Friday 28th January 2022

Starting School and Pre-School. 5/2019.

Starting School and Pre-School. 5/2019.

This post is being linked on two Australian sites this week, commencing 21 January 2019. If it is something helpful for a family you know, please share it. I know some states of Australia are ‘back to school’ this week! In N.S.W. Government Schools, the first day back for returning students is Wednesday 30 January 2019. New students to the school should call their new school or check the school’s website. Kindergarten (Prep/Preppies/Reception) kids starting will have been given separate starting days and times. As for those families where children are starting at  Family Day Care, Early Childhood Centres and Pre-Schools, I send you my very best wishes, and in many ways, THIS message is for you.

Once the January calendar clicks over to today: 15 January then it is onward, downward or upward (you choose) about:

Back to School.

Yes, we have already been to Officeworks/Big W/KMart and we are shopped out. 

We have about 2 weeks left (in an ideal world) sleeping in, lazy days at home, fun days at the beach and maybe even a holiday away. But not so  much for the teachers.

Already school car parks are filling up with staff attending meetings, fixing up classrooms and generally gearing up for education  year 2019. I also see many via Instagram who are making resources to share. Teachers are very much like that.

It is one of the reasons I love(d) being a teacher and I miss the collegiality.

My second classroom: 1972. No air-con then in NSW North West!

But enough about me.

About Starting School (or Pre-School).

For all my years of blogging I have written about this special time in a family’s life. Last year this was my post. 

My blogging friend and parent, Kell Kelly at All Mum Said has written a post about readiness for school too, here.

And in those years of blogging I was always careful to understand and acknowledge for many parents it can be hard to entrust your child to others. This may be at Day Care, a Pre-School or Starting School.

Reading this book to young children even when they started school helps with sharing their stories. A teacher-librarian knows how this helps in adjustment to ‘big’ school’.

This was why, quite some time ago, my blogging friend Kelly Exeter, agreed to make me this. I love this letter. Kelly has a special place in my heart (and in others of course) as she and her family were involved in a freak car accident in January. The horrific outcome is that her husband lost his life after time on life support. The blogging community is shocked at this most unexpected news.

So to say thanks to Kel for her generosity way back, I am remembering her and the children (all unharmed) right now and into the future. Sending my love.

I worked for and was part of the N.S.W. Department of Education from 1970 until 2010. I am now a 100% supporter as a retired teacher and principal. I am loving the increased connections via social media.

After my Retirement Medal presentation by Murat Dizdar (Deputy Secretary of Education) I was joined by him and my daughter (a teacher/librarian) for this special photo.

Here is a great little video that is happening now.

I wish all of you: back-to-schoolers, new-to-schoolers ( I have a granddaughter starting!)  and reluctant-to-schoolers the very best. That is for the teachers too!

One tiny message more: just take a few photos on your child’s first day(s) as there is enough emotion in the day itself..and, if you can also not talk about how much you will miss him/her in front of the child or even telling your child as well. I know of an instance where a child was not settling into school as expected because “I am worried about Mummy who says she is sad I am going to school.”

Education and schooling rocks.

One last link from NSW Department of Education : Check out our handy back to school countdown for all your first day tips and tricks:


Joining in with Sue here and Leanne for MidLifeShareTheLove linky on Wednesday.



  1. I’m enjoying the break from all the school stuff around me Denyse – the traffic is a lot thinner due to no parents being on the road dropping off their kids etc. It won’t be long until it’s all back on again and our daughter (a high school teacher) is already gearing up for a busy work year. It’s lovely that you still feel a connection to the teachers who are preparing themselves to do it all again – and also to the children who will be in their care.
    Thanks for linking up with MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

    • You know what a teacher’s load is and it certainly does not contain 12 weeks of endless holidays. Thanks for understanding my need to help out…I love schools and education and that is one of the main reasons I started blogging to bridge the gap between home and school.

      Yes I noticed the difference traffic wise driving down to Sydney last Monday. 15 minutes knocked off my trip.

      My daughter is starting at a new school (brand new) as their new teacher librarian. She is currently spending time at her old school where she started the library back in 2015 getting ready for handover and then getting into gear for next Tuesday. It is always the way for teachers and it seems unless you know or are related to a teacher you would “think” the job has great hours and conditions!

      Denyse x

  2. It’s a whole new world for my husband not having to return to school anymore. He never really relaxed over the holidays as there was always schoolwork to do. We currently have a Rotary Youth Exchange student living with us and I had to check what date school returned, otherwise she would have missed it! Great tips and advice here. Sharing for #mlstl

    • Unless you are a teacher or know a teacher there is little understanding of the “living and breathing it” as a career. I know I could not shut off from the responsibilities of being the principal back when I was but I also know that these days there is a lot more support and mentoring. Yes, the back to school countdown has officially started and the school carparks I know are pretty full with teachers cars way before the kids are back.

      Denyse x

  3. Hi Denyse, my grandson Ethan starts school next week. Where did the time go? Rachel took him to buy his school uniforms which he proudly modeled for us. He looks so small but is so ready for school. The best thing I loved about returning to school for myself and for my kids was buying all the stationery! Although I hated the covering of them 🙂 Thank you for sharing your advice with us at #MLSTL. Although it could be aimed at parents I think many grandparents should also be aware as they sometimes are caring for their grandchildren. I’m in that position one day a week so good tips for me. Have a great week! xx

    • Wow that time has gone fast for your grandson. A big event for sure. I wish him and his parents well as it is a totally new ballgame once you are a parent of someone at school. It’s nice to know though that you are helping out with his start and as he goes on.

      Stationery was a great part of being a teacher too. I could not do great book covering – contact was my enemy so from an early age my beautifully neat and precise daughter took that on for herself and young brother. The fact that she is teacher-librarian and runs classes for volunteer parents about book covering is indicative of her skills and precision. I would not even bother. Fail!!

      Hope it all goes well for Ethan. And not too many photos – kids get very nervous. It IS the equivalent of a first day at a new job!! And another hint, the kids are always hot and starving at school pick up so an ice block or some water is a must!!

      Denyse x