Starting School Information

Section 1: Information for families with a five-year-old starting school

Section 2: General information for new families


Section 1: Information for families with a five year old starting school.

Starting school is a special time for the student and parents.  We do everything we can to ensure that it is a positive time for everyone.  Below are answers to questions we are often asked.

Please do download our prospectus as this includes a great deal of useful information.  We also have a FAQ page with helpful information. Our office staff are here to help as well.  Our teachers will also assist in every way that they can. Please do make an appointment if you wish to have more than a very brief conversation with the classroom teacher, as the time before school is busy for them.


What are School Hours?

What is the process for school visits and transition from ECE?

What food should my child bring to school?

What are the stationery requirements?

What is suitable clothing for my child?

Where will my child be placed?

What is the cut off date for Year 1 or Year 0?

What is the role of my child’s big buddy?

What happens at interval and lunchtimes?

What are some tips for parents to consider before their child is 5?

Helping at School


What is the process for school visits and transition from ECE?

We strongly recommend school visits for new entrants and their parents. The School will contact parents to arrange the visits prior to your child’s starting date. There will be two visits in the month prior to your child’s first day at school. The aim of these visits is to familiarise your child with school, their teacher and the other children in the class. The visits last 45-60 minutes.  We are in close contact with the ECE’s where the majority of our students attend.

What food should my child bring to school?

We have a healthy food policy and we are an Enviro School.  Students are only to bring water to school for drinking, and we want children to eat healthy food with limited processing.  Parents find plastic lunch boxes with many compartments very handy. We work hard to be a ‘litterless lunch’ school, so try and avoid wrappers.  Please avoid yogurts as they often make a mess and can be tricky for students to open pottles. Only water in drinking bottles please.

Students are to only eat the food they bring from home.  Eating of morning tea and lunch is supervised and uneaten food is kept in their lunchbox so you can see how much they have eaten.

We have a number of students with nut allergies and prefer that nuts, peanut butter and the like are not brought to school. However, these foods are not banned.

What are the stationery requirements?

This is the stationery list for Year 1 students. In addition, we ask that you purchase a New Entrant pack from our Reception which has essential items for your child.  

What is suitable clothing for my child?

Please ensure your child wears comfortable clothing to school that they can manage themselves when toileting.  Children are also required to take their own shoes and socks off at times for physical activities so shoes with velcro straps are preferable to shoelaces.  Footwear that is suitable to run and play in is essential.

Each child must wear a school hat in their house colour when outside in terms 1 and 4.  During terms 2 and 3 hats are optional. The hat can be purchased from the office. Please ensure your child’s name is written in it and the toggle is knotted in as they can easily fall off.

Many parents ensure their child has a change of clothes in their child’s bag in case of an accident in the first year of school.

Where will my child be placed?

When a child comes to school as a five year old, he/she will be placed in the current Year 0/Year 1 class. Prior to starting school, it is usual for each child to complete two preschool visits. At the beginning of each year, there are usually two New Entrant classes accepting children and a new class is opened up once the original two are filled.

At the commencement of each year for Year 2 and above, we take care to ensure that each class has an even spread of gender, ability and attainment.  During the year additional enrolments can be a steady stream. Where these new children are placed depends on class sizes and on the needs of the pupil. 

What is the cut off date for Year 1 or Year 0?

At Seatoun School, the cut-off birthdate for children to move from Year 1 to Year 2 is 30 April/end of Term 1. This means that in general, children who start school in Term 1 will be considered Year 1 and will move into Year 2 in the following calendar year. In general, children who start in Terms 2, 3 and 4 will be considered Year 0 and will move into Year 1 in the following calendar year.

We carefully look at all children’s progress if their birthdays fall within a month either side of 30 April/end of Term 1 to ensure they are suited socially, academically and physically to the Year level their birthday puts them in. We will only move children out of their age group under exceptional circumstances and after full consultation with parents.

What is the role of my child’s big buddy?

Every New Entrant child at school will have a big buddy.  The big buddy is a student from the Year 5 or Year 6 area of the school who will meet the new student on their first school visit.  The big buddy will look after your child on their second school visit and show them around the school.  On the day your child starts school, the big buddy will meet the New Entrant in their classroom.  They will look after them at break times during their early days at school until they feel comfortable in the school environment. For some students, this happens very quickly for others it may take longer. There is no set time period for the big buddy to remain with the little buddy as it often depends on how the relationship develops.

What happens at interval and lunchtimes?


