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Thread: Primary school for a 5 yr old

  1. #1
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    Default Primary school for a 5 yr old

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    Hi all,
    This is my first post at "health, edu and family" section.
    We have applied for residency and (fingers crossed) if everything goes well, we will be there in NZ by the end of next year.
    We haven't yet decided where to live but would prefer CHCH if I can find a job there.
    We have a boy who will complete 5 next year (DoB -3 Nov, 2007). We wish to know if we need to get him to a kindy before a primary school OR he can directly join primary school.
    Our kid is not that good in speaking/ understanding English as we don't speak in English at our home.
    He is learning English now. We will try to teach him as much as we can in this year.
    I wish to know if he will have difficulties in school in a level that he might not me able to cop?
    I wish to hear from people with similar experience.
    Also, I wish to know what is the normal age for primary school enrollment? and when does the session for primary school starts?

    Many Thanks
    Last edited by MK33; 10th November 2011 at 02:41 PM.

  2. #2
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    He should go straight into school if he is 5, they start the 1st Monday after their Birthday, well they do here in Wellington. I have a friend who's daughter couldn't speak English before she went to kindy but now you wouldn't know that. I would do all you can to help him learn as much as possible before he starts as of course this will help him but there was a child in my daughters class that didn't speak a lot of English & he has a teacher come in & teach him each week so there could be help there too for him.

  3. #3
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    Actually, it's your decision. He can either go straight into school the day after he turns 5 or he can attend kindy for a while up to the age of 6. Folk are mixed about what's for the best for kids but I'd give serious consideration to at least some kindy time (depending on your gut instinct about the kindy when you get here) as it will not focus hard on reading and writing and will leave him free to become more familiar with spoken English. Hope that's not confusingly written- to recap:

    1) In NZ children can start school the day after their fifth birthday but do not have to. They have to start school by their 6th birthday and can remain in kindy until then.

    2) It might(depends on your child, the kindy and the school) be useful for him to become more familiar with communicating in English before being in a classroom focused on reading and writing.

    Good luck

  4. #4
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    Thanks Lindsey and Kanga for your replies. That was of great help.
    This forum is full of nice and kind people.

    I know that primary schools are free except for some donations and uniform/shoes etc.
    But I have no idea about kindy. How much will that cost? Can we find a like a public kindy ? How many hours do they have kids in kindy?

    Cheers
    MK

  5. #5
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    All kindys vary by hours & cost or donations. Ours asks for a $20 a term donation & the association is now asking approx $80 a term, 3 yr olds go 2 x a week for just over 4 hrs a day & the 4 yr olds can go everyday for 4 hrs or 3 longer days.
    I would have to question if you want you child in with children a lot younger than him? A few maybe touching the age of 5 but all of ours leave & then go to school, if the school is willing to help with language like ours does then having him mix with children his own age & making his friends straight away I think would bring him along faster but just my opinion

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Georgebulldog View Post
    All kindys vary by hours & cost or donations. Ours asks for a $20 a term donation & the association is now asking approx $80 a term, 3 yr olds go 2 x a week for just over 4 hrs a day & the 4 yr olds can go everyday for 4 hrs or 3 longer days.
    Well, thank you for your opinion. We will see how much he can learn within this year. That will decide whether he will be going to kindy or primary.

    Sorry, but I am unclear of the cost u wrote. Whats a term? How many days in a term? Are donation and fee different? what's association?

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Sorry to hijack your post, but I am wondering about this as well (though it might be a tad too early as we have not even submitted the EOI! )

    My daugther is turning 5 next month and it is interesting to read that a child can start school immediately after his 5th birthday, no matter which time of the year. In Singapore/Malaysia, primary schools begins when a child is 7, and everyone goes in at the beginning of the year.

    So I am wondering, when a child enters NZ primary school when he/she is 5 years old, what level of proficiency is he/she expected to be at?

    - Able to read simple words?
    - Able to spell simple words?
    - Able to write legible-ly?
    - Able to do addition/substraction from 1-xx?
    - Able to buy/pay for food from canteen?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsellesi View Post

    So I am wondering, when a child enters NZ primary school when he/she is 5 years old, what level of proficiency is he/she expected to be at?

    - Able to read simple words?
    - Able to spell simple words?
    - Able to write legible-ly?
    - Able to do addition/substraction from 1-xx?
    - Able to buy/pay for food from canteen?
    I wouldn't worry about that - been through that, no expectations

    and the good thing is that it's not just academics that are there

    I put mine into kelly sports after school to get him comfy with rugby etc. I suggest swimming lessons - no child should not learn swimming, this is an island and every kid learns it. I did find it strange initially that there was an actual class for swimming, you need to make sure you don't have in-school and after-school swimming on the same day of the week

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by itsellesi View Post
    So I am wondering, when a child enters NZ primary school when he/she is 5 years old, what level of proficiency is he/she expected to be at?

    - Able to read simple words? Some can, many can't
    - Able to spell simple words? Few can, most can't
    - Able to write legible-ly? That would be very far from 'average'
    - Able to do addition/substraction from 1-xx? Again, that would not be the norm
    - Able to buy/pay for food from canteen? Probably taking a packed lunch
    My comments in red.

    I would suggest the best things you can do to get your child ready for school are:

    • Able to go to the loo on their own including hand washing and bottom wiping
    • Able to manage their lunchbox
    • Can recognise their written name
    • Enjoys books

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK33 View Post
    Well, thank you for your opinion. We will see how much he can learn within this year. That will decide whether he will be going to kindy or primary.

    Sorry, but I am unclear of the cost u wrote. Whats a term? How many days in a term? Are donation and fee different? what's association?

    Thanks
    There are 4 terms in a year, 10 weeks each term. Each kindergarten asks for varying donations, ours ask parents to donate $20 a term which helps with the up keep of the kindy & buying new materials, sad to say not many pay it. The association who oversee this kindy have started asking for approx $80 a term which is supposed to go towards keeping teachers 100% qualified due to all the cuts that have been made in this area, again this a donation & they say just pay what you can but $80 is the amount you should.
    If you were to attend a private kindy then you would have fees, my daughter also goes to a creche where I pay $29 a session of 4 hours.
    I'm not sure where you would stand putting a 5 yr old on a waiting list at kindy as most have long lists but age gets in first, saying that ours has a 5 yr old the list so makes me think they don't take priority as the 3 & 4 yr olds do otherwise they would be straight in yet others are starting ahead of them.

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