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Starting school at 5

Preschool Assemblies

These generally take place on the fifth Friday of every term at 12.20pm. See our school newsletter for the terms dates. They are held in our Reception room - Room 20. This gives preschoolers and their parents the opportunity to attend a normal junior assembly. Lunch is provided afterwards. Dates can be found here or by ringing the school office: 636 6256.


Pre-enrolment packs can be obtained from our school office. These contain information about such things as uniforms, after-school care, etc.

Reception Class

We know from our observations (and research supports this) that effective and positive transitioning to school can have a lasting impact on a child’s success at school.

We know that every child comes to school with different levels of readiness; socially, emotionally and academically. Some children are very ready for school when they arrive at 5 years, others take longer to settle. Traditionally all children are put in a class based on the date of their birthday. This can mean a traditional New Entrant class can have a huge range of needs to cater for, with up to 20 children who have varying levels of readiness for school. 

All children who join us as 5 year olds will start in our reception class. This class will focus on building relationships with families, transitioning into the school environment and readiness for more formal school learning. Academic learning - reading, writing and maths - will be a part of each day in this room. Each child’s initial formal assessments will be carried out by the class teacher after approximately one month at school, and families will meet with the reception class teacher to discuss the outcomes. 

Children will stay in our reception class until staff and families feel they are ready to transition into a more structured New Entrant / Year 1 classroom. For some children this might be a short time, others may benefit from a longer time in this room. We will carry out a careful transition out of the reception class with lots of regular interaction and visits and time forming a relationship with the new class and teacher.

Our aim in the reception room is to keep the ratio of children to adults as low as possible and to involve families as much as we can.

The reception room is located in the new relocatable classrooms on our field. The two rooms are connected. This allows us to set up and utilise equipment for a PMP (Perceptual Motor Programme), a movement/language based development programme used in a number of schools in New Zealand and Australia. It helps children both physically and academically with the development of motor coordination, cognitive development, self-esteem, social skills and ability to cope better in the classroom.

Pre-school visits will occur on a Friday with a minimum of 4 Friday visits recommended prior to starting school. Families who have pre-enrolled will be contact about two months prior to their child starting, to set up these visits.

We believe a reception class is an excellent way to cater for each child’s individual learning and development.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Viki Holley, Principal, or Jackie Marriner, Pohutukawa Team Leader.

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