Children sit to eat their morning tea either in their classroom or on the seats in the wibbly wobbly garden. There is a designated area that is ‘nutfree’ that students who have allergies or no nuts in their lunchbox can choose to sit.  At lunchtime, children are expected to remain sitting for at least 10 minutes to eat their lunch and then the child shows the duty teacher their lunchbox who will stamp their hand if they appear to have eaten enough lunch. Once they have eaten and shown the teacher the children return their lunchbox to their bag and can then play.  Please talk with your child’s teacher if there are special requirements for your child in regard to eating. We are unable to heat food for your child at school.

Play Areas

The children can play in any playground area at break times.  However, they are not allowed out the front of the school, in the carpark or on the periphery banks. The senior fort by the field only has Year 3 to 8 students playing on it and the junior fort which is in the Wibbly Wobbly garden is only available for Year 1 to 3 children.  

Kindergarten Passes

We have a very close relationship with the kindergarten and 6 students, receive a pass and are supervised by senior students to go through the gate in the wibbly wobbly garden to the kindergarten at lunchtimes.  The kindergarten passes are allocated on a class by class basis throughout the year.

Lunchtime clubs

During certain times of the year, many of the senior students show initiate and offer lunchtime activities for the junior children.  These vary and at times include dance clubs, art clubs or games. These are presented in classes by the senior students and children are encouraged to participate.

What can you do to help prepare your child for school?

• Talk to your child about starting school where he/she will meet new friends, learn about the world, play games, sing songs and make interesting things.

• Help your child to learn how to put on clothing and care for personal belongings. Select velcro shoes, but when ready, teach them to tie their laces, put clothes in own bag etc.

• Clearly label all possessions your child brings to school with his/her full name - raincoats, hats, bags, plastic bottles, etc. Be sure to check from time to time whether the label is still intact and legible.

• Send your child to school on time each and every day. Be prepared to say goodbye for the day before school starts. If your child is upset to see you go, encourage them to play with others, and be firm. In most cases, an upset child will settle very quickly and have a great day. We will always contact you if there is a continued problem.

• Give your child duties to perform in and around home which require only one or two simple directions. This will give him/her confidence to complete small tasks.

• Encourage children to be responsible for putting school equipment in the right place, e.g. bookbags in the bookbag box, hanging up their own coat and bag, lunch orders in the correct box etc.  This includes carrying their bag into and out of school each day.

• Encourage your child by admiring his/her work when he/she brings it home. Give his/her painting or model a place of honour for a few days.

• Regularly enjoy stories together. Read the school reader with them each night, with lots of praise and enjoyment.

Make sure your child can toilet themselves, even things like they can remove toilet paper from the dispenser - without ripping it is very useful.

• When reading to them or giving them instructions, make sure they are listening.

Look for opportunities to introduce and use pre-literacy and numeracy skills.  Some of these activities could include: Playing I spy, board games, writing their name in cards, drawing pictures, counting items.

Once students have started school they can become very tired.  Try to limit the number of outside activities they are in and ensure they get plenty of sleep.

Helping at School

We welcome parent involvement at school.  We have some structured programmes that we request help for, such as, cooking, swimming in Term 4 at the Kilbirnie Aquatics centre, or the Perceptual Motor-skills Programme (PMP) which runs in Term 2 and in Term 4.  We also rely on parents to support us with our Friday Enrichment programme in Term 3. This is a programme where parents undertake a short activity with a small group of students. The activity is then repeated with a different group.  Junior classes also enjoy parents supporting children at school to learn reading words and develop maths knowledge. Many parents also offer to help with some of the other tasks at school such as framing artwork, repairing library books, making signs etc. If you are interested in helping in any way please contact your child’s teacher.


We have a lot of information on our website, so do review this.

We have a Charter, found on the Board of Trustees section of our website (about us/Board of Trustees) that is updated each year.


Bell Times
Bikes and Scooters
Board of Trustees

Children with Special Needs
Clothes - Lost
Extra - Curricular and Sport

Friends of Seatoun School

Support Programmes
Stationery Requirements


Absences and Late Arrivals If your child will be absent from school or arriving late, please notify the school by leaving a message before the commencement of the day on the absence line on 388 7600 extn 1. Messages are checked in the morning before 8.45am. You may also email the office on
If your child cannot be accounted for, either through an answer phone message, and email or discussion with the teacher concerned, office staff will make every effort to contact you, or your nominated contact, to check the whereabouts of your child. This procedure aims to ensure the safety of your child. 23 If your child is to be away from school for any length of time, please inform the office in writing. 
It is important that children arrive at school in the morning prior to the 8.45am bell. At least 5 minutes is necessary to get organised and prepared for the day of learning. Late arrivals must report to the school office to register their arrival. Lateness and absences are closely monitored and parents will be contacted if deemed necessary.
Bell Times

The bell goes at 8.45am each morning, not 9.00am. Students should be at school by 8.40am to enable a prompt start to the day and to eliminate disruptions from students arriving after activities have begun.

