Beginning School Info

From the very beginning, you have been teaching your children many skills, caring for them, and watching them grow. There have been many exciting learning experiences in their lives, such as meeting new people, playing, sharing and having times of being left in the carer of other caring adults: they are now ready to take another step in their journey - a St. Bernard's education.

In the foundation year at St. Bernard's, our teachers build on the skills that you have taught and the skills that have been fostered in pre-school and begin to lay foundational knowledge, skills and behaviours for the children to develop in order to become successful learners:

* English

* Mathematics

* The Arts (Creating and making)

* Interpersonal Development (with an emphasis on socialisation)

* Health and Physical Education

* Italian in Languages Other Than English (LOTE)

* and Religious Education

Important components of the foundation year are:

prepinfo1* Building a sense of belonging

* Understanding classroom values and practices

* Making connections between school and home

* Building positive behaviours

* Engaging behaviourally, emotionally and cognitively

* Developing curiosity and intrinsic motivation

* Expressing ideas and feelings through a variety of artistic forms

* Mastering technical skills

* Developing physical capacities and an awareness of their own heath needs

Reflective Learning

One of the fundamental skills we begin to develop is to reflect on learning, to link new knowledge to existing, to establish what is true and accurate, important and useful, and to challenge what is untrue and inaccurate. By providing these opportunities the quality of learning improves, since learning with understanding is more likely to promote transfer than memory.

Resilience

From Foundation through to year six, we encourage resilience. Resilience is the capacity to overcome stress and adversity. Research has shown that resilient children achieve more highly at school and better manage the ups and downs in life.

Our Foundation Room Structure

St. Bernard's has three foundation classes of approximately 20 children per class. Each class has their own home room where the key areas of English, Mathematics, Religious Education and Inquiry are taught.

Buddy Program

The beginning of the foundation year is supported by our buddy system, where a foundation child is linked with a Grade Six child to support them with settling in. The role of the Grade Six children is to be a familiar and friendly face in the school yard, ready to offer guidance and support if needed.

Our Orientation Program

At St. Bernard's we offer an orientation program for pre-school children to assist them in feeling comfortable and familiar with their new surroundings, new class friends and teachers. These visits also help the teachers to get to know your child and for your child to begin to develop a sense of belonging to their new school and class for next year. We encourage parents to bring their child to all our orientation days, especially the last orientation day which is a full morning.

Our December date is determined by the local secondary school's Transition Day. Once this is set each year, we inform parents of enrolled pre-school children when our orientation days are, normally this occurs in the three weeks leading up to this day.

Parent Information Nights

Towards the end of the year, an information evening is held at school for parents who have enrolled a child into the following foundation year. Some of the topics covered are: how parents can help at home with their child's learning, how to prepare your child and yourself for beginning foundation and how our unique foundation room is organised. An invitation will be sent home prior to the evening with the date and time.

In February each year, there is an information night about the foundation curriculum, the topics for the year, the stages of development in reading, writing and spelling and further information on how parents can be involved in their child's education at home and at school.

First day and rest days

Foundation children attend school for a 45 minute assessment interview during one of the first 2 days of the school year. The parents bring their child in for the interview - the children do not stay for the day. Parents organise a time for the interview at the completion of the transition day in December. The Foundation students then begin term one in the second week of school. They start at 9am to 3.20pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, (foundation students do not attend school on Wednesdays), up until the Labour Day weekend in March.

School Nurse

Each year, in first term, the school nurse visits St. Bernard's, primarily to see the foundation children. The nurse checks vision and hearing and then informs parents of her findings and of any recommendations. Information and consent forms will be sent out through the school.

St. Bernard's school uniform and sports uniform

Please ensure that your child's clothing is labelled clearly, especially windcheaters and hats. We encourage jackets, bags, book bags and hats to have the family surname embroidered on them, as these items are regularly misplaced by students. (Embroidery can be done at Steers Clothing or The Work Locker.)

PrepbagsSchool Bag

St. Bernard's does encourage the purchase of a green school bag, with the school logo on the top. It is a great idea to have the family surname embroidered on the bags to help children identify their bag, and assist staff if bags are misplaced. (Embroidery can be done at Steers Clothing or The Work Locker.)

Families can purchase a bag that is suitable for a young school child and opens from the top rather than three sides. Make sure that your child can open and close it by him/herself. The school bag will need to be big enough to hold a jumper, lunch box, hat, a drink bottle, some artwork and their 'take-home book bag'.

Lunch Box

When purchasing a lunchbox, check that your child can open his/her lunchbox by him/herself.

Art Smock

Your child will need an 'art smock'. It can be commercially bought, homemade or an old long-sleeved adult shirt that can be worn backwards. We would prefer smocks that can be pulled over the head or closed using Velcro rather than tied. When choosing an art smock, please ensure that it can fit over a jumper when winter comes. Art smocks will be kept in the classroom and used when required.

Library Bag

To keep our school library books in good condition, each child will need a waterproof library bag.

Stationary

It is not necessary for foundation students to bring any stationary to school. The school will provide all the necessary books, pencils, scissors, textas, crayons and take-home book boxes etc.

Food and eating times

St. Bernard's encourages children to eat healthy and nutritious food and to use recyclable wrapping or washable containers. Each morning at 10.00am, foundation students have a 'Fresh fruit break'. Morning recess (also called 'little lunch' or 'snack time') is at 11.00am. Lunchtime (also called 'big lunch') is at 1.00pm. Between 1.00pm and 1.10pm children are supervised, whilst sitting down, to eat.