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Can someone explain the NZ school system to me?

(14 Posts)
beansmum Mon 08-Jun-09 02:21:24

ds is 5 and started school today. I have no idea what he is doing or what he will do for the next few years. Obviously I should ask his teacher, but she is a bit scary.
How long will he stay in the class he is in now? Will the whole class move up together? um... that's it really. I thought I had more questions than that....

thirtypence Mon 08-Jun-09 02:29:18

Hi Beansmum - it really depends on the school, the roll, and when they start.

I would imagine that he would be with that teacher for the rest of the year and then go into a year one class in February. There may be some children who have been with that teacher since sometime last year who could move out at the end of term. But maybe they will all move together.

In terms of what he will be doing today. Probably news time, followed by a short sentence on the board which the teacher writes assisted by the children answering her questions. She may then do phonics. He will get an easy reading book and be put with a reading group. he will bring that book home to share with you. He will do some printing and write a short sentence (ds's consisted of known words and first sounds) or copy a sentence the teacher writes. He will draw something and colour it in and he will get involved with a topic (which they will be part way through but the teacher will sort that out so they all finish at the same time). He will eat his lunch (may have been outside today but it was quite cold) and probably have been given a buddy to play with. He will get his bag ready for home and the teacher will have a small mat time before dismissing them.

When you ask him what he has done - he will will say "nothing".

If you see other mums at the school gates then they are less intimidating than speaking to the teacher and they will have been through it all quite recently and have empathy with you. Or ask at the office (about the class structure) or CAT me with the name of the school and I'll ask around.

beansmum Mon 08-Jun-09 02:50:30

Thanks! He has been in childcare since feb and he did always say 'nothing' when I asked him what he'd been doing!

I'll try and work up the courage to speak to the teacher at some point, and try and figure out which mums belong to the kids in ds's class.

delphinedownunder Mon 08-Jun-09 04:39:39

Hi Beansmum,

A good accurate portrayal of NZ school life from thirtypence, I think. He should also do some PE, which might be simple games skills or gymnastics or fitness to music and some Maori language - games or singing usually. There is a Ministry dictate that states that children who start school before July 1 are deemed to be Year Ones and hence next year he may well go up into a Year Two class, completely skipping his New Entrant year. I think this inflexibility is a bad thing, but, hey. who am I to disagree with the mighty Ministry?

ZZZen Mon 08-Jun-09 09:48:28

Just popping in to say congratulations on successfully making your move beansmum, getting ds sorted and embarking on your studies.

I would second getting to know a couple of the mums but maybe the teacher is less scarey than you think? Could you ask for an appointment to see her at some stage and clear up any questions you have. maybe if you have an appointment , she'll be more approachable because she's made the time, whereas when you try and catch people, they are often a bit short because they have 100 things to do.

Good luck with your course too.

thirtypence Mon 08-Jun-09 09:55:43

You could also call the office and ask for the last few newsletters to be emailed to you, and ask when the next parent/teacher meeting is.

Sibble Mon 08-Jun-09 19:39:17

I also find looking through their books when dropping off helps. Quite often the teachers start chatting if they see you often enough as well.

beansmum Mon 08-Jun-09 22:53:16

loads of good advice, thanks!

The teacher isn't actually that scary, I dropped ds off quite early this morning, not too many other kids there yet, and she was really friendly.

It's such a nice school. The one ds would have gone to in scotland was nice too, but all concrete and 6ft fences and no way of getting into the grounds. I think it was a good move.

Weta Wed 10-Jun-09 00:16:11

Beansmum, I'd second making an appointment with the teacher just to see how he's getting on and answer any questions you may have. I did this in France (and I'm sure the teacher was MUCH scarier than any NZ one would be!) and it really helped as she turned out to be much nicer than I thought.

Am I right in thinking you're in Christchurch? how's it going and are you settling in ok? which suburb did you end up living in?

beansmum Wed 10-Jun-09 22:08:41

yep, in Christchurch. It's going really well,so far. We ended up in Ilam, 5 mins walk from uni and school, it's perfect really.

There's an afternoon tea today for ds's room, it'll be good to meet all the parents and maybe ask them a few questions. Then if I still have questions I'll make an appointment with the teacher.

thirtypence Thu 11-Jun-09 06:14:17

That's good news. I have probably driven past you!

Weta Thu 11-Jun-09 21:26:14

Glad you're enjoying it. I used to live in Ilam, in Greers Road!
Hope your afternoon tea goes well...

beansmum Wed 17-Jun-09 01:09:14

Hey, one more quick question.

Is it usual to have a different teacher one day a week?

Afternoon tea was ok, a bit rushed, the kids had been doing PMP (two questions - what is this?) and were late back to the class so we had less than 30mins before the bell went. But spoke to a couple of people and at least I'll know which parents to look out for in the playground now.

thirtypence Wed 17-Jun-09 08:56:36

It is increasingly common for this to happen - but it could also be that the teacher gets all their release time at once, once a month and they get a reliever in for the whole day.

PMP is perceptual motor programme. I would google it as my description is bound to be crap. They basically so prescribed physical things at their own pace to help their brain develop. There is some balancing, and a lot of throwing beanbags gently.

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