‘School Readiness’ is a measure of the behaviours and skills a child needs in order to make a successful transition to participating in school life.
When considering school transition, many people focus on the academics (e.g. writing, reading, counting, knowing the alphabet). However, participation in learning environments is so much more than that – it’s about the whole child. The easiest way to consider it is to think about what a day looks like for children at school. Let’s have a look at some of those things:
- They arrive into a much bigger space than their kindergarten was. There are more people and more buildings.
- Children sit on the floor in a group and listen to the teacher.
- Children do independent and group work at a table, following a teacher instruction
- At recess and lunchtime, they play in large areas with lots of other children
- Unlike many kindergartens, the toilet is not usually attached directly to the classroom.
You could write pages and pages of things that children do throughout their day. From just the short list above though, you can start to see just how much more than academics is needed for a child to participate at school. It is about their social and emotional skills, hat help them get along with other children; Their communication skills that help them articulate their needs; Their ability to listen and follow instructions.
So, what are the building blocks necessary for school transition? The following list is by no means exhaustive, or in any particular order. It is also important to note that a child also doesn’t need all of these things to succeed. However, the better prepared a child is in these areas, the greater their ability will be to participate in school life:
- Self regulation
- Receptive language (understanding)
- Expressive language (using)
- Emotional development
- Social skills
- Planning and sequencing
- Self care skills
- Awareness of the world around them
- Gross motor skills
- Fine motor skills
If you have concerns about your child’s readiness for school, their kindergarten teacher will be able to guide you with some ideas of how you can help at home. Our Allied Health Team are also available to support your family, call 8562 5164.