Big steps: SCU student Angela Hearn with youngsters Jayden and Dylan Tapfer.
Big steps: SCU student Angela Hearn with youngsters Jayden and Dylan Tapfer. Blainey Woodham

Tweed kids' learning takes flight

PRESCHOOL children in Tweed Heads are preparing to make the big step into primary school with the help of Southern Cross University students.

Three Bachelor of Education students will assist kindergarten teachers at Tweed Heads Public School with the Kindergarten Early Bird Program.

The program is a six-week scheme aimed at helping pre-kindergarten children make a smooth transition to school.

The scheme will begin at the beginning of next term and will bring parents, children, teachers and the university students together on a weekly basis to participate in a range of theme-based activities to allow children to familiarise themselves with the school environment.

Tweed Heads Public School principal Jacquie McAllum said the students played an important role in the program.

“The Southern Cross University students are a wonderful asset to the program as they work closely with the teachers and early bird pre-kindergarten children to help compile the children's starting school profile,” said Ms McAllum.

“The profile, which includes observations on special needs, social skills and starting school readiness, provides an important beginning point for the planning of the first few weeks of kindergarten class.

Southern Cross Uni–versity lecturer Tess Boyle said the program provided a valuable hands-on experi- ence for students to learn more about the transition phase from preschool to primary school from the perspective of the child, their parents, and teachers.

“Evidence shows that this is an important time in the life of a child, and it impacts significantly on their success in later years,” Ms Boyle said.

“SCU's Bachelor of Education Early Childhood students graduate as experts in this transition phase because the course spans the years from birth to eight, with professional experience in a range of early childhood and primary school learning environments.”

Southern Cross Uni- versity student Amanda Saunders said she was excited to be part of the early bird program.

“I'm in my final year so this will give me some good experience and help build my confidence,” Ms Saunders said.

“I've already done four pracs and I have also done some extra work in a pre-school, but this will be an interesting chance to see the transition from pre-school to kindergarten.”

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