So what does ‘school readiness’ mean? There is much debate surrounding this term but to parents, the direct translation is something along the lines of ‘is my child ready to start school?’ or 'are they ready for Reception?' Depending on the approach used in early childhood education and care such as those used in nursery or pre-school settings there will be an impact on how ‘ready’ a child is by a particular age. Here, at The Orchard Nursery we have built our curriculum to give your child the best possible start in preparation for their Reception year. Below is an outline of what could be deemed logical ‘school readiness’ in real terms.
Please bare in mind that 'school readiness' may be age related, one child may have only just turned four whereas their classmate is about to turn five. There is a wide gap in abilities in that fact alone. Your child will be ready in their own time, all children develop at their own pace and as long as parents and carer’s are supporting them in their work towards responsible self-care and self-regulation, that is the best that can be done. The rest will come in time.
✔ Between the ages of four and five, children should be prepared to be separated from their parent or main carer.
✔ Children should be able to clearly demonstrate their ability to listen and follow age appropriate instructions
✔ Children should show an interest in a variety of subjects, paying attention to the subject or activity they are taking part in
✔ Children should have enough of a range of vocabulary and language to express their needs, feelings, thoughts or ideas
✔ Children should be able to identify themselves by name, age, state factors in their life, name family members etc…
✔ To be able to interact in an age appropriate way with another child or adult
✔ Children should be able to interact, share and play, taking responsibility for their actions, understanding repercussions for their actions
✔ Focus on and also show interest in the work they are undertaking
✔ To be able to observe, notice, discuss and ask questions about their environment and experiences
✔ To be able to engage with books, have some understanding of words and language
✔ Respond to boundary setting
✔ Vocalise their needs such as toileting, thirst, hunger illness etc…
As a parent or carer, you would hope that your child has all of these abilities upon starting Reception. In reality, for many children the above list is a work in progress. The provision on offer at our Nursery will support your child in making their next steps to be 'school ready'. There are obvious issues such as the need for being toilet ready and no longer needing naps during the day and there is support available to address all of these issues in time for school. On the other hand, we will also work with parents and carers, enabling a coordinated response to needs as they arise, supporting children and their families as they work on issues that can hamper school readiness.
Parents who feel they have a child who is behind or struggling to meet some of the ‘school readiness’ markers should contact their health visitor, GP, Nursery SENCO. Who are all well placed to provide the early intervention required to support parents and children through the transition from toddlerhood, pre-school years and on into later childhood.