The Kindergarten students of 2019 have been getting to know their future schools as orientation and transition days get under way across the area.
The Peel and Mooki public school networks, comprising the Tamworth, Gunnedah and Quirindi areas, are anticipating about 1300 Kinders in 2019, a NSW Department of Education spokesman said.
This week Tamworth Public School, which is expected to have the biggest enrolment along with Tamworth South, welcomed dozens of preschoolers into its classrooms.
The little people were paired up with Year 5 buddies – who’ll be the biggest kids in the playground next year, of course – for a taster of what Kinder will bring.
In Mrs Hindmarsh and Mrs Klingsh’s team-teaching Kinder Smilies class, five-year-old Ivy Wiggan and her buddy Piper Swalwell were working on decorating a rainbow fish.
Ivy said she was having fun and looking forward to having her lunch, which was “salad with some packets of biscuits and some cheese”.
Archie Brown, 5, said his buddy Dominic Barbara was “really good, because he’s really nice and really fun to play with”.
Over in Ms Brunner’s Kinder Rainbows classroom, Harrison and Oliver Gilbert were doing their “homework”, as Oliver put it, with buddies Riley Gray and Zak Tuckey.
The Gilberts are one of three sets of twins set to enrol in the school next year.
In Ms Unsworth’s Kinder Stars, Luca Smith was among the future Kinder kids doing a smartboard activity based on The Rainbow Fish book, with buddy William Hall keeping an eye out for him.
Mrs Hindmarsh said the orientation agenda included literacy, listening, learning school rules, and hands-on activities such as crafts, “to have a look at their range of skills”.
She said the children had settled in well to their new environment – and that it was often harder on the parents.
The school had five-and-a-half Kindergarten classes and looked set to have six full classes next year, she said.
The department spokesman said the biggest cohorts in 2019 were expected to be at Tamworth and Tamworth South public schools, with about 100 students each.
“Gunnedah South is anticipating around 80 new Kindergarten students,” he said.
“Small schools like Nundle, Dungowan and Woolomin have small enrolments, with less than a handful of student beginning their school at these rural centres.”
He said public schools encouraged parents to enrol their children early and join in with orientation activities, but welcomed enrolments right up to the start of the new school year.
Enrolment numbers would be finalised at the February census, he said.
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