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Ready for School

Starting school is a big step for kids – and parents of course.

Kindergarten is a very different setting to pre-school or day care. There are a number of things parents can consider to help decide if their child is ready for school.

The difference between pre-school and starting at school is vast in many ways. Most kids find school a big change, but cope well, despite being exhausted in the beginning weeks. However, for some children, the gap between pre-school and school is very great and they have trouble coping. The best thing we can do as parents is to be as proactive as possible and help our child be as ready as possible, narrowing the gap.

A child needs many skills and abilities to help her cope with Kindergarten. As parents we focus on skills like counting, knowing the ABC and letter sounds, as well as their fine and gross motor skills. Just as important is your child’s ability to understand and follow directions, say what they need, and feel confident socially. There are many simple things that parents can do to help their child feel ready for school.

In the first term of school

Your number one priority is to help your child adjust to their new school.


  • Early nights and a regular morning and afternoon routine will help your child adjust to the big change.


  • Don’t start any new extra-curricular activities. If your child already has an activity (from the previous year) that she enjoys, like swimming or soccer, it is fine to keep going.


  • Consider carefully before you schedule any more than one extra curricular activity in term 1. Your child will likely be very tired.


  • Talk to your child about their day. If they don’t like saying much more than “good” about their day, you could use a visual cue to help spark discussion. A happy or sad face to choose from to rate the day at school may help. Questions like “What was the best thing that happened today?” may encourage your child to talk about what’s happening at school. Remember, if your child does not wish to talk in detail, don’t push it, she will talk when she’s ready. Just be available at the time and show genuine interest.

Some Basic Skills which will help your child’s transition to school
  • Can your child follow two simple instructions when given together?

  • Is your child’s speech understandable and do they talk in proper sentences?

  • Does your child want to learn? Do they ask “why” or “how”?

  • Can your child recognise their name?

  • Can your child dress/undress without help?

  • Can your child open their lunch box/drink bottle, wrappers?

  • Does your child colour in?

  • Can your child use child’s scissors?

  • Does your child mix happily with other children?

  • Does your child take turns and share (some reminders may be necessary)

  • Is your child toilet trained?

What can you do if you are concerned that your child is not ready for school?

We can complete a comprehensive Readiness for School assessment. This will involve observations and administering standardised assessments with your child, as well as gathering information from parents and pre-school teachers.


A comprehensive, individualised report will be written for your child with recommendations that parents and pre-school teachers can implement to help your child cope better with the transition to school. Parents are not alone after the assessment. We are available to follow up and assist with any concerns or needs parents have.


If you are concerned that your child is not ready for school or if you would like to know more about getting your child ready for school please contact us

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