Handy tips ahead of school year
19 Jan 2024
Tim Vane-Tempest with some of last year's kindergarten students.
With 2024 now well underway, the countdown is officially on for the school year to begin. Though for many it's just the same old stuff, the transition for those going to new schools for the first time can be a little bit trickier.
Tim Vane-Tempest, Principal at St Nicholas of Myra Primary School, said that he's expecting to have another full class of 30 kindergarten students starting in 2024. As per usual, he's expecting an array of emotions from parents upon walking through the gates on day one.
"For more experienced parents it's not so bad, because you've got a sense of the school and the community and the teachers and what their values are, but for new parents there's certainly an anxiety around handing over your child, especially those children with additional needs - they're always on very high alert looking for any signs that things aren't going well," he said.
His biggest piece of advice to parents is to build a relationship between home and school.
"I think that they should engage with their child's teacher as often as they can, they need to connect with the school and be involved in school activities as early as they possibly can and as much as they possibly can, and not be afraid to ask questions. If they've got a question, it's important to them, and it needs to be answered," he said.
In the time leading up to the big first day, Vane-Tempest recommends preparing your child as best as possible, and making sure they know what's happening, and where they're going.
"Parents should be taking their children past their new school as they're getting close towards the end of the holidays, talk to them regularly about them going to school, show them their uniform, get them to wear their uniform, and wear their new shoes in if they're getting leather shoes, as that can sometimes cause an issue with blisters," he said.
"If you know some other children who are going, it can also be good to make contact, get some playdates, and form some friendships with parents and with children."
Though the first day is always hard, Vane-Tempest says to trust the teachers.
"If they're having trouble leaving you, give them a kiss, tell them you love them, and leave straight away, because teachers are used to handling these things, and five minutes after the parent is gone, they tend to settle and find their feet," he said.
Charlie Thomas (Vice Captain), Ben Norris (Captain), Peta Sparkes (Principal), Imelda Wright (Captain) and Montana La Rosa (Vice Captain)
On the other end of the spectrum, transitioning into Year 7 from primary school can be just as difficult, according to Penola Catholic College Principal Peta Sparks, though of course there are many exciting aspects for students.
"They've been big fish, and now they're little fish," she said.
"I think they would be super excited to now be coming into different subjects. The kids are often very excited to get into a science lab, to get into a TAS workshop, and to be out in the ag farm."
For kids who will be meeting an abundance of new people at high school, Sparkes said it's most important to be kind.
"The start of relationships are exciting and fun and full of energy, but you're still trying to work out who's who around the place, and I think if you're kind to everybody, then that shows you to be at your best." she said.
For parents, Sparkes noted how important it is to be present - despite how 'embarrassing' it might be.
"Even though their child might say to them, 'Don't come into the school, or 'Don't come to that night', I would absolutely say, keep coming," she said.
"The kids are trying to fit in, and they're worried about what the other kids will see, but if the parents just keep coming, that continually shows their love."
27 Feb 2024🍝 Fun Food Day 🍚 St Nicholas studnets enjoyed the first fun food day of 2024, Mac and Cheese and Fried Rice. Thank you to the wonderful parents who gave up their time to cook for the studnets.
26 Feb 2024⛪️✝️Catholic Schools Week ⛪️✝️ Catholic Schools Week begins next week on 4th March. To celebrate our wonderful Catholic School Community we are holding a number of events during this week. Monday 4th March Catholic Schools Week Liturgy- 2:30pm in the school hall Led by the SRC and Faith in Action Team Friday 8th March Sunshine Reading- 9:10- 9:40am All are welcome to come and read together in the school playground We will also be holding some 2025 School Enrolment Tours during the week on Monday 4th March at 4:00pm and 5:15pm and Tuesday 5th March at 9:15am. These tours will be led by our 2024 student leaders. We hope you will be able to join us.
27 Feb 2024
🍝 Fun Food Day 🍚 St Nicholas studnets enjoyed the first fun food day of 2024, Mac and Cheese and Fried Rice. Thank you to the wonderful parents who gave up their time to cook for the studnets.
26 Feb 2024
⛪️✝️Catholic Schools Week ⛪️✝️ Catholic Schools Week begins next week on 4th March. To celebrate our wonderful Catholic School Community we are holding a number of events during this week. Monday 4th March Catholic Schools Week Liturgy- 2:30pm in the school hall Led by the SRC and Faith in Action Team Friday 8th March Sunshine Reading- 9:10- 9:40am All are welcome to come and read together in the school playground We will also be holding some 2025 School Enrolment Tours during the week on Monday 4th March at 4:00pm and 5:15pm and Tuesday 5th March at 9:15am. These tours will be led by our 2024 student leaders. We hope you will be able to join us.
21 Feb 2024
🏊 Nepean Zone Swimming 🏊♀️ St Nicholas students competed at the 2024 Nepean zone swimming carnival. We are super proud of all the efforts of our swimmers. Some great racing and even better school spirit. Congratulations to Sophia, John, Audrey, Sofia, Olivia and Vivien who will be moving onto the Diocesan carnival later this term.
19 Feb 2024
🤩 PBS4L News 🤩 Some exciting news this morning with Sophia being the first student to earn the next piece of her Kirby badge. Sophia earned the Safe peice of the badge for achieving all four PBS4L awards for the second time. Kirby even heard about the news and popped in for a visit 💙💜🧡
16 Feb 2024
Project Compassion This year, St Nicholas of Myra will again be supporting Project Compassion. The Project Compassion theme reminds us that what we do today can have an impact for all future generations. This message invites us to step up for those who do not have the essential resources they need for their survival and those whose needs at this time are far beyond ours. By putting compassion into action, we can make a difference today, for all future generations. Donations can be made via QKR or directly to Project Compassion via their website. https://schools.projectcompassion.org.au/o/st-nicholas-of-myra-primary-school-penrith
13 Feb 2024
All are invited to mark the beginning of the Season of Lent with our Ash Wednesday Mass for Primary students and Liturgy for Infants students. Primary will attend Parish Mass at St Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, Penrith NSW beginning at 9:30am and Infants students will attend a liturgy beginning at 2:30pm in the school hall.