Taking tears out of first day at school
By HUGH KEARNEY
CENTAUR Public School in Banora Point has come up with some innovative ways to keep the peace on that special first day at school.
Under principal Maryann Judge and infants supervisor Annette Fairhall, a procedure has been worked out to minimise the trauma of separation that can spoil a child's first day at school.
If all else fails, there is always the "crying room" - for distraught parents, not kids.
The school follows a scheme of staggered starts so that kindies can be introduced to the school in small groups, ensuring everyone gets plenty of attention.
With the rest of the school already settled in, the new kindergarten kids started arriving at school on Monday.
Each group is addressed by the principal and the infants' supervisor before the big moment arrives when the littlies are told it is time for them to go to their classroom while parents wait behind.
After final hugs and kisses, a last photo, teachers lead the new ones out of the room to the next stage of their orientation.
On this occasion, the parents are all well-behaved. No need for the crying room this time.
Not even for "quite anxious" parents, David and Kristen Semmens handing over their daughter Tyla to the education system.
"Tyla was very nervous and anxious this morning," Ms Semmens said. "As soon as she walked in the gate I think she realised what she was heading to. She has a bit of a homework issue.
"But I am very impressed with how nice everyone is here. As soon as she saw the other kids it calmed her down. Seeing them happy made her happy.
"I want to go and look in the window now but I'm afraid she might burst out crying."
An excited and proud Mr Semmens had a very strong idea of what he wanted for his daughter.
"I really want her to make friends. When I went to school I made a friend on the first day," he said. "If kids are happy they will learn."