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Aussie Schools Question

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine just got a job in Australia and is worried about her 4 year old DD starting school there this year. The girl has been in daycare here in the states, and my friend heard that in Australia they start Kindergarten at age 4. So when they arrive late this fall/ early winter she is concerned her DD will be way behind.

I was thinking that just because they start at age 4 doesn't mean they are teaching 5 year old concepts to a 4 year old crowd. I guess I was hoping to find out the scoop here to ease her fears.

Any input?
post #2 of 8
Kindergarten is not the beginning of primary school in Aust/NZ (well, not in NZ so I am assuming for Australia). Kindergarten is the same as pre-school. Primary (ie elementary) school starts at 6 years old. It may depend on the state she's in.
post #3 of 8
nznavo is right. and legally, you dont have to enrol children in school till the year they turn 6. most kids start at 5 though, and in some states the first grade is called kindergarten. grade 1 is at 6 years old.
post #4 of 8
It depends on the state.

In NSW 'kindergarten' is the first year of school, and teachers encourage parents not to send their kids until the year they turn 6. Lots of kids turn 5 the year they start kindergarten but they actively discourage you from enrolling a child who hasn't turned 5 by the time school starts (usually late January or early February). My own kids turned 6 a couple of months after starting kindergarten, and they were about in the middle in terms of age (there were lots older and lots younger).
post #5 of 8
Your friend's DD won't be behind- ime, the Australian school experience is pretty flexible, considering the differences between state systems. Her accent might seem 'different' & worthy of discussion, but academically she should be just fine.
post #6 of 8
I agree with all of the above. We moved to Oz from California when my son was 5 and nearly 6, due to start K in the US and although the school year is quite different here he slotted in just fine. One principal told me that Kindergartens are very fluid. They take a range of children, from those just out of diapers to those already reading and writing. Let me know if your friend needs any more specific school info. The states vary a little, and there are even a couple of American schools here.
post #7 of 8
In Queensland, we don't have kindergarten, just 'childcare' (ie. under 5) & prep year (which used to be called pre-school). All children are toilet ready when they come to public school, usually around age 5.

CHildcare is often called kindy here in QLD, regardless of age, which can be confusing.
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
You guys rock, thank you! That answers a lot of confusion.
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