The phrase 'readiness for school', seems to be cropping up all over the place. Part of the problem is that there is no clear definition of the term, and it can be difficult for parents to understand what their child will be expected to know and do. School readiness is more than just about children. It involves children, families, early environments (like nurseries and playgroups), schools and communities.
The earliest years in a child's life provide the foundation for everything that follows. We must all make sure that children are supported and encouraged to achieve their full potential as inquisitive, confident and secure individuals. This isn’t just about making sure they can hold a pencil - children need the resilience, confidence and personal skills to be able to learn. If children lack the tools to benefit from education before they even get to the school gate it makes their chances of learning more difficult.
The key areas are: personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language.
If you are worried about aspects of your your child's development chat to your local children's centre or your health visitor.
One helpful pre-school activity
that parents can practice is
giving their children the
opportunity to listen to and
learn language through story
telling. One of the best ways to
prepare children for school is to
read to them. Not only does
story reading offer a one-to-one
quiet time, it helps develop
children's listening and
If you want to improve reading
skills, there are lots of
opportunities. There are adult
learning courses, find out more
from your local children’s centre.
Basic skills like toilet training, communications skills, being able to
understand and follow simple tasks, taking turns and having some social
skills all prepare a child to be ready for learning. Teachers and classroom
assistants are then freed up to teach rather than spend time toileting,
feeding children and helping them with the most basic social skills.
How can I get my child school ready?
Make sure they are toilet trained.
Help them understand how to follow simple tasks.
Help them to answer to their name.
Encourage them to share and understand turn-taking.
My child seems to have
no friends and makes
no effort at nursery to
mix with other children.
Closeness between parent and
child, combined with consistent
rules, are most likely to lead to
children doing well and
becoming more social.
Do not panic. Invite one or
two children over for tea
with their parents. Chat to
your health visitor or local