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Life on Campus: Celebrating 100 Days of Prep

NEWS 4 Oct 2021

Many of us have clear and fond memories of our early days at school. After getting used to the idea that school isn’t optional and that we can’t pick and choose if or when we go, life in Prep eventually settles into a routine.

Children who joined Prep this year and last year have had an unusual introduction to school life due to COVID-19 restrictions, lockdowns and remote learning, but schools have made sure that successes have been marked and celebrated.

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The 100 Day Milestone

In many schools, the 100 Days of Prep milestone is an important marker for young students. By the time this year’s Prep students at Haileybury reached 100 Days they had endured three snap lockdowns but navigated this thanks to a well-rehearsed transition plan that switched from onsite to online learning. Reading, Writing, Physical Education (PE) lessons and Chinese language classes have all continued for Haileybury’s Preps.

“The Prep year at Haileybury is a wonderful year full of adventure and fun and we want the children to build positive and trusting relationships with their teachers, peers and the broader Junior School community,” says Prep Coordinator (Brighton) Ms Cassandra Sinclair.

“The first day of Prep is exciting for children. Any nerves or concerns are soon forgotten when they are welcomed into their classrooms and, over the course of the day, the children find their space in the classroom, play in their new playground, meet new friends, complete some awesome work and are spoilt with the attention of their Year 4 buddies.”

Making Progress

By the time the Preps reach 100 Days, their development in the classroom is already noticeable, says Keysborough Junior School Teacher Ms Niki Preston. This year’s 100 Day celebration included making a Zoom concert for parents to showcase their musical talents, practising division by bringing in 100 items from home and dividing them into 10 equal groups and taking home a special 100 Days cupcake.

“As students learn all their letter sounds in Term 1, we see tremendous growth in their reading and writing capabilities. Students move from writing simple sentences to full weekend recounts using paragraphs and they dabble in reading and comprehending more challenging texts,” says Ms Preston.

“Developing the students’ independence is always a focus for the Prep teachers in the first 100 Days, too. The children begin to unpack their bags and organise their belongings for the day, including their iPads and diaries.”

Building a Foundation of Learning

The first 100 Days of Prep are fundamental in establishing the love of school, says Ms Melissa McCrae, Deputy Head of Junior School (Teaching and Learning).

“We want our students to come to school and engage in their learning and friendships. The Prep teacher plays a vital role in balancing social and emotional importance with academic importance. Our teachers pitch lessons so well that students will be having fun without even realising it. This sets them up for success for the remainder of their Prep year and beyond,” says Ms McCrae.

“The pride the Preps hold in their own learning when they see what they did when they first came to Prep to what they accomplish as the year goes on is priceless. It really does bring the joy to teaching and keeps us young at heart, too!”

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