The First Weeks of School

From Term 1 2017, Victorian government and Catholic schools will use the new Victorian Curriculum F-10. Curriculum related information is currently being reviewed and may be subject to change.

For more information on the curriculum, see:
The Victorian Curriculum F–10 - VCAA

Main points:

  • When children start school they bring all the things they learnt at home with them.
  • Keep up the things you did with your child before they started school, like bedtime reading.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher if you have concerns about your child’s learning.
  • Getting your child to school on time helps avoid anxiety.
  • The best thing you can do to support your child’s academic accomplishments is to take it a step at a time by focusing on the day-to-day aspects of their learning.

What you can do

How your child reacts to starting school will depend on their personality, their background and how prepared they are for this next big step in their lives.

By now they'll probably be responding to school in a variety of ways and most children will be experiencing some change – after all they’ll be learning, playing and interacting with new people and getting used to a whole new environment – and it will take them some time to settle in.

Some things you can do to help your child adjust to school include:

  • making sure your child knows who will take them to school and pick them up on the first day
  • laying out your child’s clothes, hat, shows and socks the night before
  • helping your child to pack their school bag with a snack, drink, lunch and a hat
  • placing a spare pair of underpants and a change of clothes in a plastic bag and letting your child know these clothes are in their bag in case of any accidents at school
  • putting sunscreen on your child in the morning if it is needed
  • showing your child where you will meet them at the end of the school day
  • ensuring they have a healthy breakfast – this is important for energy to get through the day
  • making time to chat to your child about what they did at school that day
  • developing a bedtime routine so your child can wind down at the end of the day and get a good night's sleep – children aged five need around 10 to 11 hours sleep a night

Try not to put too many expectations on yourself or your child; if they are happy and enjoying school, that’s a real achievement.

You know your child best. If you have any questions about how they are settling in at school, contact your child’s teacher so you can talk things through together. You can contact your child's teacher in person, over the telephone or via email, whichever suits you and your situation best.

Related links:

  • School Life – from attendance to uniforms - what to expect when attending a government school.
  • School age (5-8 years) – the Raising Children Network’s guide to the early school years.