It was a big day for some of Verney Road School’s newest students when they entered their classroom for 2019.
As the students sat down for their morning tea, followed by some outdoor play, classroom teacher Donna Allen said it had been a ‘‘lovely morning’’.
‘‘We had more teary mums than children this year,’’ Mrs Allen said.
Verney Road School provides education for children with a range of intellectual disabilities.
Mrs Allen said the first year of school could be difficult for all parents, especially when the child might need more attention and support.
‘‘It’s a big step for parents and it’s hard enough without a disability,’’ she said.
‘‘Children with added needs means trust has to be at another level.’’
Mrs Allen said the teaching staff worked hard at the end of term four the previous year to make sure the children could adjust before beginning their education.
‘‘We asked our parents to write a welcome letter to help us learn as much as possible before the children started school,’’ Mrs Allen said.
Verney Road School has 10 new students joining their Foundation cohort this year.
To ease the transition, the students are broken in two groups of five and attend for two days per week, with an interview day held with the parents on Wednesdays.
Verney Road School principal Jan Gill Kirkman also emphasised the importance of readying Foundation student families before the school year.
‘‘The families help us prepare and they have done a really good job,’’ Mrs Gill Kirkman said.
She said the families were sent a photograph of their child’s teachers to pin in a familiar place at home to help the new students adapt.
‘‘Routines are vital for our students and good communication is needed between families and the school,’’ she said.
‘‘Our key is that all children can learn and they do.’’