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Richmond Primary School Richmond Primary School

Beginning School

When young children begin school there are many unfamiliar experiences that they encounter. Along with different settings, there are many new children who all seem bigger and more confident; there are friends to make and a number of new adults to get to know.

Young children have different expectations of their first school experience and may become overwhelmed by the number of new events in their day. Playtimes, more structured learning sessions, needing to remain within their class are some points of difference for many students to their preschool experiences.

Young children often become very tired. Whilst many children look forward to school and the excitement of new learning, others are more tentative.  It is important that parents and the school work closely together to ensure the best possible start for all children.

Information for families about starting school and other school related matters can be found at the DECD website:


How can parents and caregivers help?

Make an appointment to meet with the Principal. Together, you and your child can tour the school and find out about the school’s facilities and its programs.
It is a good idea to familiarise your child with the route to school, perhaps walk through the school on a weekend.

You will receive a letter detailing transition visits that your child will be able to make in the term before they begin. When you visit each time, remind your child where the toilet is, what they have in their school bag and who will collect them.

Your child will need to manage some basic care – be able to go to the toilet unassisted and know how to ask to go; know what they have for recess and for lunch and how to unpack their food; and put their own belongings in their bag. It is important that all belongings including clothing are clearly marked with your child’s first and last names. This means that lost items can be identified and returned immediately to owners. ("Lost Property" red boxes are located in each Unit).

There will be much that your child will have to share with you about their school day and their friendships however they may not be ready to talk about this as soon as they arrive home. Be prepared for their tiredness and need for some relaxation time and a healthy snack. You may find bed or bath time is that special time that they are ready to chat about the events of their day.

Your child’s teacher will be the best person to talk with about how your child is managing their transition to school. Immediately before or after school is a very busy time for your child’s teacher therefore it’s best if you would like a longer chat to ask for an appointment or for a phone call to be made to you.

How long do children remain in Junior Primary?

DECD Policy in relation to children beginning school is in place at Richmond Primary School. Children who begin school for the first time are known as 'Receptions'.

Children beginning school in Term 1 will have 12 terms i.e. three years in Junior Primary classes.

Children admitted at the beginning of second term will have 11 terms.

Children admitted at the beginning of third term will normally have 14 terms.

Children admitted at the beginning of fourth term will have 13 terms.

Variation to the Policy

We know that a solid foundation in the early years equates to later schooling success so year level placements are reviewed each year in consultation with parents/caregivers. We monitor closely those students who have only three terms in Reception as sometimes they are best supported by 15 terms in Junior Primary.

In exceptional cases the length of time that particular students will spend in Junior Primary classes may be varied through discussions between parents/caregivers, teachers and the Principal with advice from support services if appropriate.

The Transition Program

At Richmond Primary School we have developed a transition program that will prepare children by gradually allowing them to ease into school routines. You will receive a letter prior to the term in which your child is to begin detailing:

  • Dates for school visits in the last three weeks of term (this will differ in Term 4 to accommodate end of year school celebrations);
  • The time for each visit – 8.40 – 11.30 a.m. for the first two visits and 8.40 – 1.30 p.m. for the final visit.
  • What your child will need to bring with them.

Your child’s class teacher will also meet with the Preschool directors from where our newly enrolled children have attended.

What Does Your Child Need at School?

  • A school bag
  • A school hat
  • Recess
  • Lunch - if ordering lunch, put lunch bag, clearly named and money in the classroom lunch container

(Please remember that we are a 'Nut Aware' school – for further information, note the policy also included in this section of the website)

After beginning school, your child will be given a document folder by their teacher. This will include a Communication Book that can be used for notes between home and school and school/class notices. Your child’s reader and sight words will also be put in this folder for use at home.