Is Your Child About to Turn 5? Sending a child to school (even if it is not the first one) is a very special moment for most parents. The experience is different every time, because children are all different. We trust your child will be very happy at Whakarongo School and that you will enjoy being part of the Whakarongo Family.

The following information will answer some of your questions. Please don't hesitate to contact Caroline Durham (Office Administrator) or Carissa Davies (Junior School Leader) if you need any more information.

Preparing for School...

To assist with your child's integration into full time schooling, the school has a number of systems in place:

Transition to School Programme:

Prior to starting school visits, your child is welcome to join our Transition to School Programme. Pre-Schoolers would normally attend this programme for the term before they start school. The main aim of the programme is to give your child a chance to familiarise themselves with the school and other students and to develop their alphabet knowledge.

School Visits:

Pre-schoolers attend three school visits before they turn 5. Their first two school visits are on Wednesday mornings from 9 - 11:00. Your child's third visit will be from 9- 12.40. For your child's school visits, they need to have a healthy snack, morning tea and a water bottle.

Please contact Caroline Durham ( for further information.

Ready For School?

Some clear signs that a child is ready for school include:

  • Know how to sit and listen to a story

  • Recognise their belongings

  • Complete 2-3 instructions in sequence

  • Know their name, address and telephone number

  • Put on and take off outer garments without help

  • Know how to wash and dry their hands and flush a toilet

  • Use scissors

  • Hold a pencil correctly.

Healthy Child Information:

Please also note the information provided by the Ministry of Health to the right, which offers a free B4 School Check for every child.

It also outlines protocols for when your child is unwell once they've started school.

What Will They Learn?

At Whakarongo School, all learning is based around the Whakarongo Kid. To find out more about our vision in relation to this, visit the following page: Our Vision

In the first few years, your child's learning will focus mostly on developing foundation skills through our Creative Exploration programme. This is designed to lead to your child's readiness for Reading, Writing and Mathematics. For literacy and numeracy your child will focus on:


    • learning the alphabet

    • letters and sounds

    • words

    • simple sentences

    • visual language

    • reading for meaning.

    • Handwriting - directionality, correct letter formation.


    • numbers

    • counting (1 - 10)

    • shapes

    • colours

    • patterns

    • position (first, last, up, down).

Our New Entrant Teachers for 2021...

Pono Pod: Year 0-1 Learners

    • Jo McKinnon (Pod Leader - New Entrant Transition Manager

    • Kelly Jamieson

    • Mark Searle

    • Teana Lewis-Karepa

What Can I Do To Help?

  • Talk to your child about starting school where they will meet new friends, play games, sing and make things.

  • Help your child to learn to put on their own shoes and do them up.

  • Buy clothes and shoes that are easy to manage.

  • Label all possessions.

  • Give them duties to perform around the home which will require simple directions - this will help with confidence.

  • Teach your child to put things away after using them.

  • Read to them regularly in order to develop their attention span.

  • Encourage them when work is brought home.

  • Encourage your child to talk about their day at school.

  • Send them to school on time each and every day.

  • Select stories to share.

  • Discourage your child from bringing toys (or any other valuable) item to school - we cannot take responsibility for it.

  • Use lower case letters when writing for or with your child.

  • Discuss any concerns with the classroom teacher.