Is My Child Ready For School?

Is my child ready for school?

There are many things to consider when deciding if your child is ready to start school. Please ask your child’s kindergarten teacher for advice. If your child’s kindergarten teacher recommends a second year of kindergarten please take this into serious consideration. An extra year will give your child time to develop the skills they need to succeed at school. We are also happy to discuss your child’s individual development and offer you further information about the types of structures, routines and processes your child would be expected to manage in a school setting.
Here are some questions to consider:

  • Are my child’s self-care skills developed?
  • Are my child’s social skills with peers established?
  • Does my child appear to be emotionally mature?
  • Does my child demonstrate self-control?
  • Can my child tolerate frustration?
  • Can my child cope with things that are worrying him or her?
  • Is my child able to communicate his/her needs and express his/her feelings?
  • Can my child understand and follow directions?
  • Is my child flexible and able to adapt to changes of routine?
  • Does my child persist when faced with a difficult task?
  • Can my child concentrate and pay attention?
  • Can my child hold a pencil confidently, use scissors and recognise his or her name?
  • Does my child show physical confidence?
  • Does my child’s kindergarten teacher feel that he/she is ready for school?

Helping children get ‘ready for school’ at home or kindergarten

  • Support them to develop self-help and self-care skills (independent toileting, dressing, eating, cleaning up after themselves).
  • Follow a routine together (eating and opening wrappers for lunch at a set time, read a story before playing etc).
  • Help children learn to recognise and write their name.
  • Provide many opportunities for them to develop their fine motor skills (such as play dough, Lego, threading beads, cutting paper, undoing buttons and zips, drawing with different tools and finger plays and rhymes).
  • Slowly introduce them to more structured activities.
  • Practise sitting and focusing on small and whole class group activities for extended period of time.
  • Learn to wait their turn to speak by saying ‘excuse me’ or putting up their hand.
  • Support them to handle their emotions by reminding them to ‘use their words’ to resolve conflicts.
  • Practise taking turns and asking to join in game.
  • Visit local schools to become comfortable in the environment.
  • Practise playing ‘school’ and dress up in a school uniform.
  • Read picture books about starting school and talk about how the characters feel.

Starting School – Literacy at School

When children are about to begin school, it gives them a good start if they are able to:

  • Recognise and write some letters of their own name.
  • Notice signs, symbols, letters and words that they see in the environment.
  • Pay attention to repeated sounds in rhyme, jingles, ads and stories.
  • Tell stories about events in their lives in sequence.
  • Listen with interest and courtesy when other people speak.
  • Talk about favourite stories and describe some of the characters or things that happen.
  • Hold a book the right way up and trace their finger from top left to bottom right as they pretend to read.
  • Have experience with drawing, scribbling and making marks on paper.

Starting School – Numeracy at School

When children are about to begin school,it gives them a good start if they are able to:

  • Talk about their age and recognise some numbers.
  • Count a group of objects up to 10.
  • Recognise dots on a dice.
  • Sort things that are ‘similar’ and ‘different’ and talk about why.
  • Name common shapes and colours.
  • Use words to compare items  e.g. ‘This is the biggest’ and  ‘This one is short’.
  • Use words to describe the position of objects  e.g. ‘It’s under the chair, beside the doll, next to the table’
  • Help adults with everyday maths experiences such as cooking and shopping.
  • Describe the weather.


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