New Entrants Handbook

Starting School At Five

Starting school at five can be an exciting and nervous time for both children and their families. It is an important event in your child’s life.

This information is intended to help with some ideas and suggestions to help make the big day
(and following days) go smoothly. If you have any questions, please contact the school office and they will be more than happy to help you.

The school office is open between 8am and 4pm during term time.

Enrolment procedures

We encourage parents to contact the school as early as possible prior to their child’s fifth birthday – at least 10 weeks in advance is advisable.

You will be given enrolment forms to complete and the office staff will be able to answer any questions you may have.

Parents are welcome to a guided tour of the school. An appointment may be made for the tour through the office.

We are required to take a copy of your child’s birth certificate and an immunisation certificate from a doctor is required for all New Entrant enrolments.

If parents wish to enrol children who have any special needs, we recommend that contact is made at an earlier stage – even up to six months to a year prior to the child starting.

School Visits

Prior to your child starting, they will be booked on two morning visits to the reception classroom.

(For late and end of year enrolments, often we have one morning visit as a large group rather than two class visits. This depends on numbers enrolling and current class sizes. Please note – this is just an orientation morning and you will not meet your child’s teacher.)

All visits take place on a Thursday morning from 8:55am – 11:00am. Please come to the office by 8:45am and you will be shown to the classroom.

All students starting at Summerland Primary School must have a school uniform. Samples of school uniforms can also be viewed from the school office at this time and order forms obtained. It is not expected that children will have their school uniform at the time of their visit but it certainly does make them feel a part of the class.

Teachers would prefer you to make alternative arrangements for preschoolers during these visits. You are welcome to stay with your child for some of the visit. Depending on how settled your child is, you may be asked to leave them alone at some stage of the visit.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Tash Lord - (Deputy Principle)

Starting School – The First Day

You will need to come to the school office to complete the enrolment procedure before going to the classroom. You and your child will then be shown to the classroom where you both will be welcomed by the class teacher.

The school day starts at 8:55am. It is a good idea to be at school by 8:45am to allow time for your child to prepare for the day and to socialise with the class teacher and their peers.

School finishes at 3pm and we ask all parents of New Entrant children to collect their children from the classroom. Please wait outside the classroom for your child. The teacher will open the doors once they are ready to go. Please speak to your child’s teacher if you have alternative arrangements for home time.

Children need to develop independence by packing and unpacking their own bag and managing their belongings.

You can help by letting your child:

  • Carry their own bag
  • Hang up their bag
  • Put their reading book bag in the classroom

Morning tea and lunchtime can initially be overwhelming for children when they first start school and you may find they don’t eat all their lunch in the first few weeks of school. As they become used to the morning tea and lunchtime routines this will change. If you have any concerns, please talk to your child’s teacher.

You can help by making sure your child can/are:

  • Open their lunch box and drink bottle
  • Open packets of food, eg. chips, muesli bars (snipping the corner or semi-opening the packet is helpful)
  • Unwrap their sandwiches (gladwrap can be tricky!)
  • Independent
  • Social
  • Ready to learn
  • Responsible

There are ways you can help your child at home:


Encourage your child to be independent when dressing, by choosing clothes they can fasten themselves (eg. shoes with velcro straps etc.). Make sure they can open and close their bags and lunch boxes and know how to sit still and eat their food. Help them learn to care about their own belongings. They need to be able to take off their own clothes and put them in a sensible place so they remember where they are. At school they will be expected to do all of this for themselves without an adult reminding them or doing it for them.


A wonderful part of school is making new friends. Your child needs to know how to make and maintain positive relationships. You can help by developing sharing and encouraging your child to expect equal relationships of giving and turn taking. Teach your child about using manners and being polite so they will know how to be socially gracious.

Ready To Learn

There are some simple ways you can ensure your child comes to school eager and ready to learn. You can help by providing opportunities for your child to actively listen to instructions to complete simple tasks. Give them opportunities in which they can experience success and are congratulated when doing new things. Talk to them so they know they are at school to learn lots of new things and provide them with chances to take risks, and encouragement to try things they may feel insecure about. Your child becomes ready to read when you read them lots of books and take them to places that they can talk about. These activities do not have to be expensive, just to the park or shopping, as long as they are talking to you about what they see and are challenged to look more closely.


