Welcome to the first semester in Prep!
In the first semester, Prep students are supported to transition into the routines of school by developing their social and emotional capabilities. This is done through Developmental Play, Integrated Subjects and our Respectful Relationships program. The Term 1 Integrated subject Me at School helps the students to see themselves as part of the school community. In Term 2 the Me and my Family unit is an opportunity to celebrate the different shapes that families take and for the students to learn about and compare what makes our families unique. We start Respectful Relationships in Prep by exploring what emotions are, how they feel and what comping strategies can be used when emotions are strong. We also look at personal strengths and what it means to be a good friend.
The Literacy program starts with the Preps looking at the concepts of print, including naming the parts of a book and identifying letters, words and sentences. Students also learn basic comprehension skills so they can respond and make connections to stories. Throughout the semester students will build their phonological awareness by looking at the sounds that letters make and through identifying them in words, both read and heard. As students’ progress they will then begin using this knowledge to read basic texts. In Writing, the Preps are being encouraged to form letters correctly and to include the sounds they can hear in the words they are writing. At this beginning writing stage, students are asked to label pictures as well as fill in the missing words in sentences.
The Semester 1 Mathematics program has a strong emphasis on the base ten system. Students are encouraged to establish an understanding of numbers up to ten by counting and ordering objects, as well as matching collections to number names and numerals. Students also practice recognising small collections of objects without counting and looking at the different ways to make ten. In the patterns unit students look at how to copy, continue and create patterns with the understanding that the core element of the pattern is what repeats. Mathematics in Prep is very hands-on and this is especially true during our measurement units on length, mass and capacity where students are encouraged to experiment with hands-on materials and then to record and explain their thinking.
Semester 1 is a very busy time in Prep and requires a lot of adjustment and flexibility from the students. This is why we include Developmental Play every day. Play is an opportunity for the students to practise the skills they are learning in class as well as to enjoy and cement the friendships they are forming.