Psychologist’s back-to-school tips – plus day one information for our families

The 2023 school year is just days away. Yes, after weeks (and weeks … and weeks) of holidays, it’s time to dig out the uniforms, find the drink bottles, shine the shoes and retrieve that mushy banana from the bottom of the school bag.

Kirrilie Smout.

We asked leading Adelaide child psychologist Kirrilie Smout, from Developing Minds Psychology, for her top tips to help get the school year started right, particularly for our younger students.

“It’s important to have a conversation with our kids about how they feel about the school year, what their goals are, their worries, what they are looking forward to and how we can support them this year,” Ms Smout says. 

“If you haven’t done this yet – make the time. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy conversation or a serious and meaningful one. But a short chat often alerts us to helpful info, gets children thinking and reminds them that we are interested in their lives.”

Can’t think of what to ask? Here are some of Ms Smout’s suggestions …

  • What are you looking forward to about being in Year X?
  • What three friends are you most looking forward to catching up with in the first week?
  • What kinds of books would you like to read this year?
  • How could you be even kinder to other kids at school this year?
  • What three things would you most like to pack in your lunchbox this year?
  • What’s one thing I can do differently as your mum/dad this year to help you have a great school year? 
  • What are three things you would like to learn about this year?
  • What do you think will be the best thing about your teacher this year?
  • What’s something you think you did well at school last year you’d like to do again this year?
  • Is there anything I can do this year to help make homework more fun or easier for you?

“Don’t feel the need to cover all of these and don’t make it an interrogation,” Ms Smout says. 

“But asking just a few of these might really help your child – even more than not having a squished banana in their bag.”

Back-to-school information

Monday 30 January

Primary School

  • All Reception students (first bell 8.35am/start 8.40am/finish 3pm)
  • All Year 1 to Year 6 students (first bell 8.35am/start 8.40am /finish 3.05pm)
  • Full school summer uniform
  • Stationery items will be supplied at school
  • Backpacks need only contain, lunch recess and a drink

All primary students should report directly to their classrooms. Families are welcome to accompany boys to their class.

Secondary School

  • All Year 7 students (start 8.40am/finish 3.15pm)
  • All Year 12 students (start 8.40am/finish 3.15pm)
  • Year 11 students studying a Year 12/Stage 2 subject (start 8.40am/finish 3.15pm)
  • All new students from Years 8 to 11 (start 8.40am/finish 10.30am)
  • Full school summer uniform
  • Laptop / device and writing materials

All secondary students should gather on Padnipadninya Tapa (front lawns) prior to 8.35am.

Staff members will be on hand from 8.15am to assist any new families with queries. At 8.35am, students will be ushered to the Neill Gymnasium for an assembly to outline the day.

For parents

The Blackfriars Parents & Friends Association would like to welcome all parents and caregivers back to the new school year with a free coffee available from the Mobile Coffee Bean van located outside Frassati Hall.

The van will be available from 8.15am to 10am. After your son has settled into his classroom or moved into the gymnasium for the assembly, please pop by for a free morning cup and a chance to meet new families and catch up with friends.

Please note that parking can be at a premium around all schools, especially on the first day back. If you plan to accompany your son into school and/or stay for a coffee, please consider parking in the streets around the campus on both sides of Prospect Road, being sure to observe any parking restrictions, and make a short walk to the school. The school gates will remain open until 10.15am on the first day.

Tuesday 31 January

All remaining students return

  • First bell at 8.35am
  • Students report to class/home group by 8.40am
  • Whole school assembly at 9am in Neill Gymnasium
  • Classes and times resume as normal
  • Full school summer uniform

*The above back-to-school information has also been sent to all families via SEQTA.


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