Starting school in Australia – The Facts

For all of us, expats or not, our little ones starting school can be a very anxious time indeed! This situation can be made even more stressful when you are confused about the system!!! Here Louise Lavery from Families Magazine clears up the confusion on starting school here in Australia! Such a great article for us newbies!!! Thanks so much!! 


 

 Did you know that starting school in Australia differs between states and territories? AND that it has DIFFERENT names depending on what state you’re in? As if new parents and students didn’t have enough to be anxious about!

To avoid confusion, here’s a rundown of the prep / kindy starting school age criteria that your child will have to meet depending on where they live.

New South Wales

The first year of school (kindergarten) is when the child turns 5 by July 31st of that year. All students in NSW must be attending primary school during the year they turn 6.

Victoria

The first year of school (prep) is when the child turns 5 by April 30th that year.

Queensland

The first year of school (prep) is when the child turns 5 by June 30th that year.

South Australia

The first year of school (reception) is when the child turns 5 by May 1st that year.

Western Australia

The first year of school (prep) is when the child turns 5 by June 30th that year.

Northern Territory

The first year of school (prep) is when the child turns 5 by April 30th that year.

Tasmania

The first year of school (prep) is when the child turns 5 by January 1st that year. (Please note – this is currently under parliamentary review so may well have changed after going to print)

Australian Capital Territory

The first year of school (kindergarten) is when the child turns 5 by April 30th that year.

clayfield-college

How can I help my child get ready for starting school?

It’s a big transition! Here are a few ways that you can help prepare your little one for their first time at big school.

Try working on:

  • Self-help skills (hygiene, dressing, organising belongings, preparing and storing food, sunscreen)
  • Self-regulation (work on processing and understanding emotional responses, strategise ways to deal with anxiety and stress)
  • Self-monitoring (give your child ownership over their routine, develop independence and resilience, give your child small responsibilities)
  • Self-awareness (concepts of safe and unsafe, healthy risk taking and experimentation, confidence building)

 

Starting school!


Regardless of where you are in Australia, or if you are completely new to the ‘Lucky Country’, starting school is a BIG deal for families. Hopefully this has provided some clarity and will assist your child into transitioning into primary school. 

 

 

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