Tatura preps face first day

Tatura preps had their first day at school last week.

BOB NICOL February 6, 2014 4:44am

Bernadette Primerano gets the 'last of my brood off my hands' as son Joseph heads to Sacred Heart School for the first time on Wednesday.

It was a busy time for Tatura and district youngsters last week as they prepared for school for the first time.

Local schools reported about 120 preps attended classrooms for the first time, with mixed emotions shared between children and parents.

Principals said they were looking forward to another busy year after a refreshing summer holiday break.

The area’s biggest school, Tatura Primary, which this year has a total enrolment of 230 students, welcomed 44 Preps on Thursday, while Toolamba Primary, with 123 students, saw 26 students attend school for the first time in 2014.

‘‘This is a remarkable Prep enrolment and things are looking good for the coming years,’’ a school spokesperson said.

Tatura’s Sacred Heart School welcomed 19 Preps on Wednesday. They will be given Wednesdays off during February. The school has 171 students this year and is eagerly looking forward to the completion of building works which are currently under way.

At other district schools, Dhurringile has one new Prep and a total enrolment of 17, Murchison has 19 Preps and 112 students, Merrigum has six Preps and 37 students, and Harston has five Preps and about 27 students.

And it wasn’t just Prep and Year 7 students who felt first day jitters, with more than 70000 Victorian four-year-olds starting kindergarten across the state.

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell, who wished all children well as they embarked on this pivotal year in their education, said this was an exciting time for Victorian families.

‘‘Judging from record kinder participation rates (98.2 per cent in 2013), parents understand and appreciate the value of a high quality kindergarten education,’’ she said.

‘‘Children attending kindergarten have time to learn, socialise and grow, and are better equipped to succeed at school.

‘‘We know that high quality early childhood education is crucial for children in their early years because it helps them develop the skills they need to go on and thrive through their schooling years.’’

The Victorian Coalition Government recently announced an additional $20million in children’s facilities capital grants to support kindergarten providers, bringing investment in children’s capital projects to new record highs.

Victorian Premier Denis Napthine last week welcomed students back to school, noting that 75000 Preps were heading there for the first time, while more than 890000 students returned to Victorian schools this year.

‘‘The Victorian Coalition Government has committed a record $8.8billion for primary and secondary education in the most recent state budget,’’ he said.

Dr Napthine said it was a pleasure to welcome all Prep students starting their educational journey at Victorian schools.

‘‘I want to wish them all the best as they form lifelong friendships, have great adventures and develop a love of learning,’’ he said.

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