1) Were 'kinders' required to do a test before beginning
For the first time in our diocese, all children entering
Kindergarten participated in the Best Start Kindergarten Assessment
which was developed by the Department of Education and Community.
This Assessment tool gives teachers information about what
children already know and can already do, in terms of literacy and
numeracy, prior to starting school. The information the teacher
gathers during the assessment enables the teacher to plan a program
which meets the individual needs of each child in the class.
2) What is the rationale behind Best Start?
Children enter Kindergarten between the ages of four and a half
and almost six, so there is a broad range of ages and stages of
development. As the name suggests, we want to give the children the
'best start' at school by knowing each child's starting point in
both literacy and numeracy.
3) What does Best Start involve? How long does it
Simple activities such as counting, recognising numbers, and
listening to a story are used. It takes about 40 minutes.
4) How are the results of the individual assessments
used by teachers?
Teachers use the information to plan their literacy and numeracy
program to meet the different needs of the children.
5) What information will parents/carers receive after
Parents will receive information on how they can help their
child at home in very simple ways, such as using shopping lists,
counting objects, playing games, reading stories.
6) What about a shy or anxious child? Will their result
be adversely affected?
Many children show signs of trepidation when the time comes to
attend 'big school'. Teachers administering the assessment are very
skilled at helping children to feel as relaxed as possible and they
use a positive and supportive approach during the assessment.
7) As a teacher with many years' experience in the
Kindergarten classroom, what is the best way for parents to help
Reading to children from a very early age gives them a wonderful
start. Nursery rhymes provide the children with the rhythm and
rhyme of language. Good literature provides the children with a
window to the world and promotes language and vocabulary. Involving
children in day to day activities such as shopping and cooking is
also beneficial. Above all else have fun with your children, and
provide opportunities for inside and outside activities.
8) Are there any other advantages to Best
Kindergarten teachers have always been very good at getting to
know their students, however the opportunity to have this time 'one
on one' with the children so early has some wonderful benefits.
Each child has the teacher's undivided attention. Parents
have the opportunity to meet the teacher and so a three way
To learn more, please visit www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/beststart/index.htm