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New Entrants

When should my child start school?  

Your child should start on his/her fifth birthday. However, legally, your child does not have to start until he/she is six years old. Some children benefit from having extra time at Kindergarten or Playcentre. Once your child is enrolled, he/she has to be at school every day. You cannot start your child, and then pull him/her out of school.

What should we do on the first day?

Come to the school office so our staff can confirm that your child is starting as planned. The Principal will welcome your child, and one of the admin staff will take you down to class.

Stay with your child for as long as it takes to settle him/her in. Make the decision with the teacher. Your child can go home at 2pm for the first week or two if need be. Keep in touch with teacher, and decide what is best.

What are the standard school hours?

Normal school hours are 8.50 am to 3pm. There are breaks at 11.05 to 11.30 for Interval, and 12.30 to 1.30 for lunch (we have a short brain food break at 10.00). There is a lunch eating time from 12.30 to 12.40. The children are supervised during lunch eating, and Junior children’s lunch boxes are checked to see that sufficient lunch has been eaten.

Does my child have to wear a uniform?

Uniform is not compulsory at Birkenhead Primary School. However, there are several uniform options available for purchase. We encourage children to wear their uniform on Fridays. Uniform is required if your child is representing the school at an outside event. If your child is involved in inter-school sports, appropriate sports uniforms are provided but must be returned to the school at the end of each season.

When do we get our child’s stationery?

We work with Paper Plus to provide the children's stationery. Contact us to get a stationery list for your child before they start school. The amount of stationery your child will need will depend on what time of year your child starts school. Stationery lists for subsequent years are sent out with your child's class placement information.

What do the Year levels mean?

If your child starts before or on July 1st, then he/she is a Year One child as far as the Ministry of Education is concerned. If your child starts after July 1st, then he/she is a Year Zero for the rest of that year, and then becomes Year One in the following year. These dates are for statistical purposes for the Ministry of Education.

However, within the school, we find that a child who starts after May 1st or thereabouts should then do the rest of that year and then two more years in the Junior School. This is not a hard and fast rule, and we look at individual children. Why? Basically because 19 or 20 months in the Junior School does not usually give the children a solid enough start in their Literacy and Numeracy.
We do not want your child to be a very young Year Six child going off to Intermediate, when the extra time would have given more maturity and confidence. This is a very important point, and should be carefully considered by all parties.

What size class will my child start in?

This is difficult to say, as it depends on how many unexpected children enrol from in zone. We fill one New Entrant class  but we overfill it for a short while in order to form a group of five or six children to take out to form the next class. We usually have Teacher Aide support for the teacher during this time before the new class's teacher starts and takes the five or six younger children off to form the new class. However, we may have to keep the children in the same room if we do not have a spare teaching space. In this case, we would start the new teacher straight away and have the two teachers working with the children.

What should I do if my child has health issues?

You should have filled these in on the enrolment form, but please talk to your child’s teacher about these, and ask that he/she copy off any information you have for their own reference, and for the school file. Talk about medications with the teacher, and bring them to the Office if they need to be in the Sick Bay.