Hon Peter Collier BA DipEd MLC

Hon Peter Collier BA DipEd MLC

Former Minister for Education; Aboriginal Affairs; Electoral Affairs

    New video helps children develop skills for school

    28/02/2016 10:30 AM
    • Data shows one-quarter of pre-primary children lack basic literacy skills
    • Simple pre-school activities outlined for parents

    Early childhood education initiatives are ensuring State Government primary students are getting the best start to school, Education Minister Peter Collier said.


    Launching the second phase of an education public information campaign today, Mr Collier said the State Government's early childhood initiatives, such as compulsory pre-primary and increased kindergarten hours, were making a significant difference.  However, there was still more for parents to do in the pre-school years.


    Research showed there were some children starting pre-primary without basic skills such as the ability to hold a pencil, paint a picture, count or follow instructions.


    "Think back to when you were a child, when parents read to you from books, let you explore outside and sang nursery rhymes - these are some of the fundamental steps of early learning," the Minister said.


    "Data from the 2015 on-entry assessments of all pre-primary children in public schools shows nearly one-quarter lacked basic literacy skills, such as the ability to write their names or recognise simple rhyming words.


    "About one in six children could not complete simple numeracy tasks like counting up to nine or identifying the longer of two objects."


    Mr Collier said the first of a series of educational video stories would focus on changes to early childhood education and included tips from child health researcher Professor Stephen Zubrick, on what parents could do to ensure their children thrived at school.


    "This video, together with a range of fact sheets and booklets on the Department of Education's website, is essential viewing for every parent of a pre-school child," he said.


    "Parents may not be aware of some of the simple activities that make a big difference in getting their children ready for school.  The video also features experts who raise concerns about the over-use of technology such as iPads, which can mean children's fingers and muscles are too weak for basic skills such as colouring in or cutting out."


    Mr Collier said he was confident the State Government's pre-school initiatives, such as the 21 Child and Parent Centres and 37 KindiLink programs for Aboriginal three-year-olds, would make a real difference to children's readiness for school.


    "I encourage every parent to explore the resources available and see how they can help smooth their children's pathway into school," he said.


    Fact File

    Minister's office - 6552 6300