Being “school ready” really is so much more than children being able to write their names and know their numbers or shapes. For us at nursery being school ready is all about ensuring children are able to respond to instructions and are as independent as possible with things like using the toilet, putting their coats, shoes and socks on, opening lunchboxes and packaged foods as well as being socially, emotionally and physically secure which in turn enables them to behave appropriately in new situations and become confident active learners.
We’re really not a fan of the term “school ready” and we prefer to call it “ready for the school transition”.
To become ready for the transition children need everyone – families, practitioners and teachers to work together and support them in gaining some of the expected characteristics that should be displayed ahead of the transition:
- Independent in toileting
- Able to dress themselves
- Understands expected levels of behaviour
- Confidence and self-esteem
- Can take turns and share
- Can sit still for a short period
- Can separate from parents/carers
- Be able to communicate needs and listen to others
- Can actively learn and creatively and critically think
Some of these characteristics may be difficult for all children to achieve and this shouldn’t leave parents concerned that a child isn’t ready for the transition.
The important thing is practitioners are aware of these characteristics and can put steps in place to ensure a child is developing the skills.