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School Readiness for your Child

happy school kid

Start preparing your child for Grade 1

Start your child on the road to schooling success by giving them opportunities to practice independence within the home environment. Provide multiple occasions for your child to do things for him or herself. These skills can then be transferred to the school and the classroom. Allow your child to organize their stationery and clothes at home in order to give them some experience with these items. Have a conversation about taking care of their belongings.

Parents, please engage in positive school talk. Share stories about the fantastic teachers you experienced during your school career and highlight your positive memories. Support your child’s school ethos, policies and rules in order to instil a sense of pride.  Make them excited about big school!

For parents and children, the step up into Grade 1 is a time of excitement and great anxiety. How do you know if your child is ready for this step? Firstly, parents should be guided by qualified teachers to assess a child’s readiness to begin and take the step up into the start of their formal schooling.

range of colourful school supplies
grade 1 classroom

What exactly is school readiness?

School readiness is a measure of how prepared a child is to succeed at school and involves two types of readiness: a readiness to learn (which is continuous) and a readiness for school (which is associated with a fixed age).

School readiness depends on both emotional maturity and scholastic ability. It is split into different areas and, although these areas are separate, they do interact with and reinforce each other. Children need to be developed across these key five areas:

Physical and motor development

  • Gross motor, example running, skipping, standing on one leg.
  • Fine motor, example comfortable using a pair of scissors, successfully doing zips and buttons, is able to use cutlery.
  • Perceptual development, both visual and auditory.
  • Taking care of themselves, example manages to go to the toilet by themselves.
close-up of zipper

Emotional and social development

  • A child who is emotionally well-adjusted has a significantly greater chance of early school success.
  • Gets along with peers, can interact within a group or shows an interest in other children, willing to help a friend.
  • Can express feelings and needs.
  • Can share.
  • Can sit still, example long enough to listen to a story.
  • Can concentrate on a task for a reasonable amount of time.
  • Able to deal with frustration in an acceptable way.

Cognitive development

  • Can make independent decisions and follow through.
  • Have ideas of their own.
  • Can follow simple directions or instructions.
  • Shows an interest in learning.
grade 1 girls doing school work

Language development (includes literacy, listening, speaking and vocabulary)

  • Should be able to communicate effectively in home language.
  • Be able to sequence (retell a story or a set of events).
  • Identify similarities and differences between objects.

Emotional maturity

  • Independence.
  • Reasonable control over emotions.
  • Basic problem-solving skills.
  • Confidence.
  • Shows responsibility.
  • Handles separation well.


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