Education – Starting school

Raising preschoolers. It’s one of the most challenging and, potentially, one of the most rewarding things in many of our lives. Holidays, when we are in relaxed mode, can often bring out more of the melt-your-heart moments as we have the time to enjoy the uniqueness of each child in new ways.

At the age of five, kids often look so tiny, but, as you know, they are packed with personality and potential, and our local new entrant teachers enjoy learning how to work best with each child.

It can seem quite an adjustment to send your young children to school. They need to feel a sense of belonging and attachment in order to flourish. Important questions for our children at this age as they move into new settings, according to Jocelyn Wright from the University of Canterbury, are “Does the teacher know me?”, “Can I trust this teacher?”,

“Will this teacher let me fly (extend my world)?”, “Does this teacher hear me?” and “Is this place fair for us?”

We have a team of great teachers in our local schools and early childhood centres who this year will be investigating how to make the transition to school even more smooth for our learners.

Parents can help hugely with this transition by building a relationship with the child’s teacher through school visits. Just as important is speaking positively about the teacher and about the school to the child, and expressing confidence that, though the child will find some things difficult, learning to face challenges is what growing up is all about.

I found with my children that conversation helped their confidence. I would say things like: “You might not know what to do sometimes. That’s okay. We all feel like that at times, even grown-ups like me. But if you don’t know what to do, you can ask another child, or the teacher, and if you still don’t know, you can talk with me and we can find out the answer together. But I will be so proud of you if you can find out from others what to do first! What are some words you could use to ask someone for help? Let’s practise that.”

As we start a new year – as parents, children and teachers – the Mahurangi Community of Learning looks forward to finding ways to work together to give our children confidence for their learning adventures!

Helen Pearson, Lead principal Kahui Ako

Education - Lead principal Kahui Ako