Reception and Starting School

At Clarendon Primary School, our vision for a child’s Reception year is that it features the best aspects of both Kindergarten and Junior Primary in a school setting that understands and respects their developmental needs and meets them in a caring, nurturing way that provides a strong foundation for their future learning.

When Should My Child Start School?

Age of child


Turns 5 years old that year before 1 May

Can start Reception at the beginning of that year.

Turns 5 years old that year between 1 May & 31 October

Can start Reception at the beginning of term 3 that year. Children in this intake will undertake six terms of Reception.

Turns 5 years old that year after 31 October

Can start Reception at the beginning of the following year.

For parents who do not wish to enrol their child until the year they turn 6 years old, it is recommended the child starts school on the first day of the nearest major enrolment intake (eg the start of the school year or mid-year, whichever is closest in months) prior to the child turning 6 years old. A child must be enrolled at school by their sixth birthday.

You may wish to collect your child earlier for the first few weeks by arrangement with their teacher. Young students starting school for the first time embark on a steep learning curve and it may be beneficial for you to make a time to speak to their teacher to enquire about how you can help.

Visiting the School: Parents who wish to visit the school before their child begins are very welcome to do so. Please telephone (8383 6110) or drop in to make the necessary arrangements.

Will my child have the opportunity to visit the school before they actually start in Reception?

Yes, we like children to have orientation visits, on one morning each week for four weeks prior to commencing school. This will be during Term 4 the year before your child commences school and Term 2 for students commencing in Term 3. Please contact the school to find out the arrangements for these visits.

See also New Students & Reception Students in the A-Z of Important Facts section.


Ensure good nutrition, regular exercise, very limited screen time and ample sleep. But also:

  • Talk to your child about starting school, making new friends and learning new skills.
  • Listen to your child (this helps children at every stage of their schooling).
  • Help your child to learn to tie shoelaces, manage clothes, etc.
  • Ensure your child can open and close their own lunchbox.
  • Allow your child to pack their own lunchbox and other belongings into their bag so they know where everything is when they attempt to find it.
  • Label full name on all things that are brought to school.
  • Help your child to recognise her/his full name.
  • Help your child to develop responsibility, initiative and independence by giving her/him little duties to perform which require one to two verbal instructions. This will give confidence to complete tasks.
  • Give your child the opportunity to play with other children
  • Give your child the opportunity to use scissors, cut, paste and paint at home.
  • Allow your child time away from parents so that she/he accepts that parents will not always be present.
  • Teach your child to be safe by knowing first and last names, address, phone number and parent names.
  • Discuss any fears about school before the first day. Reassure your child. Do all you can to make your child happy and confident about entering the school world.

On the first day leave cheerfully and promptly, unless your child’s teacher suggests that you stay. Let your child know you will be back at the end of the day.

Encourage your child to openly discuss her/his feelings about school and meet with the teachers if you have any concerns. Our teachers care about how parents and children feel.

Also feel free to talk to us about your own anxieties or worries about your child starting school. Seeing your child off to school can be a big transition for parents as well, as they make their own re-adjustments to family, work and personal lives. Many feelings of worry and uncertainty are commonly experienced by parents when children first start school, so if there is anything you want to know, please speak with someone from the school.

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