Prep was introduced into Queensland schools in 2007. From 2017, Queensland children are required to undertake Prep prior to Year 1. Prep is a full-time program that children attend from Monday to Friday during normal school hours, generally from 9am to 3pm.
Children must be aged 5 years by 30 June in the year they start Prep.
Prep is the start of the early stage of learning which continues until Year 2. It is available in all Queensland state schools and most non-state schools offering a primary program.
Prep is part of the whole school. Classrooms and other facilities are located in school grounds.
Prep provides the foundation for your child's success at school by developing:
- the knowledge, understanding and skills detailed in the Australian Curriculum for English, Mathematics, Science and History (Foundation Year)
- a positive approach to learning
- independence and confidence
- creativity and problem-solving skills
- physical abilities, including gross and fine motor skills.
In Prep, teachers support children's learning by making connections between school and their experiences at home, kindergarten or childcare.
Prep students are taught the Foundation Year of the Australian Curriculum for English, mathematics, science, history and geography and the remaining Queensland curriculum in 2014 and 2015.
Learning in Prep
In Prep, your child will have opportunities to learn in many different ways. This includes active learning such as play-based and enquiry-based approaches. They make decisions, solve problems, develop thinking skills, collaborate, communicate and develop a positive sense of self.
Children learn about:
- speaking, listening, reading and writing
- mathematics and problem solving
- science, exploring interesting and important questions about the biological, physical and technological world
- history, beginning to examine and enquire about the past to develop curiosity and imagination.
Prep children also learn about:
- negotiating rights, roles and responsibilities and developing social skills for working and playing with others
- diverse social and cultural practices of people in their community
- making healthy choices
- experimenting with materials in a variety of creative, imaginative and innovative ways
- technology in everyday life
- music and movement.
Choosing a school
Prep is offered in all state primary schools. There are no waiting lists for enrolment in Prep at state schools.
The department's schools directory lists all state and non-state schools in Queensland. It's a useful starting point to help identify schools in your area.
Choosing a school for your child is an important decision. It may be helpful to talk to other parents who have children at the school you are considering.
You might also find it helpful to contact schools for information about:
- the size of the school
- school hours
- voluntary financial contributions
- assessment and reporting procedures
- homework and assignment expectations
- resources available such as library, computers, swimming pool
- extracurricular activities
- teaching methods and classroom environment
- communication with parents
- religious affiliation
- amenities such as a tuckshop, out-of-school-hours care
- parental involvement, e.g. in the classroom or through parents and citizens association
The school website and copies of the school rules or code of conduct, newsletters, prospectus and annual report will give you further information about the school and its activities.
Enrolling your child in a school
Parents intending to enrol their child in Prep are encouraged to contact their chosen school the year prior to commencement of school.
Because Prep is universally available there are no waiting lists for enrolment in Prep at state schools. However, some state schools may have an enrolment management plan in place, which means students may not be able to attend unless they live within the designated catchment area.
Enrolments in Catholic or Independent schools are usually taken by application up to two years prior to the year of commencement. Prep enrolment in a Catholic or Independent school is subject to application procedures.
When enrolling your child the school may ask you for a range of information, such as:
- Your child's name, date of birth, address, phone number, parents' or carers' contact details. Documentary evidence may be required for example, your child's birth certificate (which can be ordered from the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages)
- Proof of your child's immunisation status
- Information about any medical condition or medication your child has, together with your doctor's instructions and contact details
- Information about any other languages that might be spoken at home
- Any other information that will assist the school in providing for your child's education and welfare. This may include information from your child's previous education and care providers
You may also be asked to pay the school P&C levy when you are enrolling your child.
Students with disability
All children with disability are encouraged to enrol at their local state school alongside their same age peers.
A range of support options are available to ensure that all students with disability, have opportunities to access, participate, and gain positive outcomes from state schooling.
For further information, refer to the department's Disability Policy.