ONCE UPON A TIME: Prep teacher Carol Scott reads to the kids at the school library.
ONCE UPON A TIME: Prep teacher Carol Scott reads to the kids at the school library. Jack Lawrie

Welcoming the new kids to prep at Monto

MONTO State School held the first of its four open days to introduce youngsters and parents to their next six years of primary education.

This was a light-hearted introductory session, meant to show kids and parents around the school and the various school facilities.

The kids were enthusiastic and attentive as prep teacher Carol Scott patiently showed them the ropes.

"A lot of them came up from the local kindy and have brothers and sisters already in school,” Mrs Scott said.

"It's a great opportunity to welcome the kids and show them around before we get into the nitty gritty in the next sessions.”

The pre-preps were shown how to borrow books from the library, how to order from the tuckshop and shown the various classrooms they'll get to travel up on the path to high school.

They were shown around the Year 5 and 6 classes, and some of the older students took time out to welcome the new kids, showing them around and playing with them in the prep class.

Parents and kids briefly got to sit in on a session from the special needs class, which is available to students of all ages and caters to those in need of assistance or a more pressure-free learning environment.

Changing classes for the next year

Monto Primary School has often had to structure classes around the number of new enrolments each year.

As of 2017, prep attendance in Queensland will be compulsory for students under 5, which has led to a surge in numbers.

Classes can be divided into prep and year 1, years 1, 2 and 3, years 3 and 4 and years 4, 5 and 6 together depending on student numbers.

This year, with possibly 14 new prep students, it is possible prep will be given its own class instead of merging with the year 1 as it has in previous years.

Carol Scott said there were advantages to both, but preferred keeping the preps as a single class due to the ability to teach at a consistent level.

"Prep on its own allows you to teach at the pace of the kids,” Mrs Scott

said.

"Putting prep and grade 1 together means preps get to learn at a slightly higher level, and the grade 1s benefit from helping the juniors.”

However, as the age cut-off for students at Monto State School is halfway through the year, there isn't a particular wide gap between prep and year 1.

"Some parents might be concerned if their child is placed in with the preps and think they're not learning as much, or that they're placed in grade 1 and it's too challenging,” Mrs Scott

said.

"But because cut-offs are midyear, it's really not that different; you can have year 1s who are only a week older than preps.”

The parents who attended the first session left satisfied their kids would be in good hands for next year, and the years to come.

The next three open days will provide information about the school curriculum, information for parents and class placements.

With school back in session, residents are as always advised to be mindful when driving through school zones.