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Focus On Prep - Natalie Ogilvy (Acting Deputy Principal)

Starting school is a special milestone in a child’s life and a very significant year in their educational journey.  Over the last few years, the Prep Curriculum has been restructured to enable students to meet the expectations set in the National Australian Curriculum.  These have changed since the old preschool program we had years ago!  Below is a summary of our Kruger Prep Program.
Kruger Prep Program recognises that all students are capable learners and we have developed a balanced and comprehensive prep program that uses a range of teaching and learning methods to ensure that all students learning needs are catered for. Not only do we actively teach the routines of school and ‘basics’ like how to hold a pencil and write their name, students are also formally taught the foundation skills in the learning areas of English, Maths, Science and History. They complete assessment tasks at the end of each term and receive a formal report card at the end of a semester.  Our prep students also participate in our targeted teaching reading program, L.E.A.P.
At Kruger Prep, the students access a range of active learning materials and resources that help them reach their learning potential.  Resources include paints, individual whiteboards, black boards, laminated cards and a variety of hands on maths equipment.  The interactive whiteboard and the fun computer programs on our classroom bank of computers are a favourite for lots of our youngest learners.
Even at this age, our teachers support students to be active participants who are able to take responsibility for their own learning.  In Semester 2, we work with each student to set a personal goal, a reading goal and a number goal and regularly review these goals with the students throughout the semester.  The students get so excited when they realise they have achieved the goal they set for themselves!
As you can see, we cover a lot of learning in a year of Prep!  Our experienced Prep Team understand what work is needed to be done to ensure your child is ready for Year One and beyond.  Here is an overview of the core skills your child learns each semester.
Semester 1:
·         Smart Start Program.  Students are explicitly taught the language and routines of school.  There is a lot of role playing, modelling and discussion about our school expectations and lots of Gotchas for students who are able to show the correct expectations during the day without being reminded.
·         Oral language development such as vocabulary building and speaking in full sentences
·         Students participate in a variety of active learning experiences that teach beginning literacy and numeracy concepts.  A big focus is on writing their name, learning their letters and sounds, sight words, counting and one to one correspondence.
·         Students begin L.E.A.P.  across the year level to target teach  reading skills and development.
Semester 2:
·         Revision of the routines and expectations taught in Semester 1.
·         A formalised and structured teaching approach is introduced to teach English, Maths, Science and History.
·         In English, students are expected to know all their letters and sounds, beginning blends and endings, most sight words, write several sentences with most sight words spelt correctly and punctuation used correctly.  It is expected that students will be able to read at least beginning readers independently by the end of the year.
·         In Maths, students are expected to understand, represent and work with numbers to 10 and beyond, be able to complete simple addition and subtraction problems, complete and create simple patterns and have a knowledge 2D and 3D shapes, measurement and graphing.
·         In Science, the topics taught are movement and weather.
·         History focuses on the student’s immediate and extended family, as well as how families of different cultures celebrate events.
·         The L.E.A.P program continues with the expectation that by the end of the year all students are beginning to use a range of word attack skills, reading strategies and comprehension skills to read beginning and intermediate readers independently.
As you can see we are always very busy!
You can make a difference by supporting what your child learns at school by helping them to practise what they are learning at home.  When parents and families are involved in their child’s education, the children do better and have better feelings about going to school. In fact, many studies show that what the family does is more important to a child's school success than how much money the family makes or how much education the parents have.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
·         Join the local library and read a variety of fiction and non-fiction books together
·         Look through junk mail and talk about what they can see for sale
·         Cook together
·         Help your child write the shopping list for you
·         Play board games
·         If you have access to a computer or tablet, access the millions of free educational games to play with your child.