Starting school is a significant milestone for you and your child! It is exciting but can also be a little bit scary. In this blog we will talk about what ‘school readiness’ is. This will help you identify whether your child is ready for school or some areas they might need to work on to support a smooth transition.

What is ‘school readiness’?

‘School readiness’ is a measure of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that enable children to participate and succeed in school. Parents sometimes think that school readiness means being able to read, write and do basic maths before starting school, more importantly, school readiness is about the development of the whole child – their social and emotional skills, physical skills, communication skills and cognitive skills. Children cannot thrive at school if they haven’t developed the skills to manage things like getting along with other children, following instructions, and communicating their needs. Children develop at different rates and learn skills in different ways.

Research shows that children who start school when developmentally ready to learn tend to do better in school – and it sets them up for further success later in life.

Some ‘School Readiness’ Skills include:

1. Social and emotional skills:

  • Basic skills to manage their needs without adult supervision, such as going to the toilet, dressing, unwrapping their lunch and managing their belongings
  • Being able to get along with other children,
  • demonstrate basic manners,
  • assert themselves,
  • be able to play independently as well as with other children.
  • being able to manage their emotions and self-regulate
  • be able to work on their own within a large group, with minimal adult support,
  • cope with the stress of the new school environment

2. Physical skills:

  • fine motor skills (such as being able to grip a pencil and turn pages in a book)
  • physical coordination (being able to run, jump, climb, and play ball)
  • Be able to action own bag and lunchbox
  • Take off/put on jumper and shoes
  • Cutting and pasting
  • Drinking from bubblers.

3. Independence:

  • Basic skills to manage their needs without adult supervision, such as going to the toilet, dressing, unwrapping their lunch and managing their belongings. This includes drinking from bubblers.

4. Communication/language skills:

  • Be able to turn take in conversation, talk and listen to adults and other children,
  • Speak clearly,
  • Communicate needs,
  • follow directions and instructions from teachers,
  • Understand stories and be able to recall some information
  • Begin to identify some letters and sounds.

5. Cognitive skills:

  • basic thinking skills
  • focus on tasks,
  • understand the rules,
  • be able to wait and take turns.

Here at Hanrahan Health, we run a “Get ready for school” group in January. Our 2022 group will be from 17-21 January for 5 days in a row. If you are interested in enrolling your child in our group, please contact our office today on 02 4862 5063. We have groups running in Goulburn and Bowral.