Previously most Catholic schools had only one intake at the start of the year for children turning five before May 1. Any child turning five after that date had to wait until the following year to start school.
However, Catholic Education South Australia’s Religious Identity and Leading Learning assistant director Bruno Vieceli said in response to requests from families, Catholic primary schools would now be offering a mid-year Reception enrolment at the start of Term 3 for children turning five between May 1 and October 31.
“In a changing world for families, we believed we needed to be flexible and responsive to what they are asking for,” he said.
“There is significant research that lauds the benefit of high quality early learning and care experiences for children in their first 1000 days of life, and in the years prior to school.
“That time is a period when the child is developing and developing rapidly and it’s about providing what’s right for that child and their development.”
Parents were notified by school principals last year that the mid-year intake would be available in 2019.
Under the new conditions, the Term 1 intake at Catholic schools will be available for children who turn five years old on or before April 30. Children who turn five between May 1 and October 31 can begin Reception at the start of Term 3. Those turning five after November 1 have to wait until the following year to begin school.
Mr Vieceli said it was expected that students starting school halfway through the year would complete six terms of Reception, although there would be some exceptions “because it really does depend on what’s in the best interests for that child”.
Meanwhile, close to 4000 Year 7 students started in secondary schools last month. The change means many schools have record numbers of new students – with last year’s Year 6 and 7 cohorts transitioning together.
Cardijn College at Noarlunga Downs has seen its Year 7 enrolment jump by 26 per cent and across the State there has been just under a 10 per cent increase in Year 7 enrolments in Catholic schools.