School Programme MONDAY –THURSDAY

8.45am Bell to go to Classroom

8.50am Commencement of morning programme

11.00am Morning Interval – first 5 minutes supervised eating in class

11.20am End of Interval

12.30pm - 1.25pm Lunch

1.25pm End of Lunchtime Warning Bell

1.30pm Start of afternoon programme

2.55pm School closes for day

FRIDAY As above EXCEPT morning interval is 10.00—10.20am

If Children arrive earlier, staff are not responsible for their supervision until 8.30 in the morning. There may not be a teacher in the classroom until that time. In the afternoon children are expected to go directly home [or to a prearranged destination]. With your knowledge and permission, they are welcome to return to play in the school grounds. Staff are usually on site until  late afternoon, but they are not available or responsible for supervision.
Bikes and Scooters
Bike racks are situated beside the main entrance to the classroom wing. The scooter racks are situated at the southern entrance to the school on the northern boundary of the playing field. All bikes and scooters are to be left in their designated areas. Parents are requested to ensure that their child’s bike meets all safety standards, and that their child is a competent and confident cyclist able to ride to school on the road. It is compulsory for all cyclists to wear safety standard approved cycle helmets. Bikes and scooters must not be ridden in the school grounds in school hours, but must be pushed as far as the footpath.

Board of Trustees

Seeking election onto the Board of Trustees [BOT] is the most formal means of involvement in the school. The BOT is the school’s governing body and members work closely with management at a strategic level. Board meetings are advertised in advance in our school Google Calendar and are open to the public.  Refer to our BOT page for additional information.

Children with Special Needs

Children all come to school with varying abilities and needs. Most of these are well catered for in the classroom programme or in special programmes within the school, but some children with higher needs may require referral to outside agencies.

There are several agencies/services to use and these will be discussed with you, the class teacher and one of our Senior Leadership Team before any action is taken. The services available from the Ministry of Education include MoE Special Education (for behaviour, speech or occupational therapy), Resource Teachers of Learning and Behaviour (RTLB for learning needs and behaviour needs), and Resource Teachers of Literacy (RTLits for reading and writing).

Referrals to these services are only available after consultation with parents and prior work in the class aimed at addressing the special needs, and only children with the highest needs will be referred and accepted. Other services available from private companies and counselling services are at parents’ discretion although it is very helpful for the school to have information about these if you use them. We have information about a range of private services available – please see one of our Associate Principal's.

Clothes - Lost

It is school policy that all pupils' clothes are expected to be named. Every endeavour is made to find lost property but if it is not named, there can be no great expectation on the part of the owner of it being returned. We get a very large number of unnamed and unclaimed clothes.  We will display these through each term.  When we have too many unclaimed clothes we will give them to a charity.


Extra - Curricular Activities

Sport: There are many opportunities for children to participate in sport, both to represent the school during school time and in after school competitions. A sports booklet is updated annually and is available as a pdf from here.

Cultural: Again a range of activities are available, especially for more senior students. Options may change from year-to-year depending upon staff.


Friends of Seatoun School

FoSS [Previously the PTA] works closely alongside the staff and BOT to fundraise and organise social events that maintain and build upon the school’s close links with its community. Members are also involved in the strategic planning process. FoSS relies on parent involvement and the old adage that “many hands make light work.” FoSS meets a couple of evenings per term. Actual meeting dates and venue are advertised in the Steeple Rock newsletter, the school website and on the flat screens in the atrium main foyer.     New members are always welcome.  Please like the FoSS Facebook Page to keep informed.


Support Programmes

Providing effective additional support for those children that need it is a real challenge for all schools. The range of needs can be huge e.g. academic, physical, social and emotional. Often children have needs identified in more than one area. At Seatoun School considerably more resources than we receive from our Operations Grant is allocated to support programmes. We also have a highly capable, experienced and

professional team that work alongside teachers to help children become independent learners able to operate at age appropriate levels.

However, despite this real commitment and very good success rate we are still unable to achieve our ideal. Resources must be prioritised and fairly allocated as we endeavour to work alongside parents and other agencies to ensure the needs of each student are being met to the best of our ability.

A more comprehensive booklet is available from the school office and/or a meeting with the school principal can be arranged for those wanting more information.

Stationery Requirements - download as pdf's
Year 1, Rms 7, 8 and 9
Year 2, Rms 4, 5 and 6
Year 3 and 4
Year 5 and 6
Year 7 and 8