School requires a child to become responsible. You can help your child practise responsibility by setting regular times for packing up toys etc. at home. Have clear and achievable expectations about what your child is expected to do and help them to be organised for this.

Learning at Summerland

For New Entrants our goal is to firmly establish the key skills required for literacy and numeracy success, and to build upon the work you as parents and your child’s preschool centre have begun. We know all children are different and as such we structure our New Entrant programme to cater to each individual child’s needs.

Alphabet knowledge, essential words, concepts about print, emergent reading and writing, as well as a comprehensive numeracy programme provide the bulk of our junior class programme.

All New Entrant children have an alphabet card and will bring home readers in their book bag to read with you. We ask parents to help with fostering independence by encouraging your child to get their reader out, read to you and then to put it away in their school bag for the next day after sharing it with you. These book bags come to school every day with your child.

Home and School

Education is a partnership between parents and teachers. Staff welcome parent contact and also appreciate any help in the classroom you might be able to offer. Please let your child’s teacher know if there are any special circumstances affecting your child. If you have any questions about school programmes or your child’s progress, please ask the class teacher.

We look forward to working in consultation with you to provide a high quality educational programme that meets the needs of your child.

The New Zealand Curriculum

“The New Zealand curriculum is a clear statement of what is deemed important in education at
a national level. It takes as its starting point a vision of our young people as lifelong learners who are confident and creative, connected, and actively involved. It includes a clear set of principles on which to base curriculum decision-making. It sets out values that are to be encouraged, modelled, and explored. It defines five key competencies that are critical to sustained learning and effective participation in society and that underline the emphasis on lifelong learning.”

– Karen Sewell, Secretary for Education

Oral Language

Our focus is on developing good listening skills, speaking clearly and loudly for others to hear, and asking appropriate questions.

You can help your child to become a better speaker and listener by:

  • Giving your child time to answer questions and encouraging them to ask questions
  • Encouraging them to join in family discussions and encouraging them to listen to others
  • Showing them how to talk on the phone
  • Showing them how to ask for help
  • Telling them stories
  • Encouraging your child to bring an item to show and talk about during news time – eg. photos, books, insects, cultural items, own arts and crafts.


Our focus for reading is to develop a love of books and establish good reading skills and strategies

You can help your child become a better reader by:

  • Making reading part of your regular routine and ensuring reading is enjoyable
  • Providing opportunities to practise
  • Talking about the book with your child and encouraging them to retell the story
  • Encouraging your child to use the pictures to help with meaning
  • Read books to your child daily, find books which tap into your child's interests and imagination
  • Join your public library and visit regularly

The books that your child brings home should be easy for them and enjoyable. Please ensure the books are returned to school.


As part of developing early reading skills, children need to be able to know the sounds of letter names and recognise some key words. These skills are prerequisites for reading and writing to occur.

You can help your child at home by:

  • Looking for letters in the environment
  • Playing ‘eye spy’
  • Reading letters in your family names
  • Alphabet and word bingo
  • Flash cards

Written Language

Our focus in writing is to encourage children to record their ideas on paper.

You can help your child at home by:

  • Encouraging them to write
  • Talking about their message
  • Not writing for them
  • Writing letters and notes to friends and relations
  • Drawing a story


Our main focus in Maths is on developing children’s understanding of number concepts. Other mathematical areas that we cover are algebra, geometry, measurement
and statistics.

You can help your child at home by:

  • Encouraging your child to do lots of counting
  • Looking for numbers in the environment (on letter boxes, telephone numbers etc.)
  • Solving simple real life problems – eg. if Grandma and Granddad come for tea, how many people will we have altogether?
  • Encouraging your child to use counters or count using their fingers
  • Encouraging them to play board games
  • Asking your child to tell you how they ‘figured it out’

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate you talk to your child's teacher.