Transition to year 1 and house points challenge

The teachers and students really enjoyed our transition session last week as the prep students enjoyed their first experience of their new learning space, the JPOD, and got to know some of their new friends and teachers for next year.

Amongst other fun activities the students all drew a self portrait of themselves and these are already in pride of place in the J-pod learning area, giving the students a sense of identity within their new community.


Although the students are changing learning spaces we hope that their transition will be a seamless one, with many of the same approaches to teaching and learning that worked so well in prep continuing into year 1. Instead of the four teachers the students had this year, they will have 6 next year and they will use the learning spaces in a very similar way. Sometimes being in larger groups and often being in much smaller focused and targeted groups with a range of teachers during the week.


‘Investigations’ learning time will continue but will be called ‘Discovery Learning’ with the same emphasis on students taking responsibility for planning and guiding their own Inquiry learning, based sometimes around their own personal interests and at other times around the focused learning topic of the whole community. The rest of the curriculum will be very consistent and build upon all the prior learning and routines established in prep, with Cafe Reading, Letters and sounds, Numeracy and Philosophy all continuing with specialists in Art, Science, PE and Italian. A full timetable will be available early next year with the first J-pod newsletter.

The J-pod already has it’s own level blog and communication through newsletters and blog posts will continue in the same way as during the prep year.

Please get prepared and feel free to sign up now to the J-pod blog, at

In addition to the students moving levels we will also have an interchange of staff, with Mr Ramage working in both prep and the J-pod next year and, therefore, this will bring a large knowledge of the current prep children quickly to the new J-pod team next year.

The students home group teachers will still be an important point of contact for the students (and parents) at the start and end of every day and the students will have their specialist session largely in these home groups.


We are looking forward to another great year at Grovedale West PS and as this might be one of our final Prep blog posts of the year, we would love for you (or your child) to post a comment with your highlight of this amazing first year at school. We love reading out comments to the class and with 10 house points for every comment posted this might have a big impact on our end of year House points challenge.

The Prep Team.

Tips for reading with your child at home.

Daily reading at home is an essential part of helping your child learn to read. This regular practise helps to support and enhance all the teaching and learning that your child is experiencing at school.

Here are a couple of videos which you might find useful.

The first is a video of Banjo reading his take home reader early in Prep last year.

The second is a video which highlights some of the aspects which will become more relevant as the length and complexity of your childs take home reading books increases over the year.

We hope that you find these videos useful.

Thankyou for your continued support at home.

The Prep Team

Numeracy update…hands on Measurement

Over the last couple of weeks we have been using measurement in it’s many different forms; children have explored informal ways of measuring length, area, capacity and weight. Measurement is a fantastic way to help children understand and apply number concepts. It gives a practical use for counting, counting in groups, making predictions, checking and reasoning and even developing early skills of multiplication…eg if a pencil weights the same as two blocks then 3 pencils should weigh the same as 6 blocks. It also applies to the real world, as children have many experiences of measuring in their everyday life, such as a visit to the green grocers!

In addition, these investigations and practical activities have also build up the children’s vocabulary and understanding of measurement concepts such as longer/shorter, heavy/light, full/empty and other concepts such as heavy objects not having to be the biggest and comparing and contrasting how things of different shape and size can have different capacities and weights.

If you find your child filling your shoes with blocks then you will understand that they are finding the capacity of your shoe! We used our shoes amongst other things to measure area, capacity and weight.

Which shoe has the biggest capacity?

measuring the area of our footprints

finding who has the heaviest shoe

recording how heavy the objects are

we need to check the scales are balanced

The children had lots of fun trying to guess which creatures made these footprints which they then measured the area of using counters!

You can help to reinforce this learning at home by involving your child in real life measuring tasks around the house, such as cooking/baking preparation, DIY jobs, gardening and filling water cans etc, weighing yourself on scales, measuring growth of height or feet in siblings or family members and helping with measuring when at the supermarket.


Tip of the week…Numeracy

We have decided to try to post a regular tip of games and activities that you can play at home to reinforce learning that your children are doing in class. This weeks tip….

Use a pack of playing cards to help with numeracy skills.

This week the students have been exploring their numbers and counting by using playing cards. Playing cards are a great way to practise counting and to recognise numbers and to introduce elements of strategy and concepts such as chance, likely, not likely, bigger, smaller, more less, naming the different suits etc.

Here are a couple of the games that we have played this week.

For all of these games we take the picture cards out of the pack and put them to one side, but keep the Ace (which is one) and numbers up to 10.

Game 1 – Higher or lower.

Start with a pack face down, turn over the top card to start, then try to guess whether the next card will be higher or lower (more or less/ bigger or smaller) than the one before…see how many cards you can guess correctly in a row. You can also discuss strategy, such as if you are on a 9, is ‘higher’ a good guess, or would it be more likely for the next card to be lower, or less than 9.

Game 2 – Brazilian Snap

The video below should hopefully give you instructions on how to play this game…it takes a bit of getting used to, but is really good for practising forward and backwards number counting to 10 and also matching what you say to what you see!! Remember you SNAP if the number you say matches with the number on the card that is turned over.


There are lots of other games you can try, such as laying 10 cards out in a row and seeing if your child can find two cards that add up to another number, such as 10 (6+4)…if you have some good ideas why not post them in the comments section of the blog and we can try them during our numeracy sessions at school.

Happy card playing