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Preparing for a new school year - primary focus

16th January 2019

Preparing for a new school year - primary focus

The beginning of a new school year is fast approaching. It can be a time that stirs the emotions - for children, parents and teachers! I have memories of my own back-to-school experiences, laying awake the night before the first day of school full of excitement and anticipation (and a little bit of worry) I still do the same now! 

When I think about it, I have been in education my whole life. First as a school student, then at university, followed by teaching posts, post-graduate study and now as a principal. My life has always revolved around the ‘school calendar’ and this year is no different. I have been busy getting my own children ready for their first days in Prep and Year 3, making lunchbox snacks, getting shoes, uniforms and books etc, whilst also working alongside our staff to make sure that our wonderful school is ready for students and families.

Preparation (for everyone) is really the key to a successful start to the school year. To start the year right and make the transition easier follow these helpful tips:

  • Talk about your memories of school - your favourite teacher, friends you made or fun things you remember learning about. Make sure you are positive and optimistic!
  • Keep calm - getting back to school can be stressful as everyone is rushing to get things done. If parents are peaceful, there is a greater chance that our children will remain calm too.
  • Get ready the night before - your house will be full of excitement, so harness all that energy and get everyone involved in laying out clothes, packing school bags, making lunches to help combat the morning chaos. Once everyone is organised, think about having a special meal or family activity for some relaxing bonding time.
  • Be on time - all your organisation the night before should help you avoid rushing out the door, which just stresses everyone out. Remember to be on time to pick children up at the end of the day too.
  • Plan some after school fun - be prepared to celebrate a successful first day by brainstorming with the kids and choosing something fun for everyone to do together.

  • Keep up to date - many schools will be making contact with parents before the first day, so make sure you check your emails. Teachers and principals often send welcome emails that contain lots of useful information for the first day of school.

  • Build relationships - consider emailing your child’s teacher and introducing yourself as a way of building a positive partnership. Our children are positively impacted by the strong relationships between home and school and your engagement and involvement as a parent.

  • Enjoy - after drop off on the first day, treat yourself to something special. Your school might even have a parents’ coffee session happening which is a great way to meet or catch up with other parents. It is important to celebrate this significant milestone in the life of your family.

My most sincere wishes for a wonderful start to the 2019 school year. If I am totally honest, I might have a sneaky tear or two after leaving my two in their classrooms on the first day!


About Helen Wade

Helen is a mother to three beautiful children aged 8, 5 and 22 months. She became a teacher in 2004, starting as a graduate at St Joseph's Catholic School, Mount Isa. She worked in classroom teaching, specialist, curriculum and RE roles, before becoming Principal in 2015. She absolutely loves being an educator and says the best part of being the principal in a Catholic school is working with families to develop love for God, love of learning and love for one another.  

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