Here are some links to information that might be useful around your child starting school and that very important first year of schooling.

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Ministry of Education provides details on the transition from ECE to school.


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How you can help your child develop the foundation skills for learning.

We have noticed that many children are entering school without the oral language needed for successful learning across the curriculum. The attached file is from a Ministry of Education publication 'Learning through Talk' and sets up some expectations for oral language levels at school entry.


We understand that for many children English may be an additional language to your home language and therefore these expectations aren't relevant and schools offer additional support for these learners.



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This website has a brief list of some characteristics of children who are ready for school - if you are worried about your child's readiness for school contact us to discuss. There are also some ideas about getting organised with a morning routine for getting to school.


Here is a website with lots of great activities to develop your child's fine motor skills


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We recommend these websites for places for printable resources to support your child's learning (pre-school and in the early years of school)



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On this part of the Ministry of Education's site find out about how schools work, what children learn, progress and achievement, support for your child and ways to get involved.


After 1 year at school these are the skills and knowledge we expect children to have developed (remembering however that all children learn at their own rate!)




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Willowbank School Website - learn about our vision, read our latest newsletters, contact us...


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Read Willowbank School's latest ERO report.

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Willowbank School is on facebook - 'like' us for updates and reminders


New Entrant Parent Evenings
Each term we run an information evening for parents who have children starting at Willowbank or parents interested in enrolling their child at Willowbank. At this evening we talk about our programmes and expectations and how you can get your child ready for school. These evenings start at 6pm and are Wednesday Wk 5 of every term. Feel free to contact the school to find out the date of the next meeting.


Preschool Visits
All children starting at Willowbank School are invited for 2 visits before starting. These visits are on Wednesdays from 9-10am. You will receive a letter giving you dates for these visits and we ask you to please ring the office and let us know you are coming. Stationery packs or lists are available from the office - it would be great if you could bring your child's stationery along and give to their teacher on one of their visits (this means we can get it all organised and ready for their first day).

From Right Start parent sessions: