Starting school is an important and exciting milestone in any child's life that brings with it a range of feelings for both the child and the whānau. Here at Oranga School, we have developed procedures that aim to create a stressfree and smooth transition into school.
Welcome to Oranga School Workshop
Once your child has been enrolled at the school and their start date confirmed you and your child will receive an invitation to come along to our 'Welcome to Oranga School Workshop.' Workshops take place once a term and are led by the Junior Team (Te Moana) Team Leader. The workshop runs for one hour, 9.00am - 10.00am. During the workshop you will be given key information about Oranga school and what to expect when starting school. You and your child will get to meet their teacher and spend some time in the classroom. The workshop provides a great opportunity for whānau to ask questions and start to develop relationships with other whānau new to the school.
We offer all children up to three school visits prior to starting school. Visits take place on a Thursday morning, 9.00am - 10.00am. During the visit, your child will get to meet the teacher and gain an idea of what to expect. For health and safety reasons, parents/caregivers are required to stay on-site during the visit. We ask that children bring with them a small packed bag containing a water bottle and a piece of fruit. Please note that sometimes, this experience may not be with the actual class that your child will start in.
The First Day
On arrival at school please report to the school office where any final enrolment procedures can take place. You will receive confirmation that your child has officially started school and will then be led to their classroom. On arrival at the class, your child will be welcomed by the teacher/s and other students. We encourage you to help your child settle into an activity before leaving. We recommend that whānau leave the classroom before the first morning bell rings, this allows your child to become familiar with the morning routines and minimises disruption for the class. Our junior teachers are very well experienced in easing any of your child's anxiety and settling them into their first day of school.
What to expect during your child's first week of School
Starting school is a huge transition in your child's life. During their first week, they are learning a lot of new routines and developing an understanding of how school works. Children will be engaged in learning-focused activities for longer periods of time and will be experiencing high levels of social interaction. It is therefore very normal and expected that your child will be very tired in their first week, with this may come a host of emotions. We encourage you to allow your child to rest after school and ask them simple questions such as, "what was the best thing you did at school today?" Questions such as, "How was school today?" and "What did you learn today?" can be very overwhelming for a child in their first week of school. Within no time at all your child will be used to the new routines and back to their energetic self.
The School Day
The first school bell rings at 8.30am. This signifies to children that their classrooms are open and ready to enter. At 8.55am the school bell rings to signify the beginning of block 1. All children need to be in class by this time. Please be aware that playgrounds are not supervised before school starts. Students should not arrive before 8.30am. On-site before school care is run by SKIDS, should your child require minding before school.
Your child should bring adequate food that will sustain your child's energy throughout the day. Our eating times are:
10.00-10.10am: Fruit Break
11.20-11.30am: Morning Tea
Set eating times may be overwhelming for your child at first and you may find that initially, they struggle to eat all of their food. As the routine starts to become more familiar, you should find that they are eating more. Help your child by talking with them about what they could eat at different break times and ensure that they can open or unwrap their food independently. Students at Oranga School, play before they eat. We find that this provides an opportunity for students to calm down after play, revitalise their energy for the next learning block, and allows ample time to eat without a rush to go and play with friends. We are a water-only school. Students are encouraged to drink water regularly throughout the day. When choosing your child's school drink bottle, ensure that they are able to open and close it successfully.