Starting Prep is an exciting time for both little ones and their parents. MacKillop Catholic College strives to make the transition to “big school” as smooth and enjoyable as possible for both the youngest members of our community and their parents, as their child enters the first year of formal schooling.
For preppies who have already attended the MacKillop campus for Kindy, this is easier again, with little ones having had familiarisation visits to “big school”.
Our Prep Transition Program is an integral way of how we work in partnership with you for a successful start to your child’s schooling life. The dates on our Prep Orientation flyer are updated late in the year once they have been set for the following year’s Prep cohort.
To help ensure both you and your child are as prepared as possible for Prep, you are invited to follow Catholic Education’s BePrepped4Prep Facebook page. Once you have liked the page, be sure you follow the page ‘first’ rather than ‘by default’ to ensure you never miss any of the informative and helpful tips.
You will also find more useful tips on Getting Ready for Prep on the Cairns Catholic Education website.
Eligible Starting Age
When is my child eligible for Prep?
All Queensland children are eligible to attend full-time Prep from the beginning of the school year in which they will reach the age of 5 years by 30 June. Children whose birthday is in July through to December commence Prep at the beginning of the school year after their 5th birthday.
|Birth Date||Eligible for Prep Year in|
Child born 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015
Child born 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016
Child born 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2017
Child born 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018
Child born 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019
Child born 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2020
Child born 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021
Early entry to Prep
An amendment to the Education Act has allowed for the possibility of early entry for some students who will turn five by July 31st in the year they are in Prep, however that entry is conditional on the Principal also being satisfied that they are ready for schooling in terms of:
- aptitude and ability; and
- social and emotional competence; and
- physical development; and
- level of knowledge and understanding.
This is not a mandatory change for all children born in July and it is certainly not compulsory to send your child to Prep if he or she turns five during July.
Delayed entry to Prep
Delayed entry to Prep is an option which may be considered in specific circumstances and where it is in a child’s best educational interests.
Parents may delay their child’s entry to Prep (and subsequently Year 1) if they feel their child is not ready to start school. For example, if the child is not ready to cope with the social and emotional demands of schooling, or has delayed development.
No formal documentation or approval is required for delayed entry to Prep. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s readiness for Prep you can speak with your child’s Kindergarten teacher or MacKillop’s Principal.
What is Prep?
The Preparatory Year of full-time schooling (Prep) was introduced into all Queensland schools in 2007. Prep is the first compulsory year of school and provides the foundation for your child’s education. It is a full-time program held in primary schools. Children attend Monday-Friday for the full school day.
Prep teachers use the Foundation Year of the Australian Curriculum—to guide children’s learning. The Foundation Year in the Australian Curriculum refers to the year before Year 1. In Queensland this is called Prep. For further information visit the Australian Curriculum Website at www.australiancurriculum.edu.au
When children start Prep they move to a more structured learning environment, but they continue to learn through play. During play children make decisions, solve problems, develop thinking and teamwork skills, communicate, and develop a positive sense of themselves.
What will children learn?
In Prep, children learn in many different ways including play, organised games, and investigation. They develop important life skills by working with other children and adults. Prep makes connections between school and what your child learns at home and in early childhood education and care.
Prep helps your child develop:
- a positive approach to learning
- independence and confidence
- thinking and problem-solving skills
- language skills
- early literacy and numeracy
- physical abilities
What will they do?
- investigate interests and plan with their teacher about the things they might do
- make choices while designing and making things
- sing, dance and paint
- listen to stories
- play games indoors and outdoors
- use computers to draw pictures, make signs
- take part in everyday experiences like gardening, cooking and tidying up
- write and copy signs during their play
- learn about size, shape, weight and measurement as they construct things indoors and outdoors
How can you get involved?
- share information about your child with the teacher (always treated confidentially)
- chat with your child about what they’re doing at school
- visit the classroom for a brief chat or to take part in daily activities or special events
- read together and talk about story books, factual books and rhymes as well as about everyday items such as signs, notices, letters, catalogues, magazines, TV guides, food packaging and bills
- involve your child in family activities that investigate mathematical ideas, e.g. cooking, setting the table, matching socks, sharing a meal
- encourage your child to use ‘junk’ materials for drawing, making patterns, and building things
Prep at MacKillop
Developing the whole child
Families starting their child’s schooling in the Catholic tradition know that Catholic schools are committed to the growth of the whole child by offering developmentally appropriate programs which address children’s needs – spiritual, intellectual, physical, cultural, social and emotional. Faith, spiritual and values development is integrated into the Prep curriculum in keeping with the ethos and values of Catholic education.
The Prep program promotes the development of independence and acknowledges that children arrive at school as competent and capable learners who have been learning since birth. The year builds on your child’s learning at home and in other places like kindergarten and child care.
MacKillop Catholic College provides quality, specialised learning areas and equipment to accommodate Prep classes. Flexible learning environments are designed to complement Prep’s play based program and encourages an active investigative approach.
A safe and caring environment
MacKillop Catholic College aims to provide special care and attention to all students, staff and families in our school community.
Each child’s unique beauty and gifts are fostered. Child protection matters are taken seriously, and practices and protocols are in place in all Catholic schools to ensure they are safe places that not only comply with regulations but move beyond mere compliance to prevention.
Our Prep classrooms nurture right relationships. Through social emotional learning, children are supported in the development of life skills of confidence, getting along, persistence, organisation and emotional resilience.
In close partnership
We see education as a partnership with families. Parents and carers are welcome members of our school community and opportunities are provided to share in the school experience. Close communication between school and home is a priority. Prep teachers value partnerships with families, carers, communities and professional colleagues, to develop supportive learning environments for students.