They plan on sharing their lunches, respecting their teachers and praying, some of the hundreds of Grade 1 pupils who started school yesterday – with an orientation day – said.
Wearing oversized blazers and even bigger smiles, the little pupils settled into their respective classes and quickly made new friends, with some seen plaiting others’ hair or playing with their new friends’ fingers.
At St Dominic’s Priory, the children were addressed by the school’s headmaster, Father Grant James.
He asked them what they were most looking forward to.
Reading, maths and swimming were some of the responses given.
Excited, energetic and enthusiastic, six-year-old Charli Mills’s hand shot up and she said: “I look forward to having lots of fun and practising lots of sums.”
Father Grant said: “The one thing that is sometimes a challenge is transitioning the children who did not do their preschool here to adapt to the new environment and interact with their new classmates.
“However, I enjoy experiencing [their] excitement for education.”
At Victoria Park Grey Primary School, principal Herman Frõsler, who was addressing the parents, highlighted the essential things they needed to take note of for this academic year.
He noted that “walk-ins” for registration were a challenge.
“Unfortunately, some parents aren’t necessarily aware of the fact that our application process begins as early as March [the year before],” he said.
“Even now, as I’m about to go back to my office, there are parents waiting there for me so that they can apply for their children.”
On a positive note, he said: “Surprisingly, not a lot of the new kids cried.”
Frõsler said he, a teacher for 33 years, still enjoyed seeing the smiles on his young charges’ little faces.
One of the smiling youngsters, Lonwabo Ngoma, 6, said eagerly: “I can’t wait to start colouring in and painting.”
Victoria Park Grey Grade 1 teacher Michanne Vermaak said she looked forward to getting to know each child individually and ensuring that they felt safe and welcome.