An important aim of the Preparatory Year is to build continuity between children’s prior experiences and their future learning in schools.  Before starting the Preparatory Year, children live and learn in a range of overlapping, socially and culturally diverse settings. Many factors within these settings interact to influence how children see themselves, their ways of responding to the world and how they interact and build relationships.

Children are strong, rich and capable.

All children have preparedness, potential, curiosity, and interest in constructing their learning, negotiating with everything their environment brings to them.

Prep is a full day early education program only offered in primary schools. Our classes run from 8:45 am - 3.00 pm and prep children are also eligible to attend our Coolclub (outside hours care) both before and after school. 

Children are eligible to enter prep if they turn 5 before June 30.  Children generally enter prep at the beginning of the school year (i.e. at 4 years 6 months – 5 years 6 months of age).  Compulsory schooling begins when children turn 6 years and 6 months.

What will my child learn in their first year of school?

In their first year of school, students learn through teaching interactions with others, experimentation, practice and play in the classroom and school community.  Priority is given to literacy and numeracy development as these are the foundations upon which further learning is built. Opportunities to develop literacy and numeracy are found in all subjects but particularly in English and Mathematics. Learning in a classroom and belonging to a school community are key to the first year at school.


In the first year of school, students view, listen to and enjoy texts that entertain and inform, such as picture books or, rhymes. They begin to learn to read and create texts. Typically, students will:

  • communicate with others in familiar situations
  • read stories with one or more sentences, pictures and familiar vocabulary   
  • recognise rhyming words, syllables and sounds
  • recognise letters and the most common sounds the letters make
  • listen to, read and view picture books, stories, poetry, information books, films and performances
  • write some words   
  • recognise some words and develop skills in ‘sounding out’ words       
  • create their own texts such as giving information orally or in writing; presenting a narrative, which may include pictures.


In the first year of school, students develop a sense of number, order, sequence, pattern and position in relation to familiar settings. Typically, students will:

  • connect numbers, their names and quantities up to 20   
  • count numbers  in sequences up  to 20   
  • continue patterns 
  • compare lengths of objects
  • use materials to model problems
  • sort objects and discuss groupings
  • connect events with days of the week       
  • develop an understanding of location words, such as above, outside, left.

HPE – Health and Physical Education

Students learn through active play, and practise fundamental movement skills. They learn about how their body is growing and changing, about their strengths, how to be healthy, safe and active, and about respectful relationships with others.

HASS - Humanities and Social Sciences

By experimenting, practising and playing in familiar situations, students use their natural curiosity to make sense of their world, and to develop history and geography knowledge and skills about people and places.


Through exploration and observation, students learn how science works. They explore their world to find answers to questions. Typically, students will:   
  • explore the needs of living things
  • investigate the properties of everyday materials   
  • explore changes in our world, for example, the weather   
  • explore how things move.

The Arts

Students share their experiences and understanding of themselves through exploring the arts and artworks.


Through exploration, design and problem solving, students learn how technologies work. Typically, students will:

  • design and create solutions to challenges through guided play and by safely using materials and equipment
  • work safely online, represent data as pictures, symbols and diagrams, and sequence steps to solve simple problems.

What can parents do to help?

  • Read every day - children need to hear 1000 stories a year to become accomplished readers (that's only 3 a night!).
  • Find a Nursery Rhyme book and learn lots of rhymes.  Clap the beat and listen for rhyming words.
  • Look for print in the environment.  Read and talk about the purposes of print.
  • Find opportunities for children to count - setting the table, cars in the carpark, items in the trolley and so on.
  • Teach your child to recognise and write their name correctly - start with a capital letter and the rest in lower case.  Use outline writing as a guide.
  • Reassure children that Prep is fun and that they will be involved in many exciting learning experiences.
Last reviewed 12 May 2020
Last updated 12 May 2020