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Preparing For the New School Year: A Guide For Teachers

Updated: Mar 12

The beginning of a new school year can be over-whelming! Comprehensive planning, careful preparation and a calm, friendly approach will help you and your new students start the year with excitement and anticipation. Read on for a guide to help you ensure a successful and enriching learning experience for both you and your students.

Preparing for the new school year: A guide for teachers.

Know Your Curriculum

This is the obvious first step! Particularly with the changes in the Australian Curriculum or if you are teaching a different year/grade this year, it is essential to begin your preparation by thoroughly understanding the curriculum and educational standards for your group of students. Familiarise yourself with the key concepts and skills that students are expected to acquire during the academic year. This foundational knowledge will serve as the basis for your lesson planning and instructional strategies.

Create a brief term-by-term scope and sequence to plan the directions you will take and the topics you will teach for the whole year. You will then be able to keep your eye open for materials and resources you will need later in the year.

This 2024 Scope And Sequence is available for you to download below.

2024 Scope and Sequence Planning Sheet Free Dowload

Download PPTX • 37KB

Once you have planned this out, writing detailed plans for each term - later -  is much easier.

Organise Your Classroom

Create an inviting and well-organised classroom environment that fosters a positive and conducive atmosphere for learning. Arrange desks, materials, and resources in a manner that promotes engagement and collaboration.

Establish designated areas for various activities, such as reading corners and workstations, to enhance the learning experience. Consider incorporating comfortable seating options like reading nooks, bean bags or cushions for a cozy touch. One year, I acquired a second-hand couch which I brought into the classroom. It was VERY popular and lasted for many years!

Think about adding some warm, soft lighting in the form of string lights or table lamps and make use of as much natural light as possible. Try to incorporate plants or flowers. Give your students the responsibility of looking after them. They will not only add a touch of nature but can also contribute to improved air quality and create a calming atmosphere.

Don’t do all the classroom decoration yourself before the students arrive. Get them involved in creating classroom displays, anchor charts and posters. This will help to foster a sense of ownership.

Lesson Planning

Develop a detailed plan for the first week or two. Incorporate a variety of engaging and interactive activities to capture your students' interest, striking a balance between reviewing essential concepts from the previous year and introducing new material. Don’t plan too far ahead. Wait to meet your students and assess what their needs are.


Get To Know Your Students

Building strong teacher-student relationships is crucial. Gather information about your students' strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Check HERE for some activities for you to get to know your students in the first few weeks.

Consider sending home a welcome letter to each family, introducing yourself and asking for specific information about their child’s unique characteristics. I have always found parents to be forthcoming and transparent when asked about their child’s likes and dislikes, fears and feelings. And you will get an abundance of information that will allow you to provide personalised and effective teaching experiences.

Establish Classroom Rules and Expectations

Define clear expectations for behaviour, participation, and learning in your classroom. Engage students in the process by collaboratively developing class rules, fostering a sense of ownership and responsibility.

If you would like some hints and tips on how to do this, click HERE.

You will also find a cute Editable Posters freebie there to record the rules your students come up with.

Four classroom rules posters available in free resource library.

Behaviour Management

Establish a consistent and fair system for behaviour management. Consider intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and create a balanced approach. Intrinsic motivation is when a student engages in a behaviour because they enjoy it, while extrinsic motivation is when they do it for a reward. Both play a significant role in the classroom.

Some of the most effective extrinsic motivators I have used are:

  1. A surprise phone-call or note home

  2. Stickers

  3. Raffle tickets for a class draw at the end of the week - prizes can be chosen by the students (free-time, homework passes, pencils, toys etc)

  4. Class money collected and banked to be used in an auction at the end of the term of items no longer needed and brought from home.

Extrinsic motivators are most effective if they are not expected.

Communication with Parents

Establish open lines of communication with parents from the outset. Share your expectations, provide information on how parents can support their child's learning at home, and encourage parental involvement in the education process.

Consider sending a regular, weekly or fortnightly, newsletter home. This may include Student of the Week, topics of study, news items, requests for help etc. In older grades, have a group of students responsible for writing the newsletter. You can be the editor!

Preparing for a new class of students involves a holistic approach that encompasses curriculum knowledge, classroom organization, and relationship-building. By following these comprehensive steps, you'll be well-equipped to create a positive and enriching learning environment for your students, setting the stage for a successful academic year.

Preparing for the new school year: some resources you may find useful!


Back to School Worksheets, Games and Assessment Year 1

Back To School Colour by Code Mandalas Addition within 20

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