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Goodbye The Infants' Home; hello school

- January 19, 2012

The start of the new school year will mean the end of era for many children at The Infants' Home as they begin the next chapter in their lives.

There has been much excitement, and some sadness, this past week at The Infants’ Home as we have been farewelling children from two of our early education centres and wishing them well as they head to school.

About 40 children from both Johnson House and Robinson House have said goodbye to their educators. Many of the children also said goodbye to each other since they will be attending different schools throughout the inner-west.

  

Educators Thu Zar Bo (left) and Vasuki Manjunathan present graduation certificates to Zoe and Jack.


An emotional time 

Mariam Christodoulos, the Director of Johnson House, says it is an emotional time for staff and parents, many of whom have become good friends during their children’s time at The Infants’ Home.

“Some of these children have been with us since they were babies and now here we are 5 years later watching them get ready to start their first day of primary school,” she says. 

“We have watched them grow up and develop. It has been wonderful watching them build the foundations they will need to get the most from their primary school days.

“There have been some tears, but there is also a strong feeling of regeneration and excitement as the children who have been in our care move on to start the next chapter of their lives, and we welcome a new group of children to The Infants’ Home.”

Transition to school program

Starting school is a landmark event for children and their families. Moving from pre-school to primary school can cause much anxiety and stress, as routines, surroundings and adult contacts change.

The transition to school program at The Infants’ Home includes group visits to local primary schools so the children can become more familiar with their new surroundings and understand more about what is expected of them.

This year, children from The Infants’ Home made visits with their educators to Haberfield Public School, Ashfield Public School, Croydon Public School and Ashbury Public School.

Being brave in a big new world

Robyn Huber, the Director of Robinson House, says the school readiness visits aim to give children the best possible start at school.

“School can be stressful for children,” she says. “Think about it: the buildings are bigger, there are more children and they are the smallest in the playground. There are fewer adults and more rules, which they don’t know, and the classroom is more formal.

“The school visits create links between early childhood education centres, primary schools, health professionals and other community services as a way to support families. They also raise awareness of any potential barriers to a successful transition to school.”

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