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Prep is the first compulsory year of school and provides the foundation for the other years of schooling. All Queensland children are eligible to attend full-time

Prep from the beginning of the school year in which they will reach the age of five years by June 30. When children start Prep, they move to a more structured learning environment, and at the same time, they continue to learn through hands-on investigation.

During a school day, children will make decisions, solve problems, develop thinking and teamwork skills, communicate and develop a positive sense of themselves. You may hear the term ‘school readiness’, but how do you know if your child is really ready? It is important to remember that children of this age develop at different rates.

Whilst your child may not be ready at this point in time, this does not mean that they will not be ready by the end of the year. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s readiness for Prep, speak with your child’s Kindergarten teacher as they can provide informed advice based on their knowledge of your child and the options available to you.

The transition to primary school is an exciting time for you and your child. Take advantage of orientation days or transition programs as these will help them develop confidence and familiarity in their new setting.

Most importantly, have a positive approach and you and your child will enjoy the next stage of their life-long learning journey.

Christine Stratford is the Senior Education Officer – Primary Curriculum at Cairns Catholic Education