Enrolments at Holy Cross are open for Prep up to 2027.
How will my child benefit from Prep?
National and international research highlights the importance of quality fulltime early education and smooth transitions to formal schooling to aid children's long term educational outcomes.
Research tells us that children learn best when they actively construct knowledge of their world around them. Therefore, your child will be actively involved in an inquiry-based learning program where teachers and children work together to explore, observe, ask questions, discuss observations and seek answers about everyday experiences. On a daily basis your child will be developing their physical skills through outdoor activities. They will also be building literacy skills through a variety of language activities including language games.
An old adage states: “tell me and I forget, show me and I remember, involve me and I understand" – this is the essence of inquiry learning where your child actively constructs knowledge in a meaningful way. Prep programs that are child-centred and play based will improve your child's social and problem-solving skills and encourage them to have a greater interest in learning.
What activities will my child be doing in a Prep program?
Your child will be participating in a learning program based on the Australian Curriculum which is based on active learning, and includes inquiry and play. Some of the activities your child will be participating in :
How will my child learn?
The prep teacher will select topics of interest to your child so that they can build on what they already know and do. Answers are discovered by exploring resources such as books, and the Internet and by talking to special guest visitors e.g. ambulance, scientist, council representative, nurse, etc. Your child will be encouraged to think about what they have learnt and how they can best communicate their findings and understandings.
What will it mean for me?
It is important that parents understand that a play-based learning program is an important step in your child's educational journey. When your child plays, they make decisions, solve problems, develop thinking skills, collaborate, communicate and develop a positive sense of self. In Prep, your child will participate in exploratory, directed, fantasy, educational and free play, as well as physical play and games with rules.
They will play both indoors and outdoors in different ways at different times of the school day. When your child plays, they will develop social and personal learning, language and communication, early mathematical understanding, health and physical ability and active thinking processes.
These factors have also been identified in research as the indicators for success in school learning and as the foundations for success in later learning.
What might going to school look like for my Prep child?
The prep focus is on continuity and the promotion of success for learning as a life long learner. This focus helps to ensure smooth transitions in all facets of school life. Brisbane Catholic Education is working closely with school communities to plan and develop Early Years philosophy and practices to ensure that prep children are immersed in a program that is developmentally appropriate and links into the other early years of school – year one, two etc.
Prep children will attend for almost the same hours of the school as years one to six, finishing at 2.45pm which allows for a smooth transition to home or outside school hours care. The prep precinct is located nearby the year one class groups. Prep children will eat lunch with other prep children in the prep area of a school in Semester 1 and will play in the Prep playground supervised by the teacher on duty. The Prep children will join the rest of the school for eating and play when the teacher's feel that the children are ready for this transition.
What will the Prep classroom be like for my child?
Holy Cross prep classrooms have open spaces set out with different learning areas planned for active learning. Some parts of the room have tables and chairs, with other parts consisting of an open space for group and individual activities. There is a carpeted area for storytelling and singing, and an area for painting and construction.
The prep classroom also has access to an outdoor learning space.
How will they be cared for?
Prep classes at Holy Cross are taught by qualified and experienced early childhood teachers. With their professional knowledge and expertise, these teachers are ideally placed to implement the preparatory year curriculum. Some parents may be concerned about rest time. Each prep teacher will consider the needs of their class and make educational decisions about rest time and quiet activities for children in the afternoon. Teachers will respond to the needs of their children when it comes to providing rest time and appropriate quiet time activities.
What will my child learn about Religious Education?
The Religious Education Guidelines for the Early Years support teaching and learning of religious education in the Preparatory Year and align with the aim of Religious Education in the Brisbane Archdiocese.
“All young Catholics, throughout their school years, are provided with opportunities for religious education suited to their age, background and the changing world in which they live."
(Policy Statement Religious Education of school-Aged Catholics- Archdiocese of Brisbane Catholic Education Council August 2005)
How can I be involved in my child's learning?
Building partnerships is a key part of the early years curriculum. Making partnerships with families and carers is a key element to a positive learning environment for young children. Prep teachers will be building on these partnerships and involving families in a variety of ways in the prep classroom.
If my child has a disability, can they still attend Prep?
If your child has a disability and is of eligible age, they will be included in Prep classes wherever possible. Sometimes if the child has high support needs and cannot be supported in the prep class then they will eligible for early special education programs such as Special Education Developmental Units and Centres. Please talk to the School Principal for further information and support for your child.
© Brisbane Catholic Education, Holy Cross School Wooloowin (2023)