Beginning School

Pre School Visits: 4 year olds who intend coming to Ohaeawai School are encouraged to visit each Friday morning where they take part in New Entrant activities.

We have found that this certainly gives the children a good start to their schooling. Please phone Ohaeawai School if you or anyone you know may be interested in this programme.

The enrolment form is available in the enrolment section above.

Letting Them Go


Be positive. This will help your child to feel relaxed about starting school. Reinforce the expectation that school is a happy, interesting place to be where he/she will make friends.

Be low-key and matter-of-fact. Don’t make too big a deal of the event. Saying how much you are going to miss your child will not help him/her to feel relaxed about your leaving.

Familiarity and Communication

Discuss with the teacher how long you should stay with your child on the first day/s. Sometimes it is more helpful to say goodbye at the door. Lingering could prolong your child’s grief.

Most children settle into school very quickly. However, if your child is finding the transition particularly difficult, talk to the teacher. Your child may need the occasional afternoon to go home and sleep if particularly tired and stressed.

Find out about bell times and school hours and routines. Talk to your child about these, and wrap morning tea and lunch items separately and talk about saving lunch for lunch time. Talk about how to join in a game at break times.

More importantly than practising school-type activities, share experiences with your child (walking to the park, visiting the library, playing games etc). This gives him/her something to share in oral language time, and something to write about. This in turn makes your child feel a valued member of the class with something to offer.


It helps if your child is able to dress him/herself and independently carry out tasks such as putting their shoes on and taking them off, going to the toilet and washing their hands. Ensure that your child is able to open his/her lunchbox and unwrap all food packaging on his/her own and that food can be eaten without the need for extra utensils or heating.

Encourage a can-do attitude. Expect your child to carry his/her own bag and be responsible for packing it with all of the things needed for the day.

Health and Well-being

Ensure that your child has a good night’s sleep, a good healthy breakfast, and plenty of time to get ready in the mornings. Quiet time together after school is also really important. However, do not push for information or ask too many questions. Taking a quiet, positive interest is all that is needed.