At Rouse Hill Anglican College we aim to provide an educational experience for our Pre-K students where they can investigate, explore, discover and wonder through interesting and engaging activities, linked with the NESA NSW curriculum and the Early Years Learning Framework. Our educational philosophy for Pre-K is a balance between play based learning and intentional teaching experiences. We aim to encourage and guide our students to be independent and excited learners, working towards important skills to enable them to be successful in the transition to Kindergarten and Junior School. 

The Pre-K programs incorporate a developmentally appropriate transition to Kindergarten. Students in Pre-K will experience music and sport lessons with their teacher. They will also be visited by the Junior School library staff as well as the Chaplain throughout the year. 

Sun Safety

Pre-K students will be required to wear the College bucket hat for outdoor experiences. There is adequate shade for outdoor play and we endeavour to keep the children in shaded areas when the UV index is three (3) or above, usually between the months August to May. 

The College provides SPF 50+ sunscreen for use by the children. Before arrival, we ask parents to apply sunscreen to their child, and staff will invite children to reapply sunscreen when necessary throughout the day. 

Food and Drink

Pre-K students are required to bring recess, lunch in one lunch box each day and a piece of fruit to be cut up and placed in a separate container for fruit break. 

We ask that no peanut butter, Nutella, nut based products or those that may contain traces of nuts are included in lunch boxes or snacks. These can cause severe anaphylactic reactions in certain children. 

Students will have access to water, and they will need to have a drink bottle that can be refilled with water throughout the day. 

It is most important that all items; drink bottles, containers and lunch bags/boxes are clearly labelled with your child’s name (not initials).  

Daily Packing List and Requirements 

*College backpack 
*Spare change of underwear in a plastic bag
*Lunchbox – see photos for recommended examples 
*Drink bottle – filled with water only
*Art smock – We will keep this in the classroom for the year and students can take it with them into Kindergarten
*A4 mesh wallet – This provides safe storage for notes and home reading booklets during the year) 

All stationery will be provided by the College for Pre-K, Kindergarten and Year 1

All items need to be clearly labelled with the child’s name. 

Extra Pre-K items

Pre-K students are involved in a number of craft and art experiences each week. A4 size art folders with a zip and an art smock can be purchased from the College shop. Art folders should be brought to school each week and will be returned home to be emptied at the end of the week. Art smocks will remain at school for the year.

As children of this age occasionally have toileting accidents, we ask that you provide a spare set of underwear in a plastic bag, at the bottom of the College backpack. If they are needed and used, the soiled pants will be sent home in the plastic bag and the teacher will advise you on the day. 

Sample Pre-K Routine

From 9.00am Students can be signed into classrooms by parent/carer.
9.15amIndoor fine motor learning experiences.Indoor learning experiences may include play based activities, themed rotations and targeted Literacy activities.
9:45amClass devotions.
10:00amFruit break and story time.
10:15amLiteracy – PreLit.
11.00amBreak 1 (children are encouraged to eat lunch) 
Outdoor areas are set up with a variety of learning experiences, including those that challenge children’s physical capabilities, fostering social skills and imaginative play.
11:45amMaths focus and group time.
12.15pmGross motor, social skills or music. 
12.45pmDiscovery learning activities – indoor and outdoor investigation, exploratory and art/craft activities.
1.40pm Break 2
Outdoor areas are set up with a variety of learning experiences, including those that challenge children’s physical capabilities, fostering social skills and imaginative play.
2.10pm Pack up, quiet rest time activities including story time.
2.20pmChapel or Library.
From 3.00pm – 3.15pmStudents can be signed out of classrooms by parent/carer.

This Pre-K routine acts as a guide only. We remain flexible in our programs to accommodate the students’ needs and interests and to allow for additional programs and events at the College. 

Transition to Kindergarten 

Throughout the year there is an ongoing and intentional focus in the classroom of school readiness skills in preparation for the transition to Kindergarten. Students will become familiar with the physical environment as well as teaching staff and students. 

