CUTE! Roma/Mitchell Preps sum up their first year at school
OUR littlest students have had a huge first year at school, with today marking the official last day of Prep for 2019.
They have come along in leaps and bounds since they first walked through the gates on January 29 in their new uniforms; they started just by learning their ABC's, and by term four, were writing full letters to their family and friends.
"We get up to a lot in Prep," Roma State College teacher Danielle Knayer said.
"We start by learning to write out names, the letters of the alphabet, and counting; then by then end of Prep they can write sentences, which is a huge progression from the start of the year.
"Prep is hugely important, because it sets the foundation for the rest of their years of learning, and if there is one thing which we really want to teach our students, it is the love of learning.
"We want them to enjoy being at school, and have fun while they are doing all those important things like reading, counting and writing."
Writing letters has been one of the most popular units among the Prep students, according to Ms Knayer, but the children have been up to so much more throughout the four terms.
"All our units are a lot of fun for the student, and each has a purpose behind it," she said.
"We did a retelling unit, where they practised retelling a story, with a focus on fair tales.
"It was a big unit, where we were speaking out loud, and also using puppets to tell stories. "This year we also touched on poetry, because rhyme is a really important oral language step for children."
At Mitchell State School, the 11 Prep students have shared a class with their Year 1 friends, and in addition to learning their literacy and numeracy skills, enjoyed opening a post office of their very own, and getting heavily involved in school-wide events.
"We have been very busy learning our sounds, numbers, and all of the Australian Curriculum," Mitchell State School Prep/Year 1 teacher Kate Sterling said.
" Our kids have also been learning a lot of social skills, and have really become little social butterflies around the school, which is great.
"We have been involved in Paint the Town REaD, NAIDOC week, and a teddy bear's picnic along with the kindergarten.
"We also had our post office running during term four, and lots of people from all over Australia, and the world, have been writing to us, which has been fantastic for getting to know different places."
With the year finally drawing to a close, the Prep teachers agree: their students can be incredibly proud of their achievements in their first year of school. While their students will be moving on to the new challenges of Year 1, Ms Knayer and Ms Sterling are eagerly anticipating their new cohort for 2020.
"I'm definitely going to miss my Preps - I love my class," Ms Knayer said.
"I feel this way every year, but then you get a new cohort and you love them just the same. "But it is always nice to have your former students come back in and say hello on a visit to your classroom"
"This year I was very fortunate to be teacher Mitchell's combined Prep/1 class, and the year before that I had just taught Prep" Ms Sterling said
"In my current class it has been really nice getting to build better relationships with students I had for their Prep and Year 1 - it was great to see their learning over two years rather than just one.
"But next year I am excited to just have just Prep, because there are 13 kids ready to go - it is just huge."