New Pre-Prep program opens doors and hearts to local families


©Brisbane Catholic Education (2024).

A new program for four- and five-year-olds in one southside Brisbane community has led to a 100 per cent increase in 2024 Prep enrolments for Mary Immaculate Primary School, Annerley 

With an 'everyone is welcome' approach, the program extends an invitation to every local family to send their kindergarten-aged children to attend.  
The Pre-Prep initiative is not only aimed at preparing young children for school - it is also about enrolling hearts and minds – according to Principal Sally Smith. 
The new Pre-Prep program, unlike traditional programs that are confined to enrolled students only, this program opens its doors to all students eligible for Prep in the following year.  
“I created this program to ensure that every local child has the opportunity to familiarise themselves with school before their big day,” she says. 
The Pre-Prep program has forged a robust partnership with local kindergartens, including Edge Early Learning Tarragindi. 
“We had ten local kindergarten students participate in the program in 2023,says the Principal. 
“It was an exciting milestone for these young learners, offering them a glimpse into our school community and a preview of the enriching experiences that await them.” 
The program's open-door policy has led to Prep enrolments doubling, reflecting the school’s deep commitment to inclusivity, diversity, and educational excellence.  
And the impact of the new Pre-Prep Program extends beyond numbers. 
“It’s about nurturing connections, fostering a sense of belonging and creating positive experiences for families,” Sally says. 
“Every interaction is a stitch in the fabric of a supportive and engaging educational community.” 
Annerley parent Manju Deepak, says the program helped her son Abhiraam, starting in Prep at Mary Immaculate Primary School on Tuesday, 23 January, make friends and get familiar with his new school ahead of his ‘big day.’ 
“We didn’t send Abhiraam to daycare, so the Pre-Prep program helped him come out of his shell,” she says. 
“Our son now knows his teacher’s name, where he can find his classroom and feels comfortable finding his way around the school, which is reassuring for me as a parent.” 
Manju, who also has a son Aaryan, in Year 2 at Mary Immaculate Primary says, Abhiraam is very excited to go to his big brother’s school. 
“He’s been practicing wearing his big brother’s uniform and bag, he wanted to see what he would look like,” she says. 
West End parent Ann Abraham says the Pre-Prep program was a stress reliever for her as a parent and her son Joshua, who starts in Prep this year. 
“It gave me the confidence that Joshua would be able to adapt well to his new school,” she says. 
The Mary Immaculate Primary School Pre-Prep program is carefully designed to provide a holistic educational experience for local children.  
The program will commence in Friday throughout Term 3 2024 and take place every Friday with our Prep classroom transformed into an interactive space where Pre-Preps can explore literature, numeracy, fine motor skills, and engage in physical activities,” she says. 
“Through the program, the Pre-Preps experience what it’s like to be part of a classroom and learn how Prep might be different from kindergarten. 
“This program is a gateway for families to feel welcomed and to truly experience the warmth and educational richness our school embodies.” 
Looking ahead, Mary Immaculate Primary School aims to amplify the spirit of inclusivity with plans to collaborate with more neighbouring early learning centres in 2024. 
For more information about Mary Immaculate Primary School or to enrol click here. 

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