Enrolling and starting your child at Hukerenui School
When should I enrol my child to go to school?
Your child can start school or kura in New Zealand between age 5 and 6. All children must be enrolled at school by their sixth birthday.
When your child has started at school, they must go to school every day. This is a change from the earlier rule, where regular attendance was required only from age 6.
Enrolling early helps us with our planning. As soon as you've decided, get in touch with us to enrol your child, arrange a time for your child to start and arrange some visits to get your child used to school.
Hukerenui School has cohort entry, new entrants will start in groups throughout the year, up until they turn 6.
Previously, new entrants could start at the beginning of term closest to their fifth birthday – which meant some 4 year olds could start school just before they turn 5.
From January 2020, new entrants will only be able to start school after they have turned five, to support a high level of school readiness and honouring the development of the child we at Hukerenui School prefer students to start at the beginning of the term after they turn 5. Please see documentation below.
Documents for enrolling
- a completed enrolment form
- a copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport as proof of age
- a copy of their immunisation certificate (this is in the back of your Well Child book or ask your family doctor for a copy)
- medical information including your doctor’s contact details
- any legal documents, for example custody or access agreements we should know about
- previous school report if moving school's
- contact details – your family phone numbers and address and someone we can call in an emergency if we can’t get hold of you.
Hukerenui School has no current enrolment scheme or zoning restrictions.
Information for families of new entrants
How can I help my child get ready for school?
Here are some ideas to help your child become familiar with the school:
- arrange to visit us with your child
- get the principal and teacher to meet your child
- attend our 'transition to school' program before their first day
- have a play at the school in the weekend - run around, climb on the playground equipment, kick a ball on the field
Talk to the teacher about your child
When teachers know children well they are better able to support their learning. Talk to the teacher and let them know things like:
- if your child has any special health needs, and what to do
- what your child likes to do, what they are good at and what makes them happy
- after-school plans and who picks up your child when you can’t
- anything that might affect how your child is feeling.
The teacher might also appreciate you sharing your child's portfolio or profile book from their ECE service or Kōhanga Reo. This will give the teacher valuable information about your child's learning, and can also link up your child's early childhood, home and school experiences.
Teach your child the practical skills they'll need
Before your child starts school, it's helpful if they can:
- do up their shoes
- put on and take off their coats
- go to the toilet and wash their hands
- blow their nose
- unpack and hang up their bags where they are told
- recognise when they are thirsty and get a drink of water
- ask for things they need.
Help them get ready to learn
They may find it easier to participate in the class if they:
- can sit on a chair at a table for a short time to complete an activity
- are comfortable being away from you
- know how to take turns, and wait for things
- know the names of colours
- know the letters of the alphabet
- know the numbers 1 to 9
- can hold a pencil correctly and use scissors
- can write their name
- are able to hold a picture book and turn the pages carefully.
In your child’s school bag
- lunch and a water bottle. Get your child to help you pack their lunchbox. Talk about what is for morning tea and what is for lunch
- pencils, exercise books, and other supplies in the class stationery lists
- in term 4 and 1 a sun hat and sunblock (it's a good idea to apply sunblock at home before they leave as well)
- in terms 2 and 3 a warm hat and some extra layers in case it gets really cold
- their name on everything particularly hats, shoes and sweatshirts. Show your child where to look for their name on their clothes
- a change of clothes. This can be reassuring for a child starting school for the first time, especially if they prone to toileting accidents
In the morning before you leave
- get up early so that you have plenty of time to get ready and your child doesn't feel rushed and stressed
- have a nutritious breakfast
- allow plenty of time for getting to school. On the way chat about what they think their day will be like and what they want to do when they get home.
When you get to school
- go into the classroom and say hello or kia ora to the teacher with your child
- tell the teacher about after school arrangements if you won't be the person picking your child up - although it can help them settle in quicker if you can pick them up for the first few times
- show or remind your child where the toilets are and any other place it is important to know about, such as where they will be collected at the end of the day
- it helps children to feel they belong if they know other children. Make a point of stopping to chat with children and parents and/or carers you know as you arrive
- make goodbyes short. Teachers have a lot of experience helping children to settle in and managing an upset child.
- if you pick up your child ask the teacher how their day went
- expect your child to be very tired in the first few weeks. Make time when you get home to just hang out. They might need to run around outside, chill out on a bean bag with some picture books, or just collapse in front of the TV
- don't schedule in lots of afternoon activities to begin with - let them just get used to their new routines first
- offer them a nutritious afternoon tea. They will probably be very hungry!
- Let them adjust to being at home before asking too much about their day. It's a lot easier to get children of any age to talk about their day when they are doing something else with you – helping to make dinner, tidying up, or drying the dishes
- have a space where school papers goes – this is the beginning of you being inundated with newsletters, permission slips, parent help requests etc. It's useful to make the space close to a calendar so you can write in important dates
- make a time to read together. Some teachers will send home a reading book to share on the first day – others may not. But get in the habit of having some shared reading every day, right from the start.