationships with our preschool teachers and fellow little people.

What will happen if my child finds it hard when I leave?

All children can sometimes find it hard to separate from a parent or carer. Sometimes this is at the beginning of their time at preschool and for others it is at various times in the year. We acknowledge the child's feelings and help them make that transition from their time with you, to their time at preschool. We will talk directly with your child about their experience and the choices they can make about their day. We will also keep communicating with you about your child's experience and how we can work together. We encourage you to phone the school later in the day if you are concerned about how your child may be doing and we will regularly check in with you about their experiences. Please share your concerns or ideas.

We encourage parents to be involved in the preschool in many ways and love having parents share their skills, experience and talents with the children. All families at Currambena are expected to contribute to the maintenance of the preschool and school, and we are always advertising opportunities for you to be involved.

Is there a sleep or rest time?

We encourage the children to follow their own needs during the day, being active and resting as they feel the need. There are no set sleep times or beds for sleeping and most children won't need this during the day. However, there are cosy cubbies, soft cushions and a couch and a weary child will always find a place to curl up or a lap to sit in for a story. An end-of-the-day meditation is often offered as an option for children who want to lie quietly with a guided visualisation.

What does my child need to bring to preschool?
Your child needs to bring:

  • Enough food for the day at school. Read more here about how food is part of the preschool day.

  • A drink bottle. Children also have access to water bubblers and in warmer weather we set out water jugs and cups and remind the children to drink enough water.

  • A sun hat. Children need to have a sun hat packed all year round as they are always required for an out-of-school walk or park visit. Read more here about our sun protection policy.

  • Spare clothes. Play at Currambena can be messy and we encourage you to send your child in clothes that can get wet, sandy, painted on, glued and muddy. Spare clothes can be helpful for changing after water play, a big mess or a toileting accident.

  • A piece of fruit to share. Each morning we cut fruit to share and this is provided for children to help themselves on the lunch table. You can also contribute crackers, dried fruit or something else healthy and suitable for morning tea. Check our current food policy on what foods are not able to be brought to Currambena.

Do you teach literacy and numeracy in preschool?

We do not have a specific aim of teaching literacy or numeracy during the preschool years. However, the activities of the year are guided by the children's interests and there is always writing, reading and numbers in our activities as well as science concepts, music, the arts and physical education – often all in one morning! We regularly read with the children, talk together and have a language-rich environment with writing, counting, measuring as part of our daily activities.

How do you prepare children for primary school?

As the end of the year approaches we have many discussions with all the children about their plans for the next year. Some are staying at preschool for another year, some leave preschool to go into the primary school at Currambena and some go to primary school elsewhere. We spend time talking about their expectations, plans and feelings about the transition. The children have the opportunity to share with their friends their ideas about preschool, school and the future.

In most years we hold a 'Transition to school' evening with our junior primary school teachers to discuss what makes a child 'school ready' and how you can support your child to make the transition.

Do the children in preschool have a relationship with the primary school community?

Yes. The preschool is an important part of our whole school community and preschoolers are encouraged to be part of the wider student group. Preschoolers are encouraged to be part of the weekly school meeting, have access to the school specialist staff in craft, music, and physical education.

Preschool has a buddy program with the senior primary students who visit preschool once a week to play and spend time together. The preschoolers are encouraged to choose their own buddies to play with from amongst the older children and the relationships they form often continue in games and care in the playground.

While preschool has its own playground space close to the preschool classroom, preschool children are able to play anywhere within the playground and often can be found in games with a mix of boys and girls of all ages. The playground is supervised by both preschool and primary school staff.

We benefit from being part of a wider community which means our preschoolers have access to a broad range of experiences and people that a stand-alone preschool would be unable to offer. We have weekly music sessions with a musician, a once-a-year session with Boori, an Aboriginal author and storyteller, weekly sessions with crafty Chris, and we fully engage in a preschool performance in the spectacular end of year concert to name but a few. Preschoolers can access the school library with a large selection of picture books and borrowing is on an honour system.

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