Ika Iti (Little Fish) Pre-Entry Programme

Welcome to Waiharara School and the Ika Iti (Little Fish) Pre-Entry Programme

We hope that the information and advice that follows will be of assistance to you and your child in making a happy and smooth transition to school routines and experiences.

Our Transition Programme  – This can be altered to suit your child’s individual needs.

Enrolment Enrolments are accepted at any time but it is recommended that you enrol your child by the end of August the year before your child starts school.
Six weeks prior to your child starting school If you have already enrolled your child the Principal will contact you to arrange school visits.
Four or five weeks prior to fifth birthday Your child will come to school from 9.00-11.00 on Tuesdays. It is recommended that you stay with your child on these days. Your child will join in the classroom programme, be introduced to their senior buddies and be given their starting school resources including their Duffy Books reading pack and activity book.
Two or three weeks prior to fifth birthday Your child will come to school on Tuesdays from 9.00-12.30. They will need to bring a snack as they will stay for morning break. Their senior buddy will be there to support them during the break time. Parents will be advised by the teacher whether they need to stay or not although they are welcome to stay if they wish. Your child will be provided with activities to complete at home.
One week prior to fifth birthday Your child will come to school for the whole day. You may like to stay with your child for part of the day or join them for lunch. They will join in with all activities and the teacher will carry out some basic observations. They will bring home their first reading book to share with you. Their senior buddy will be available during breaks.

Why School Visits?

When your child is pre-enrolled at Waiharara School they will receive a complimentary starting school pack.  This will include a Duffy Book reading pack/kōpaki, a Duffy Book activity book and an alphabet chart.  Children have opportunities to use these items at school and should bring them each time they visit.

The purpose of pre-school visits is for both child and parents to become familiar with the school and its’ community.  They give the child the opportunity to become used to the environment and socialize with peers.  It is a good time to become familiar with where classroom equipment is located, teacher’s name, bag hooks, toilets, bells ringing, office and playground.

We realize that all children are different – some needing more parent support than others. Your child may experience a variety of emotions when starting school.

These could be –

  • Excitement
  • Enjoyment
  • Confusion
  • Tiredness

Keep expectations realistic and encourage confidence. Your positive attitude helps your child’s adjustment.  We suggest that you arrive approximately
15 – 20 minutes before the school day begins.

Let your child begin to organize their belongings. Depart on a positive note soon after the bell has gone and your child is involved in an activity or happily settled in.

Occasionally, children become very tearful when parents depart from the room, but experience has taught us that they do settle and if you are anxious a phone call can often ease any concerns. If we are concerned we will call you.

Personal Information 

Does your child know their –

  • First name
  • Last name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Siblings names

Can your child cope with the following? Toileting and hygiene procedures -Nose Blowing

Responsibility for belongings -Food items – sharing equipment –Footwear-Dressing / undressing/ not leaving the room without asking and never leaving the grounds.

Discuss how to get help by telling the teacher if something worries them, to follow instructions the first time they are asked, use manners, use only school words (no inappropriate language) safe hands and feet (no hitting).

The strong interpersonal relationships between students and staff and our small numbers mean that your child will never get lost in the crowd.  A big welcome awaits and older students will support your child to settle in while at the same time giving them the space to develop independence as a ‘big school kid’.  We are more than happy for you to contact us to find out how your child is settling in at any stage.  Often students are tired by the time they get home and not always forth coming about their day.

Some good questions to ask are –

  • What was your favourite thing today?
  • Who did you have the most fun with today and why?
  • Don’t be surprised if some days your five year old doesn’t want to talk – starting school can be pretty tiring!

Transition from Home to School

Please make sure that your child has a large school bag that can be easily opened by the child.  Names on the inside with some other form of identification or tag on the outside is best.

Clothing items need to be named inside.  It makes life easier for everyone. Toys are not encouraged at school for obvious reasons, unless there is a specific topic reason when everyone is able to bring something. E.g. Teddy Bears Picnic.

Collecting Your Child

Please wait outside the classroom until the class is dismissed, when the bell rings.  Please let your child get their own bag and shoes, so that you know they can accomplish this task when you are not there.  Children need to know what their “Home time” arrangements are and if these differ, then an early call to the office is required.

School News

School newsletters.  These are usually sent home once a fortnight on Friday with the eldest child in the family.  Class newsletters are sent out when appropriate. Our school also has its own Facebook Page where news is posted regularly.

Our children take part once a week in kapa haka and have an assembly every second Friday.  You are welcome to join us for these activities.  There are many events you can be involved in during the term and an event calendar is sent home at the beginning of each term highlighting these events.

Parental Help

Once your child is settled at school, you may wish to support part of the programme at some stage.  A discussion with the teacher would be most welcome and arrangements can be organized as appropriate.  We welcome your support!