Starting School Program

Information on this page is intended for parents who have confirmed enrolment for Reception at Port Noarlunga Primary School in 2022 and are attending the Starting School Program.

Page updated: 15 September 2021

Welcome to Port Noarlunga Primary School’s Starting School Program. Our names are Kim Gwatking, Joshua MacWilliams, and Emily Tessari. We are the current Reception teachers at Porties and are excited to think that when your child begins here, we may be their first teacher. You can read more about us at the bottom of this page.


What to Bring

Dates & Times

Drop-off & Pick-up during COVID


Fees & Payments

Common Questions

Teacher Profiles

Kindy Transition Days (Term 4)

About Starting School Program

This program aims to introduce your child to our school so that when they start in 2022 they will feel safe and comfortable in the school environment as it will be familiar and full of lots of fun memories.

The program is play-based and introduces free play, singing, dancing, story time, outdoor play, and familiarization with the school environment and staff.

Children will also have opportunities to develop friendships with students already at the school and others who may be in their Reception class with them next year.

What to bring

✔ Water bottle

✔ Sun-safe hat

*Please remember all items should be named.

Dates and Times

Starting School Program runs every Friday in Term 3 and 4, except the last Friday of each term.

Session Times: all sessions are from 1:45pm until 3pm (1hr 15minutes)

Location: all sessions are held in the Early Years Unit at Port Noarlunga Primary School. This building has all three Reception classrooms attached to it and features an opening learning area ideal for Starting School Program sessions.

Term 3 Dates

  • Week 1 – July 23 – CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
  • Week 2 – July 30 – CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
  • Week 3 – August 6 – CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
  • Week 4 – August 13 – CANCELLED DUE TO COVID
  • Week 5 – August 20 – Led by Kim Gwatking
  • Week 6 – August 27 – Led by Joshua MacWilliams
  • Week 7 – September 3 – Led by Emily Tessari
  • Week 8 – September 10 – Led by Mrs. Gwatking
  • Week 9 – September 17 – Led by Mr. Josh

Term 4 Dates

  • Week 1 – October 15 – Led by Miss Emily
  • Week 2 – October 22 – Led by Mr. Josh
  • Week 3 – October 29 – Miss Emily
  • Week 4 – November 5 – Mr. Josh
  • Week 5 – November 12 – Miss Emily
  • Week 6 – November 19 – SCHOOL CLOSURE
  • Week 7 – November 26 – Mr. Josh
  • Week 8 – December 3 – Miss Emily

Drop-off/Pick-up During COVID

Enter with your child through the entry gate (James Avenue), ensuring to scan the Covid check-in.
Please let the staff member know if you need the manual sign in.

Assist your child with putting their nametag on. From here, you will say goodbye to your child and they will move to the activity mat with the teacher.

Follow the arrows to exit through the double-gates.

✔ At pick up, please meet (physically distanced) at the same double-gates you exited from.

✔ Teachers will gather with the children at the outside mat and ask to sign your child out with a staff member who will then bring them to you for collection.

We appreciate your patience with this process as we trial and make adjustments as necessary. The session concludes at 3pm and timely pick-up will support this process to run smoothly. There will be staff members present and signage displayed to support you with this process.

If another parent or an older sibling is collecting your child, please let us know beforehand via dojo message or a staff member.


Any queries can be directed to Jason via email (reply to your offer of enrolment), via this online contact form, telephone 8382 2455, or via the ClassDojo app.

Download Class Dojo for mobile.

Fees & Payments

The Starting School Program is a once-off payment of $50 which covers all sessions for both terms.

Payments can be made at the Finance Office before 9:30am each morning, or via the QKR! app. Exact cash can be accepted at the front office during school times (no change available).

Download the QKR! app (officially made by MasterCard) for school payments: Apple or Android.

Common Questions

Do parents stay for the sessions?
No, parents drop students at 1:45 and return for pick-up at 3pm. Parents cannot wait on school grounds.

Where do we meet before sessions begin?
Families gather outside the doors of the Early Years Unit, between the school Canteen and sand-pit. Admin staff can direct you if required.

Do parents need to sign in?
Parents are required to complete a Covid-19 QR Code check-in at any of our checkpoints using their phones, or by paper sign-in at the front desk. No other sign-in is required.

Do students wear uniform?
No, casual clothes are fine for Starting School Program.

My child might need emergency medication. What is the process?
Both Admin and teachers in the session will be aware of any medical conditions and will have all contact information available.
It is a requirement that medication be handed to Admin to hold for the duration of the session.
Any Health care Action Plans already in place for kindy should be duplicated in preperation for school. These should be included with the medication. Please speak with Admin before sessions begin.

Will my child be put into classes during these sessions?
No class allocation takes place. The sessions are held in one large group which may involve small clusters of different activities, depending on the day.

Teacher Profiles

Joshua MacWilliams
(Mr. Josh)

This is my fourth year at Port Noarlunga Primary School. My previous teaching experience includes two years at Noarlunga Downs Primary School, two years teaching in the APY Lands at Indulkana and two years at a kindergarten in the United States. My wife Hannah works as a Yoga teacher and we have a 4 year old named Cy and one and half year old named Otis. I look forward to the opportunity to get to know the Reception class of 2022 over the coming months as we share new experiences through play, song and dance during our Friday afternoon Starting School Program.

Kim Gwatking
(Mrs. Gwatking)

2022 will be my sixth year at PNPS teaching Receptions. I completed my final university placement here in 2016 and have been here ever since! I live in Moana with my husband Jack, our beautiful 2 year old daughter Haylie, our dogs and our cat. I look forward to meeting and building relationships with you, your children, and your families as we work together to support your children in their exciting transition to school. We are very passionate about the Starting School Program and the benefits it brings, so we really hope you will join us!

Emily Tessari
(Miss Emily)

This is my third year at Port Noarlunga Primary School. In my first year I taught year 5/6, and the last two have been Receptions and Reception/Ones. I completed my university placement with Kim Gwatking in 2018. My partner Harrison is a chemical engineer and we have a beautiful puppy called Ellie. I’m very excited to get to know you and your children all over the coming months and to support them with a smooth transition into school.

Kindy Transition Days and Groups (Term 4)

Information about Kindy Transition Days will be made available here during Term 3. Groups of students will experience a typical school day 3 times during Term 4. Families will be notified about which group their child is in.

Information TBC

Information TBC

Information TBC