The new concept was introduced last year after research conducted in schools on the Central Coast.
The ‘Rising 5’ class targets children whose birthdays are between late February and July.
The class has 18 children and these children are being introduced to early Stage One outcomes from the NSW Department of Education curriculum.
School principal Geoff Spargo said the emphasis was on children learning through play and developing social skills in readiness for the more formal structure of Kindergarten next year.
“The Rising 5 Kindergarten class will meet the needs of many families and their children who wish to move into primary education,” he said.
“Parents and pre-school teachers identify those children who are ready for the challenge of learning at school, but are not ready for the more formal learning in Kindergarten.
“Children turning five years between February and July in 2010 and who have experienced pre-school learning will succeed in the Rising 5 Kindergarten class.”
‘Rising 5’s’ teacher Cheryl Crawford said this had been an extremely exciting time for the youngest enrolees at Byron Bay Public School.
She said that through a play-based language-enriched program, children were encouraged to develop, above all, a love of learning, an enjoyment of friendship and a curiosity upon which learning and friendships will grow.
“It introduces children to the social expectations of school routines within a safe nurturing environment in which peer group play and exploration underlie the class’s programs,” Mrs Crawford said.
Liz Rankin, whose child is in the ‘Rising 5’ class, said the class had been great.
“I felt that my son was not quite ready for big school, but that it was time for him to move on from pre-school,” she said.
“I have noticed my son’s confidence and curiosity increasing with every passing week.
“It is now the beginning of third term and he is bringing books home to read.
“I believe my son is so lucky to have had such a supportive start to his journey into education and community.”
Expressions of interest are now being taken now for enrolments in 2010.
An information evening will be held at the school on Tuesday, September 1.
For more enquiries contact the school on 66856557 or by email
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