Preparatory Frequently Asked Questions

What is Preparatory?
Preparatory is a school readiness program for children in the year prior to commencing Kindergarten. The Preparatory program will enable the student’s capabilities and competencies to be expressed through meaningful learning experiences. Each child’s sense of creativity and curiosity will also be enriched.

Why Preparatory at William Clarke College?
Preparatory at William Clarke College provides children with a high-quality Christian Anglican education the year prior to commencing formal schooling. It takes place within a school environment with a strong emphasis on early literacy, numeracy and social skills to provide a strong foundation for learning in Kindergarten. Preparatory gives families an opportunity to work in partnership to determine the right place for their child to learn and grow in the future.

Where is the Preparatory class located?
The Preparatory School is located in the building adjacent to the Primary School car park within a separate and securely fenced area.

What facilities will be available for the Preparatory classes?
The Preparatory learning environment is designed to make each child feel safe and secure. It is an environment that allows children to investigate, explore and develop creativity through play and structured activities. The Preparatory classroom is equipped with furniture and age- appropriate learning resources to inspire and support learning. The classroom is adjacent to the secure playground with shade, age-appropriate playground equipment, bubblers, seating and a vegetable garden. The toilets are internally accessed from the classroom to enhance staff supervision.

How many students are in each class?
There is a maximum of 25 students in the 2-day class and a maximum of 25 students in each of the 3-day classes.

How many staff work in Preparatory?
There is a full-time teaching Coordinator and a Full-time Teacher. Both are experienced in teaching Preparatory and Primary classes. There is also a full-time Teacher’s Aide. Additionally, there are Specialist teachers for Music, Sport and Library.

How much will the fees be?
Fees are available under ‘Enrol’ on the College website, or by following this link:

Does the College offer financial help?
Yes.  The College offers Financial Assistance Program to families based on financial need.  It is not based on academic, music or sporting ability. Following this link for more details – Financial Assistance

Does the College offer a discount for more than one child at the College?
No. We offer needs based financial assistance instead. 

Are parents able to claim the Child Care Benefit or Rebate?
Parents will not be able to access the Child Care Benefit or Child Care Rebate.

What is the Preparatory Uniform?
The Preparatory students wear the College Sports uniform each day. They wear a distinct hat and socks so they can be easily identified. They are also required to use the College backpack.

What do the Preparatory students learn?
The Preparatory curriculum is founded on the belief that each child is a capable and competent individual who is an active participant in their own unique learning journey. The Preparatory curriculum acknowledges and caters for the understanding that children learn in different ways and have different learning needs. The curriculum is organised in a way that allows for multidisciplinary learning as well as specific subject-based learning. Early Literacy and Early Numeracy skills are taught using a Direct and Explicit Instruction approach.

Teaching and learning is often initiated by the areas of interest shown by the children through their play and conversations. The staff also provide intentional provocations that are designed to provoke thinking and inquiry among the children and teachers. There is an understanding that quality learning takes place in an environment where there is a strong partnership between parents/carers and teachers.

The Preparatory curriculum includes:

  • Christian Development
  • Early Literacy and Early Numeracy skills
  • Inquiry projects that encourage children to explore and investigate themselves, others and the world which God created
  • Social Skills in order to develop confident, resilient and independent individuals
  • Gross motor skills and fine motor skills developed through a variety of play-based and fun learning experiences
  • Music, Sport, Science & Technology and Library specialist

Do the Preparatory classes go on excursions outside the College?
Preparatory students and their teachers may be involved in excursions and incursions depending on learning projects.

What are the hours of operation?
The Preparatory class will commence at 8:40am each day and finish at 2:45pm during school terms. Parents may drop off their children from 8:20am in the morning and they have until 3:30pm each afternoon to collect them.

Are the Preparatory students able to access the Before and After School Care Centre?
Students in Preparatory are able to access Before and After School Care and Vacation Care from the first day of Term 1. Before School Care operates from 7:00am to the start of the Preparatory day. After School Care operates from the end of the Preparatory day until 6:00pm. Vacation Care operates seven weeks per year with at least one week within each holiday period. More detailed information can be found in the Before and After School Care Handbook (available on the College website).

Will food be provided at Preparatory?
Food will not be provided by the College. The Preparatory class is designed to help your child prepare for school. This includes learning to unpack their bags and eat independently from their own lunchbox.

Do Preparatory have access to the Canteen?
Students in Preparatory do not have direct access to the Canteen but are able to order their lunch using a lunch order system from the beginning of the year.

Is the Preparatory ‘allergy aware’?
William Clarke College is an ‘Allergy Aware’ College. Further information can be found under FAQs on the College website or by following this link:

Does the Preparatory observe ‘sun-safe’ practices?
William Clarke College is a ‘Sun-Smart’ College and we observe sun-safe practices including wearing hats, the provision of adequate shade and access to sunscreen.

How will I know if my child is ready to start Preparatory?
Children commencing Preparatory must be four years old by the end of March in the year they commence Preparatory. They must be toilet trained and able to go to the toilet independently. They need to be able to communicate clearly. There will also be an enrolment process where College staff will spend a short time with your child reading a story to them, asking some simple questions and have a simple conversation. It will not be a ‘test’ – just an indicator of their current ability.

What is the enrolment process?

  1. Information packages are available from the College Enrolment Office by calling 8882 2400 or by requesting a prospectus. Applications for Enrolment can be made using our online application form
  2. An Information Evening will be held once a year
  3. Students entering our Preparatory School must have turned 4 by the end of March when they are in the Preparatory School. All relevant applications for the coming year are considered 6-8 months prior to the start of the school year. Please note that Applications should include a copy of the child’s Birth Certificate and Immunisation Record. Prior to the start of interviews, you will be sent a Student Enrolment form to complete asking for more information about your
  4. Interviews will last about 20 minutes where the child meets with a member of the College Staff and parents meet with the Registrar
  5. You will be advised about the outcome within 4 weeks of interview
  6. Offers will need to be accepted or declined within two weeks (including payment of the Enrolment Fee).
  7. Once all places have been offered future applications will be considered as vacancies arise

Once I have enrolled in Preparatory, will I automatically be enrolled in Kindergarten for the following year?
Yes, entry for students enrolled in the Preparatory School in 2020 and thereafter into the rest of the College is automatic. Not every family will choose a College Preparatory education for their child so these parents/carers are encouraged to apply for Kindergarten at least 24 months prior to entry.

Will there be a Preparatory Orientation program?
Prior to the start of Preparatory, the College will conduct a thorough Orientation for children and their families. At this time the teachers will go through the structure of the day in more detail and how best to prepare your child for their exciting new adventure in Preparatory.

Can I visit Preparatory?
We have regular tours of the College and tour dates are available here on the College website. 

For further information please contact the Enrolments Office by calling (02) 8882 2400 or emailing