School Readiness is the concept of a child being ‘ready’ to start school. It is based on the child’s physical, intellectual, and social developments giving them a range of skills and knowledge that will allow them to cope with the curriculum and environment in school.
All children are ready and eager to learn, however school readiness is more about what they have previously learned or are ready to learn in their next steps. School readiness can also be affected by your child’s independence, social maturity, and physical size. Whilst these terms are vague, there are seven key developmental areas that are most important to School Readiness. They are the following:
Social: seen in turn-taking, sharing, following rules, and listening at group times.
Emotional: such as being self-confident, showing empathy, and separating easily from parents and caretakers at drop-off.
Physical: they can run, climb, balance, be well coordinated, and throw/catch a ball.
Fine motor: seen in drawing, using scissors, using a pincer grip, and showing a good level of handedness.
Language: they can ask/answer questions, maintain conversations, and follow directions.
Cognitive: such as sorting, identifying shapes and colours. They can count, and write their own name.
Self-help: they can go to the toilet independently, look after belongings, and tidy up after themselves.
These seven key areas are important to School Ready Skills, which include the following examples:
Playing cooperatively with other children
Following directions with multiple steps
Sharing and taking turns
Initiating and maintaining conversations
Listening and concentrating on activities
Taking care of their own belongings
Showing empathy to others
Being a functional member of a small group
As we move towards the next school year, it is important for nursery staff and parents to work together in order to make sure children are making steady progress towards their next steps and are exhibiting signs of School Readiness.