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Starting school

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​​​​Supporting children to positively transition to school helps foster their enthusiasm for lifelong learning.

Families and carers play a significant role in supporting the transition to school experience that starts well before, and extends far beyond, their first day.

By working together, early education and care services, schools, families and relevant community organisations can help children enjoy a great start to school.

Supporting your child's positive transition to school

A positive transition to school is your child feeling welcome, safe and confident in their new school environment. This journey begins before your child starts school and only ends when they feel a sense of belonging.

As a parent or carer, there are many ways you can help your child enjoy a great start to school including these simple tips:

  • ​be ready to support your child
  • listen to your child's thoughts about starting school
  • make time to talk, read, play and relax with your child
  • share your positive feelings about school
  • practise new routines
  • encourage your child to know how to seek help
  • meet new children and families before the first day
  • celebrate starting school.

Orientation to school

Orientation is an important part of the transition to school. It can be described as an event or series of events and activities, which familiarise children and families with significant features of their new environment.

​For an optimal transition to school, all partners have a key role to play. The aim is to support every child to feel secure and have a sense of belonging at school.

Each child and their family has individual needs, concerns and expectations that should be considered and catered for.

Learn more about: orientation: ​strategies for schools​ (PDF, 1.1MB).

More information

Starting school brochure (PDF, 386KB)
Access tips to support your child's great start to school.

Information for families fact sheet (PDF, 852KB)
Read about the ways you can help support your child's transition to school.

Supporting families: Principal Daniel Evans (Transcript (DOCX, 19KB))
Watch Principal Daniel Evans discuss how the school principal can welcome your family into the school community.
"How can principals help families with the transition to school?"

Wondering about school
Learn about connecting Prep and kindergarten children, their families and schools through the 'Wondering about school' resources.

Orientation to school – Professor Bob Perry 
Transcript of Professor Bob Perry's video (RTF, 94KB) 
Watch the video of a leading Australian transitions researcher discussing orientation to school.

Orientation to school – Bradley Clarke
Transcript of Principal Bradley Clark's video (RTF, 92KB)
Watch the video of school principal Bradley Clarke discussing orientation to school.​

Related information

Transition to school resources
Access resources, activities and videos designed to support positive transitions to school.

Parent and community engagement framework
Learn about how to strengthen your school's engagement between students, teachers, parents, support staff and the community.

Starting school: effective transitions
Read the paper by Sue Dockett and Bob Perry which focuses on effective transition-to-school programs using a framework of 10 guidelines developed through the Starting School Research Project.​


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Last updated 01 July 2021