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  1. #11
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    Ds1 is year 4 and ds2 is year 1. Both have 3 close boy friends who they see socially out of school and a few girl friends too. Both have groups in their classes they have grown up with from babies and have gone to daycare then into kindy and then school. Ds1 has a few friends in the next year up as he was in a split class for part of last year and gained a few buddies. They are both very social and make friends easily.

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  3. #12
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    Both mine are in full-time school this year - woohoo!! DD is in pre-primary, DS in year 2.

    To answer your questions:

    How do kids navigate friendships in their first year?

    I really think it depends on the kid. They are all different. DS is a "flitter". He still seems to flit between groups of kids, and is friendly with everyone! He doesn't really seem to have 1 or 2 best friends, but a large number of kids he plays with depending on what he feels like doing. Our school also breaks up the classes each year, so while he has known 4-5 kids in each class at the start of the year, the rest are new to him. Makes birthday parties hard as he wants to invite everyone

    DD seems to have a core group of friends though. She and 2 other girls were firm friends in kindy last year and are together this year too. There was some "you're not my friend today" stuff from all of them at stages last year, but it never lasted more than a day. While she does play more with these 2 girls, she still plays with the larger group as well.

    We also have family friends with a DD the same age as DS and their DS is a year older than DD. All 4 kids are great friends, but the older 2 have never been in class together yet and don't often play together at lunch etc.

    What's 'normal' do kids form friendships that last all year, do they play with different kids all the time, do they play with older kids?

    Again, it varies. Ds's best friend changed monthly last year. I don't think he plays much with older kids. Our kindy and pre-primary kids have a separate fenced area within the school, so until last year, there wasn't any interaction with older kids, though he did have a year 6 kid who was his bus buddy and made sure he got to class.

    Last year in year 1, he as in the main school section, but they still have separate playgrounds. There is a years 1-3 area and then a 4-6 (5 now) area too. Which I think is a great idea as it limits any bullying older kids can do on the young ones.

    DD is always trying to make friends with year 5,6,7 students and I'm concerned she will miss out on making true friends as the older kids won't play with her forever and I don't want the other kids her age to form friendships with each other and she ends up being left out. Is it just my anxiety at play? Do I try and help her or let her work it all out for herself?

    I'd let her work it out, but maybe mention it to her teacher so they can reinforce her making friendships in her year group. I assume you don't have a separate area? I love that our school does. There is overlap of play times, so the kids all get to know each other (we have multiple year classes) but they are all the same age and away from older kids.

    My best advice for new school Mum's is to get involved where you can. Parent help is eye opening - 20 kindy kids eeeeekkkkkk! I have even more respect for teachers now!!! My kids have loved me coming in and helping. You also get a feel for how they are going and can chat to the teacher. It's harder when you have little ones still at home, but worthwhile if you can swing it. Get dads/partners involved too. My DH has done a couple of excursions to help supervise and again, kids loved it. It's usually Mum coming in, but really beneficial for Dads to as well.

    Homework - it can be the bane of your afternoon, but keep doing it. It really does help, though I never pushed on days the kids were just too tired (which in kindy, was regularly).

    And as someone said, expect them to be tired. And grumpy. The first year especially is a big adjustment, but I've found the last 2-3 weeks of each term are tough on them. Especially by term 4. They are tired, and over it. A few early bed times can help them as can cruisy weekends doing nothing.

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  5. #13
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    Some great help there and extra info, thanks so much @Californication!

    I found out the school doesn't have a canteen and I was absolutely devastated as I can't help out in the canteen and also sad for DD as some of my BEST memories of primary school was taking in my pocket money and buying a treat at lunch or recess. I can't believe DD will miss out on that! So I do plan on taking annual leave for excursions and come along and help out. DD and I would both LOVE that!

    Any other new school parents have any questions or any seasoned school parents have any other handy hints?

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  7. #14
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    If you want to do excursions speak to the principle about a police clearance for working with children if you don't already have one. Our school we have to have them and the school also pays for it aswell.

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  9. #15
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    You can get a wwc check for volunteers which is free. No one should have to pay for anything.

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  11. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by babybeeno1 View Post
    If you want to do excursions speak to the principle about a police clearance for working with children if you don't already have one. Our school we have to have them and the school also pays for it aswell.
    It must depend on the principal at each school? Or perhaps the state? I'm in QLD and regularly volunteer in my children's classes. Parents are not required to have a working with children check.

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  13. #17
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    I'll check it out, I think we do need one as a few friends were talking about them but I'm unsure if it's for all helping or just helping on school grounds?

    But good to know, I'd hate to miss out on one because I don't have a police clearance.

  14. #18
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    We don't have a canteen either which I actually prefer! We have parent helpers for literacy and I help out with the p and c for pizza day, gelato day and the mother's and Father's Day stalls so there are plenty of other times your kids can see you at school
    At our school parents are not allowed to go on excursions, not sure why, they have plenty of teachers/help to go so maybe they just don't need us!

  15. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elijahs Mum View Post
    We don't have a canteen either which I actually prefer! We have parent helpers for literacy and I help out with the p and c for pizza day, gelato day and the mother's and Father's Day stalls so there are plenty of other times your kids can see you at school
    At our school parents are not allowed to go on excursions, not sure why, they have plenty of teachers/help to go so maybe they just don't need us!
    Parents are discouraged from attending excursions at our school, too. It's so the kids can foster independence.

  16. #20
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    I have a new preppie too. Three days at school this week and she's an emotional mess. We do little aths on Saturday, wondering if I should skip next week (today didn't go well).

    She also hasn't made any friends yet. It's all about her "best buddy" - note the way she's added the word best.

    It's a smaller school, 170 kids, and two composite prep/1 classes. Oddly enough her cousin is in her class, they have pretty much been raised as twins my sister and I are that close, but they ignore each other.

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