Getting Ready for School

Celebrate- you’ve reached a milestone 
Can you remember your child’s first smile, first word, first step? These are special milestones in your child’s life and yours as a parent. You will have had many other milestones along the way and there are many more to come, but starting school is one of the very big milestones. It represents a significant change in the routines of your life and family relationships. For you as parents it is a “well done” moment. You have raised your child to the point where they are now able to take the next big step in life that will eventually lead them to be confident and successful adults. For your child it is a “I’m a big boy/girl now” moment and the associated sense of pride that goes with that. One of the things that happen as children start school is the increasing independence from their parents. This is something we both celebrate and fear, and that is completely normal. Part of us wants to see our children grow and develop, part of us wants to keep them as our babies for longer, however, we recognise that in the end that will not be best for our child.  As your child starts school we celebrate with you where you have come from and are ready to partner with you in the next exciting stage of your child’s development.

Remember some of your ‘first days’ – you got through them, so will your child 
First days are often a challenge, whether it is a new home, new school, or a new job. Reflect on your own experience of “firsts” and change – how did you manage them, what was helpful for you, what can you pass on to your children? Be positive about the new start. Try not to pass your own anxieties onto your child. It is not helpful to say, “how much will you miss me?’ or “what will I do without you?“ These thoughts often underlie children’s anxiety of separation. They worry about their parents when they are not with them, so it is best not to feed any potential anxiety. Instead tell your child how proud/pleased you are that they are growing into such a responsible and confident young boy/girl.

Establish good routines 
Routines are another very helpful way to deal with new situations. Establish good routines for before and after school, as well as night time. Consider not turning the television on in the morning, so that your child is not distracted from having a good breakfast or getting ready; consider not overloading afternoons with too much sport or other activity as your child will be quite tired as they adapt to school life. Also consider setting a reasonable bedtime- The National Sleep Foundation recommend that pre schoolers children 3-5 should get 11-13 hours of sleep each night (which means asleep by latest 8:00pm when getting up at 7:00am). Routines and adequate sleep are vital for school success.

We want to promote autonomy, confidence and self help skills so we encourage the students to carry their own bag, unpack their own bag, take responsibility for their possessions and walk into the school/classrooms with you. This is so important in building your child’s independence from the beginning of their time at Pre-K.

Know your child
If this is not your first child starting school be aware that siblings can react in different ways to situations, so be prepared to respond a little differently as well. Also, try not to compare your child with other children. Each child is unique and while all children do have similarities in behaviour, there are also many differences. Be prepared for the fact that children can behave differently in different situations. A child who may have been quite settled at pre-school or excited about school over the holidays may find school overwhelming and need some extra reassurance.

Expect a few hiccups along the way 
There may be days when your child doesn’t feel like coming to school, or comes and tells you about something that happened at school that upset them. Again, this is all part of the usual settling in process that children will go through. Give your child the time to talk through the issue, and help them to work out a plan of how to deal with the issue. Sometimes just being able to express their concerns is enough. Try not to jump in too quickly to solve things for your child. Giving them strategies to manage things themselves will be better in the long term. Of course, the College is more than willing to help you and your child clarify and sort through issues when necessary.

Separation anxiety
When leaving a child who is upset or worried; tell your child you are leaving and when you will be back, try not to sneak out as this will add to their fear. Say a quick goodbye and don’t drag it out with long explanations as they have no way of rationalising at that point, then walk away confidently. If you are hesitant about leaving or if the child senses you getting upset this will add to their distress.

Trust us
Teaching is a wonderful profession and the staff of Rouse Hill Anglican College are passionate educators. We value the trust you have placed in us to educate your child and we are committed to their academic, social emotional and spiritual wellbeing. We recognise the value placed in them by God, our Heavenly Father. Your child is intimately known by our loving Heavenly Father who loved them so much that he sent his only Son to die, so that they could live forever with him (John 3:16). 
We look forward a wonderful ongoing partnership with you as undertake this exciting new life step together.

What can I do in the lead up to starting at Rouse Hill Anglican College?
Organise a picnic with a packed lunch and encourage your child to open it and eat the food by themselves.
If you have a son, use opportunities when you are out and about to make sure he can use the urinal.
Write your child’s name on all their belongings and involve your child in organising them and recognising their name.

Helpful Skills 
To develop independence, you could help us to encourage your child to  
* Co-operate and share with others
* Ask for help when needed and answer simple questions 
* Introduce themselves to adults
* Follow simple instructions
* Dress and undress themselves (jumpers and shoes)
* Look after their own belongings
* Unwrap food items from their lunchbox
* Wash their hands
* Sit and listen to stories 
* Use a pair of scissors 
* Recognise their own name in print