Darwin public schools are officially back to school on Monday 29th of January.* School Holidays are ALMOST at an end! Officially one more week left to entertain the kids (I can see a lot of parents awaiting this eagerly as the 6 long weeks of holidays have taken their toll on most people’s sanity.) I will miss the late morning starts and break from routine…..not looking forward to the first day and getting everyone sorted and back to the regular lunch box packing!
Darwin Family Life has put together some handy tips and ideas for kicking off the school year on the right foot.
Back to School 2018
Parents – be prepared for kids to be exhausted. The first week back will be a big change in routine from holiday mode so go easy on the after school activities. There will be tired little people so early nights and understanding the big changes is important. Being organised the night before with lunchboxes packed, uniforms laid out and everything ready to go in bags is a great first step to having a smoother morning and hopefully less chaos and rushing.
Mums and Dads (or whoever is getting the kids off to school!) Try and get up before your children and be showered, dressed (and coffee in hand). I find if I am organised and ready before my four kids it is a much better start to the school mornings! Rather than me trying to juggle getting ready amongst the kids as well.
5 ideas from a teacher – to talk with your child about going back to school
- Whatever happened last year is in the past, this is a brand new year!
- Be prepared to make new friends! While you may have some friends from previous years in your class it is likely there will be new people you don’t know….and new students to the school so be friendly!
- Kindness is contagious
- Get ready to learn something amazing. Every. Single. Day.
- Be Brave. Stepping out of your comfort zone can cause exciting results!
$150 back to school payment
Every student is entitled to receive $150 towards educational goods and services if your child is enrolled in a government or non government Territory school or preschool. The payment voucher is available at the school office and you need to use it in Term 1. Examples of what you can use the payment for include: school uniforms, stationary packs, school excursions, textbooks and much more. There are certain items that are not covered and the full payment needs to be allocated and used in Term 1. For more information click here
School Uniforms, book packs and stationary
Most school offices will reopen this week so parents can organise their children’s school uniforms. Be sure to ring ahead to check their opening hours as many have varied hours and not open for the whole day. School Offices are usually pretty flat out the first day or first week of Term so if your in a hurry or have limited time it is better to try and head in this week if possible.
Most public primary schools have a book pack that is part of the back to school payment so there is no need to go out and buy books, pencils, textas or cover in contact any dreaded books lol! I remember having to help my Mum as a kid contact books! So frustrating!
All public primary schools (and most middle/high schools) have a set uniform that they except children to wear each day. The back to school payment should cover some of your uniform costs. I do find however that most schools have a “school colour” ours is a bottle green so I also buy squarts, sports shorts and hats in the school colour from Best and Less, Big W or Kmart. I find it does save a bit of money then buying them all through the school.
School changes in 2018
This year the NT Department of Education are implementing changes to the School Term and School Holiday structure. Term One will run from 29th January to 13th April (11 weeks). Terms 2 and 3 will have 10 weeks and Term 4 will have 9 weeks.
School holidays will be a one week in April. Three weeks in July, 2 weeks in October and 6 weeks in December/January. Which has changed from previous years where we had 1,4,1,6 week model of holidays.
Here is a great year calendar for NT public schools showing all the Terms and School Holiday dates.
One huge tip for kids that are starting school for the first time, is to buy their lunch boxes and drink bottles now. Start practising using them BEFORE school starts. For some kids the clips and opening lunch boxes is quite challenging. They may be nervous or shy and not actually ask for help. So to help them out practice using the lunchboxes this week. Label all items going to school with their name. This will save lost property! This includes: lunch boxes, drink bottles, uniforms, socks, shoes etc.
For some parents lunch boxes can become a dreaded task to do. Our friends over at Little Peeps Eats recently published a blog on how to choose healthy prepackaged foods for kids. It will be a huge help to navigating the prepacked items and what are some better options. Another helpful blog they published was on healthy lunchbox snacks check it out for some ideas too.
Choosing the right lunchbox for your kids can also be a mind field! There are sooo many options out there these days. Bento, BPA free, different brands, styles, colours - all overwhelming. This guide from the organised housewife breaks it down and simplifies it all a bit to find something suitable for your children.
We hope this has helped in preparing your kids for school. Leave us a comment if you liked this article or it helped you.
*Private schools have various start dates so please check with your school what date they return.