The big day is here.
The little one is going to school for the first time. Be sure to take a customary picture on the day.
The first day of schooling can be a very special day in a child’s, and parent’s life. It is a momentous step where the child leaves the boundaries of parenthood and steps into the educational journey.
This milestone is an important one, but it can also bring anxiety and stress both for the child and for the parent. This is an entirely normal feeling. The best thing you can do is nurture a positive image of school, in the preceding months.
It is normal that the child might go through a certain level of anxiety because of the change in environment. We encourage you to be involved in school activities, and build a positive relationship with the kindergarten educator, who is responsible for your child. Children might not be very communicative at this age, but they absorb things very quickly.
At this age the child is going to experience growth, mentally, psychologically, physically and socially, and you will notice this throughout this scholastic year.
Although kindergarten education is not compulsory, it helps lay the foundation stones for preparing your child to enter primary school. At kindergarten, children pick up basic literary and social skills in a fun way, through playing with other class companions. Educators are also trained to nurture a love of learning, in a fun and exciting way.
Kindergarten helps ease children into the school system. It is important that they get used to being away from home and their family for a while, as well as to being in a school environment.
During this age, educators keep a close eye on the child’s ability to work with others, the level of interaction, ability to make friends and social and interpersonal skills. Parents are urged to open channels of communications and nurture a positive relationship with educators so that these areas can be discussed with them whenever the need arises.
A new learning outcomes programme will be introduced gradually in Kinder 1, throughout the scholastic year. The learning outcomes programme builds around children’s interests with an integrated approach to teaching and learning. This scaffolds children into higher levels of competence.
Effective education in the Early Years, builds on the children’s prior knowledge, stimulates them to pose questions, link concepts, and increase their emerging understanding of the world. A project based approach will be adopted, whereby teaching and learning will be through the development of themes. Parents/Guardians will receive feedback notes about their children’s achievement. The Learning Outcomes Programme is available here.
Q & A
Children can register in schools for kindergarten classes at the earliest when they turn 2 years 9 months. This can be done through the office of the Head of the Primary School of their locality.
Children attending kindergarten need to be toilet-trained before they start attending school.
One can register their child in the locality of residence. If for example, one resides in Zejtun, then the parent needs to go to Zejtun Primary for registration.
If parents need to register a child in a school which is not within the locality of residence, they will need to go to the Office of the College Principal of the school which they wish to send their child to, and register the child there. Since the second case is not within the locality of residence, parents will be advised on availability. This is because priority will always be given to those children within that particular locality. An out of locality request is very much an exception and parents must have a genuine reason, and provide evidence that such request is due to a genuine need.
Uniforms can be purchased from ‘Yorkie Clothing’, Triq San Giljan, B'Kara BKR 2808 (Near Mater Dei Hospital). During the summer holidays ‘Yorkie Clothing’ collaborates with Colleges and offer to sell uniforms in one or more schools, on fixed dates. These dates will be given to parents through the schools within that particular College.
Schools give priority to the children’s well-being in a holistic manner and we believe that healthy eating is a very major part of a child’s development. Information about the healthy eating policy in schools is available here.
Children at this stage absorb a lot. Research has shown that simple things such as reading a story once a day already increases the literacy skills of a child. Education is a 24/7 experience and should not, especially at an early age, be seen as the sole remit of school.
Parents/guardians can support and complement their child’s learning experience by keeping track of the learning experience being conducted in school. Parents are encouraged to communicate regularly with their children about their daily experience at school, listen to what the children have to say and support children’s requests for support. Talking to one’s children, is time well-invested.
Parents should also make additional books and other educational resources available at home so that children can further expand their learning experiences. Such resources can be borrowed from public or school libraries. According to the children’s age, the parent may spend time reading to their children in both English and Maltese, or encourage the children to read a variety of genres which are of interest to them. Educational toys can also support children to delve deeper in areas that are relevant and of interest to the children. Educational entertainment resources, including digital games, help to increase the children’s experiences. Time spent on such entertainment should be balanced out with other time spent doing physical activity and socializing.
In case of difficulties that a child may be facing at school, the parent should contact either the teacher or the Head of School to clarify any issues. Only if the parent is not satisfied with the reply received, should he/she contact the office of the College Principal.
Informal outside school activities such as participating in sports, music, arts, dance, drama, etc, or attending clubs which help the children to socialize and to widen their experiences and skills required for lifelong learning, are suggested. Physical activities such as sports, walks in the countryside and other similar activities help the children grow healthy. This should be complemented by a daily healthy lunch and dinner, according to the children’s age.
The next scholastic year will officially commence at the end of September 2018. The mid-term holidays will be between the 1st and the 5th November. Christmas holidays will start on the 24th of December 2018 and school will start the second term on the 7th January 2019.
Carnival holidays will be on the 4th and 5th March 2019 whilst the Easter holidays will begin on the 17th April until the 25th April 2019.
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