Sockburn School – together we learn

Welcome to our starting school information page. We hope you find it helpful. If you have any questions, please get in touch with us by phone, email or a visit. Starting school is an important milestone in your child’s life and for your family. Our aim is to make it a positive and successful experience for everyone.  It helps to talk to your child about school as a happy, friendly experience and something to enjoy.  It is important to listen to any concerns or fears your child may have, but continue to be reassuring and positive. We look forward to meeting you and your child and working with you to make starting school a successful and happy time.

Pre – Enrolment Visits

To achieve a successful transition to school, it is very helpful for your child to have some familiarity with the school, their teacher and their class. Wednesday morning is our usual “visit” day and you are welcome to come for as many visits as you feel your child needs. We recommend that 3 visits are appropriate for most children. School begins at 8.55am and you are welcome to stay for morning tea at 11.00am. Bring a little food as our children have a 5 minute “snack break” at 10.00am. It is also good to arrive a little early so your child can get to know their new environment and you have a chance to talk with the teacher. We are flexible with times and days for preschool visits. Just let us know what suits you and we will get it organised.       


Please enrol early as this helps with placement, pre-entry visits and preparation for any special needs. To complete the Enrolment Form you need to bring your child’s Birth Certificate, Immunisation Certificate, any relevant medical information, copies of any important legal documents and emergency contact details. The office staff can assist you with this – please call in, email or phone for information.


We have a uniform policy and supply systems in place. All uniform items need to be clearly and permanently named so children have responsibility for their own things. It is helpful to make sure items such as shoes are easily managed and your child is able to get dressed and undressed independently.


Stationery lists are available from the classroom teacher or the office and these items can be purchased through the school office at very competitive prices. It is best for the children to have these as soon as possible so that they can begin using them straight away. This helps new children to feel part of the class and the learning.

Being Prepared:

You help your child to be confident and happy on their start at school by:

  • Establishing on-going routines for getting enough sleep on school nights.                                                                               
  • Getting up at a regular time so there is no rushing.                          
  • Making sure your child eats a healthy breakfast.
  • Showing your child what food is for snack time, morning tea and lunch.
  • Encouraging your child to pack their own bag with everything they need.
  • Helping them practise getting dressed independently and managing their shoes.
  • Making sure your child knows the arrangement for after school pickup and tell the teacher if there is a change to this routine.
  • Talking to your child’s teacher about any worries or concerns you have and discussing any special requirements your child has.
  • Checking the weekly newsletter for dates and information.

The first day:

Always arrive at school with enough time for your child to get ready for the day. This gives time to socialise with the teacher, children and other parents. Encourage your child to unpack their own bag and to put their things in the right place. Don’t forget to make sure your child knows their after school arrangements and let the teacher know if things are going to be different from the usual. It is good to check and make sure your child knows where the toilets are and where his/her lunch box and back pack go.

Your child will need to bring:

  • Enough food for the day – a small snack (fruit is great), morning tea (fruit or small sandwich) and lunch (sandwiches and yoghurt). There are some good web sites which have lots of ideas for happy healthy eating at school.
  • An easily managed lunch box.
  • Spare clothes in case of an accident.                                   
  • A sweatshirt and/or coat for weather changes.
  • In term 1 and 4 all students are required to wear a sun hat.  These are included on the uniform list. These are kept at school and are named.

Make your goodbyes positive, short and definite. Our staff members are experienced at settling new children. We make sure that every new student has a sensible and confident buddy to guide them through the early days. Teachers and classes set goals and strategies to foster a positive, inclusive and supportive environment for all.

Developing a programme of learning:

We begin to develop programmes of learning that meet the needs of your child by using the information you have given us. In their first few weeks at school, students will work with their teacher on some tasks to show where learning should begin.  These include social skills, oral language as well as early literacy and numeracy knowledge and skills. New Entrant interviews are scheduled with parents after about the first six weeks. We have a strong focus on developing oral language skills as this underpins all early learning and in every curriculum area. Children begin literacy and numeracy learning as soon as they begin school BUT at a level which reflects their current knowledge and understanding.

Programmes of learning focus on what your child can do now and what they need to learn next. Each child has their personal goals and some strategies to help them reach these. We want all students to succeed with their learning from the very first day.


Building For Success – students:

At Sockburn School we work towards success in a number of ways:

  • Sockburn School C.A.R.E.S. is a programme developed to foster cooperating, achieving, respecting, enriching and supporting within our school community. This is an integral part of learning and play.
  • Burnie’s Mates – all classes have a “Burnie Bear” who supports and guides them through the day. Burnie has special koru cards that reward students.
  • Caught Being Good Assemblies are held fortnightly and students are rewarded for academic and social achievements.
  • Weekly assemblies, run by the students, are an opportunity to share special work and celebrate successes. Parents are always welcome to come along.
  • Peer Mediation and positive ways of solving conflicts and problems are taught, practised, supported and rewarded.
  • Students have opportunities to take part in a wide variety of activities such as Discovery Time, Jump Jam, lunchtime sport activities, buddy class activities, celebration days - and many more!

 Building For Success – Parents:

At Sockburn School we believe successful parents support their child’s learning by:

  • Helping them to be ready for learning every day.
  • Taking an interest in what happens at school and helping when they can.
  • Giving praise for efforts and achievements – big and small.
  • Sharing and supporting learning by assisting with homework and playing learning based games.
  • Keeping in touch with the teacher – classroom visits, Take Home Books, messages, emails, and attending Learning Conferences.

Thank you for the time you have taken to read this information. We look forward to meeting you and your child soon as they transition to this new and exciting adventure.