Port Noarlunga Primary School

Starting School Program

Information on this page is intended for parents who have confirmed enrolment for Reception at PNPS. Page updated: 15 December 2023

Welcome to Port Noarlunga Primary School’s Starting School Program. Our names are Emily Tessari, Kim Gwatking, Tayla Bayly, Josh MacWilliams, and Yovani Pillay. 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


Fees & Payments

Common Questions

Teacher Profiles

Transition Mornings (Term 4)

About Starting School Program

This program aims to introduce your child to our school so that when they officially begin enrolment 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

Healthy snack! Fresh fruit or veggies are a great choice 😊

Sun-safe hat (*not required in Term 2)

*Please remember all items should be named.

Dates and Times

Starting School Program runs every Friday in Term 2 and 4, except the last Friday of each term.

Session Times: all sessions are from 9AM until 10:30AM (1hr 30minutes)

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

Term 2 Dates 2024 (Mid year intake)

  • Week 1: Friday, 3rd May
  • Week 2: Friday 10th May
  • Week 3: Friday 17th May
  • Week 4: Friday 24th May
  • Week 5: Friday 31st May
  • Week 6: Friday 7th June
  • Week 7: Friday 14th June
    The remaining 3 sessions below are held in the classroom and include a supervised recess. Sessions are extended until 11:10AM:
  • Week 8, Friday 21st June – until 11:10AM
  • Week 9, Friday 28th June – until 11:10AM
  • Week 10, Friday 5th July – until 11:10AM

Term 4 Dates 2024 (starting January 2025)

  • Sessions TBC


Queries can be directed to Jason via:

  • email (reply to your offer of enrolment)
  • this online contact form
  • telephone 8382 2455
  • Message using the ClassDojo app.

Download Class Dojo for mobile.

Fees & Payments

The Starting School Program is a once-off payment of $75 which covers all sessions.

Payments can be made at the Finance Office before 9:30am Monday-Thursday, 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 teh designated time and return for pick-up. 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 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

Emily Tessari (Miss Emily)

This is my fifth year at Port Noarlunga Primary school and my fourth year teaching Receptions. I completed my final year university placement here with Kim Gwatking in 2018 and I have loved becoming a part of the school community. My partner, Harrison, is a chemical engineer and we live in the hills with our beautiful golden retriever, Ellie. I am very excited to get to know you and your children in the coming months and to be a part of their transition into our school.

Tayla Bayly (Miss Bayly)

This is my third year at Port Noarlunga Primary School and my second year teaching Receptions. In 2021, I taught a year 5/6 class for semester two. In 2020, I completed my final professional experience placement here with a year 6/7 class and I have been lucky to remain a part of this school community. I live near the hills with my partner, Matthew, a Computer Systems Engineer, and our beautiful pets. I am looking forward to meeting and getting to know you and your children as they begin their transition to school for 2024.

Kim Gwatking (Mrs. Gwatking)

2024 will be my eighth 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 two beautiful girls, Haylie and Olivia, 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!

Joshua MacWilliams (Mr. Josh)

This is my sixth 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 5 year old named Cy and two year old named Otis. I look forward to the opportunity to get to know the Reception class of 2024 over the coming months as we share new experiences through play, song and dance during our Friday afternoon Starting School Program.

Yovani Pillay (Ms Yovani)

Mid-year Teacher (2024). This is my first year at Port Noarlunga Primary School as an Early Career Teacher. After doing some relief teaching at this school in 2022 and 2023, I was lucky enough to be offered a contract for 2024. Prior to teaching I completed my undergraduate degree in architecture. I have a passion for soccer, music and art. I am excited to get to know you and your children in the coming months as they start their journey into school.

Kindy Transition Mornings (Term 4 only)

Transition mornings are different to the Starting School Program.

Kindy Transition is an opportunity for students to experience the classroom environment morning routine and structure of our school day in readiness for their first day of school. They will sing songs, go through the calendar and the weather, eat a healthy snack, and complete a number of literacy games and activities. They also get to explore the school. They meet key staff members and begin getting familiar with the school routines and structures.

What to bring:

  • Hat
  • Drink Bottle
  • Healthy Snack (fresh fruit or vegetables).

School uniform is not required for Kindy Transition morning visits.


  • 9am to 10:30am for every session

Dates and Classrooms:

Families will be notified which group and day their child attends. If you require confirmation, please phone the school on 8382 2455.