Transition to Kindergarten

Starting school is an exciting and important milestone in any child and family’s life. We would like all our newest students and families to feel welcome at their new Catholic school and feel a sense of familiarity and ease with their learning environment and their new teachers and peers, as they step into their classroom on Day 1 of Kindergarten.

Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW)’s Transition to School through Play Program is an important initiative to help achieve this, as are our 'Ready Set School' resources. Check with your school if they offer the Transition to School Through Play Program.

'transition to school through play' program

Playgroup1 1Research suggests that children who have a positive start to school are more likely to engage well in their learning and school life. In our CEDoW schools, we hope to nurture this positive start by offering a Transition to School Through Play program that includes informal playgroup sessions at the school prior to the children starting, as well as formal orientation opportunities, to assist them in their transition to school.

The aim of a Transition to School Playgroup is:

•  to welcome new families to the school and allow children, parents and staff to get to know each other and the school setting in a positive and relaxed way;
•  to develop familiarity and a sense of belonging for children and their families to the school community;
•  to enhance children’s social and emotional development by establishing and building positive relationships with teachers, school staff and peers; and
•  to enhance children’s learning, social and communicative skills through appropriate play-based experiences.

'ready set school'

As part of the Transition to School Through Play Program each child in participating schools will receive a 'Ready Set School' bag and booklet.

What's in the 'Ready Set School' bag? Move your cursor over the image to find all the items.

'Ready, set, school' BOOKLET

Ready Set School front cover

You are your child’s first and most important teacher. They come to school with knowledge, skills and strengths which they have developed with your guidance. As they take this next step into school, you will continue to nurture their growth and love of learning.

Parents in participating schools will receive this booklet as part of your 'Ready Set School' package.

The activities in this CEDoW resource are designed to support you and your child to play, explore and learn together. Read about simple ways you cook, make, read, pray, explore, plant, move, write, count and learn together with your child, in preparation for 'big school'.

download button goldDownload CEDoW's 'Ready Set School' Booklet


Other Resources

• The NSW Department of Education offers practical, tips and helpful resources for parents to help your child thrive in this transition. 

• The Illawarra Transition to School Project website also offers parents and carers a range of resources to help prepare your child for starting school, and to learn about some of the issues parents need to consider in the first years of school.

• This downloadable 'Transition to Kindergarten' document from Kids Matter - an Australian government mental health and well-being initiative for early education and primary school children - has tips on the different skill sets and other things to think about with your child starting school.

• The Australian Government’s Learning Potential website and app provides useful resources for parents of pre-school children (and ongoing!), to support your child's learning at home. Find resources such as 'Is your child ready for big school?'; 'Play is the way to learn all day'; and 'Reading to your child'.

• The Queensland Government's first5forever website offers parents valuable resources to help understand the importance of quality relationships and learning environments in the first five years of a child’s life. Find great tips for make talking, reading and singing with your child part of your daily routine.

• This article also offers some expert tips and steps parents and carers can take to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible, particularly around preparing your child with important school-ready social and self-care skills.

• Some valuable advice and links for parents/carers about getting their children ready for 'big school' from Little J and Big Cuz - the first animated kids show to feature Indigenous Australians and their culture.

Is your child ready for Kindergarten? Watch this video to find out.