What is school readiness?

The term ‘school readiness’ refers to the ability of a child to make an easy transition to primary school. To successfully facilitate school readiness, some forward planning is involved to ensure your child is able to regularly engage in activities that develop the skills required to promote optimal learning at school.

Often, people consider the academic aspects as the only requirements to starting school, such as rote counting to ten, writing their name and the ability to identify colours, when in fact there is a much broader range of skills to prepare your child for school.

The skills of school readiness also include self-care (toileting), opening lunch boxes, attention and concentration, fine and gross motor skills, physical skills such as the endurance to sit upright for periods of time throughout the day, emotional regulation, self-regulation, language skills, play and social skills.

Why are school readiness skills important?

Further development of school readiness skills occurs during school transition programs and throughout the first year at school, as teachers observe and expand on a child’s skills in the specific areas of social interaction, play, language, emotional development, physical skills, literacy, fine and gross motor skills. Without having these basic skills upon entry to school, some children will be less ready to learn and focus. Children who commence school with these foundation skills in place advance quickly, as opposed to those who start school and only then begin the slow process of developing school readiness.

The building blocks required to develop school readiness

Self-regulation: This is the ability to obtain, maintain and change emotion, behaviour, attention and the activity level appropriate for a task or situation, indicating that the child is aware of their own behaviour, emotion and attention and can apply this to the context of the moment.

Sensory processing: Accurate processing of sensory stimulation in the environment as well as in one’s own body, that influences attention and learning, affecting how you sit, hold a pencil and listen to the teacher.

Receptive language: Comprehension of spoken language – for example, understanding the teacher’s instructions.

Expressive language: Usingspeech or language that can be understood by others – for example, talking to friends and being understood, participating in class discussions.

Articulation: The ability to clearly pronounce individual sounds in words. This directly affects reading and writing development.

Executive functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills – for example, following instructions, thinking through ‘what do I need to pack to take to school?’, ‘what do I need to do for a cut-and-paste task?’

Emotional regulation: The ability to perceive, understand and regulate their own emotions – for example, this directs how a child responds to a challenging moment.

Social skills: This determines a child’s social engagement and interaction with others and the ability to respond to or initiate expected social cues.

This term, I will be sharing articles to support your child’s readiness for school.

Stay tuned for my next article that will cover:

  • How can you tell if your child has problems with school readiness?
  • What problems can occur when a child has difficulties with school readiness?


SMGS will also be hosting two events in Term 4 that are centred around school readiness. You are invited to:

Wednesday 23rdOctober – Kindergarten Information Evening.

Starting or considering kindergarten in 2020? Then come along to our Kindergarten Information Evening on Wednesday, 23rd October at 6:00 pm.

This evening is open to all enrolled SMGS Kindergarten 2020 families, families considering SMGS Kindergarten in 2020 and all those interested in our Kindergarten program within the community.

The evening will include a discussion on school readiness, an overview of Let’s Explore and what to expect in your child’s first term at school.

We hope to see you there!

Friday 25thOctober – Let’s Explore – SMGS’ Kindergarten orientation program.

Let’s Explore Kindergarten transition to school program  consists of  one session held over five Fridays. This allows your child to experience different components of a regular school day and explore all areas of school readiness in a hands-on interactive way. Children will engage in learning activities,  gross and fine motor practise and social interaction with peers. The focus will be on introducing children to our daily routine in order to familiarise them with our environment and the expectations of school life. We would like children to complete our program with increased confidence and be excited to start their school journey. 

Please register for further details, mark these dates on your calendar and register your attendance.

Register for Kindergarten Information Evening here!
To learn more about Let’s Explore and to register, click here!