By Lucille Gravina
Kindergarten Orientation is a wonderful opportunity to connect with new and existing parents and families.
On Thursday 27th October, 2022 we welcomed the 22 students who are to become the Kindergarten class of 2023 and their families to St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Primary school in Randwick North. It was the first opportunity to welcome the students, their parents and families into the St Margaret Mary’s community and provide a forum to meet and gather as the children prepare to commence their formative school years.
The morning began with St Brigid’s Blessing, the school prayer, before the Kindergarten class of 2023 watched the story by Michael Rosen ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’. Accompanied by their Year 5 buddy’s, the Kindergarten children went on a bear hunt around St Margaret Mary’s school grounds, providing an opportunity to become familiar with their new school surroundings and establish a rapport with their buddy. The children then spent the remainder of the morning in the Kindergarten classroom completing a series of activities together with their buddy’s and shared morning tea together to finish.
“The confidence they demonstrated on arrival as they dashed through the school gates was infectious”.
The Orientation also actively engaged parents and carers who were given an opportunity to break into small groups and discuss topical statements, helping them to get to know each other and start forming relationships with others who will share their child’s school journey. Pauline Dinale, the school Principal, addressed the group about school procedures.
Orientation Day 2 on Thursday 10th November, 2022, saw the Kindergarten class return with much excitement. The confidence they demonstrated on arrival as they dashed through the school gates was infectious. Again the students had the opportunity to spend time with their buddies and participate in a variety of activities and storytelling.
Meanwhile, Fr Pat the new Parish Priest for Our Lady of the Sacred Heart and St Margaret Mary’s shared the Parable of the Mustard Seed – Matthew 13:31-33.
”The mustard seed is the smallest of all seeds, but when nurtured, and cared for in the right conditions, flourishes into a magnificent tree. Your child, although the smallest in our community, will be nurtured and cared for and in turn will be life-giving to others.
Parents and Carers then attended a talk about ‘Transition to Kindergarten’ which provided some practical tips and activities to help prepare their child for the transition from preschool to Kindergarten. A comprehensive transition guide was provided to parents to take home as a reference, together with a Prayer pack. Parents and carers were encouraged to pray the Our Father, Hail Mary, St Brigid’s Blessing and the Angelus with their child in preparation for their start at St Margaret Mary’s and to enhance their child’s faith journey.
A group of Year 5 parents created a Sacramental craft for the Kindergarten class of 2023 which was gifted to them by their buddy, together with a poem welcoming them to the St Margaret Mary’s community.
We pray that all students who will commence Kindergarten in 2023 will be blessed with leadership and wisdom throughout their school journey and that their Christian faith may increase with the support and guidance of their parents, carers, and the school and parish community to which they belong.
A Parents Prayer through Mary Mackillop
God of Parents,
We know your love is unconditional and we ask that we too,
learn to love like you.
Through the intercession of St Mary Mackillop,
may we grow in parental love for our children.
When they are happy,
teach us to praise, affirm and love.
When we experience their ingratitude, disrespect or complaining,
teach us patience, wisdom and forgiveness.
When they rail at the boundaries we set,
teach us to be understanding, firm and parental.
When they cannot speak to us,
teach us to remain receptive, encouraging and approachable.
When they are discouraged,
teach us to be their advocate, their sounding board, their comfort.
When they are troubled,
Teach us to listen, to be kind and to give them time.
When all is well,
Teach us to be thankful, appreciative and to delight in them.
God, guide us in our family life.
Lucille Gravina is the Family Educator at St Margaret Mary’s Catholic Primary School in Randwick North