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Is My Child Ready for School – Checklist!

At KindyROO, every activity in the School Readiness classes is carefully planned to ensure children have the best skills in place to start school. We practice auditory processing skills, visual skills, word recognition and word games, finger and body awareness, motor planning, laterality, temporal awareness, sequencing and directionality, gross and fine motor activities, cross pattern movements, balance and posture – all while we are having fun dancing, singing, spinning, swinging, tumbling, jumping, balancing and laughing!

   

Here is a brief checklist of skills required for school

Personal/Social Skills

  • Adapts to unfamiliar settings and new experiences.
  • Can finish a task and tidy up afterwards.
  • Plays cooperatively with other children (shares and takes turns).
  • Can separate from parents.
  • Can cope with criticism and some frustration without becoming upset.
  • Is responsible for own belongings.
  • Can sit still and listen.

  

Language

  • Talks to other people about familiar objects and events.
  • Can speak in full sentences, which are grammatically correct.
  • Has a fairly wide vocabulary and can pronounce words clearly.
  • Answers and asks simple questions.
  • Makes needs known.
  • Follows a sequence of three instructions (minimum): e.g. put your pencil beside your book, stand up and wait until I tell you to line up for recess.
  • Uses books for enjoyment and for looking at pictures.
  • Can repeat several nursery rhymes and tell stories.
  • Can make up a story from looking at pictures.
  • Can identify the beginning, middle and end of a simple story.
  • Joins in singing familiar songs.
  • Recognises own name when written and understands that written symbols have meaning.
  • Can distinguish between sounds that are nearly the same.

  

Gross and Fine Motor Skills

  • Has a preferred hand for skilled tasks.
  • Can jump with two feet together; forwards, backwards and sideways.
  • Can balance on one foot and count to ten.
  • Can hop on each foot and can skip along.
  • Has good body control in running with a cross-pattern action.
  • Is able to march automatically with a cross-pattern action and therefore able to move and think at the same time. 

  

This is necessary to carry out verbal instructions while moving:

  • Can walk up and down stairs using alternate feet, without holding on.
  • Can throw, catch and kick a ball with a cross pattern action.
  • Can climb confidently on outdoor equipment.
  • Is aware of all fingers and can use them independently.
  • Can follow a figure eight pattern with eyes teamed (without moving head).

  

Cognitive Skills

  • Has an internal awareness of two sides of the body and be able to move them independently of each other.
  • Can draw a person with head, legs, trunk, arms and fingers. This needs to come from the child’s internal awareness of the body, not be taught by an adult.
  • Can draw a recognisable house or suchlike spontaneously.
  • Can name drawings before doing them.
  • Ability to copy a cross, square, V H T O.
  • Can name colours, can count items 1-20 and can name shapes.
  • Can identify which picture is different in a pattern.
  • Understands direction concepts of up, down, across, behind, forwards, backwards, etc.

  

It is important to realise that children without the above skills will still learn.

However, children who cannot do a number of the above tasks at school entry are at risk for learning difficulties.

Knowing colours and numbers is not enough. Children need to be able to think and move at the same time by ensuring they have good balance and coordination. They need to have practiced visual and listening skills, be able to sit still and concentrate, and enjoy facing new challenges. For our children to start school as confident, capable learners they need to have both their bodies and their brains ready to learn.

  

At KindyROO, every activity in the School Readiness classes is carefully planned to ensure children have the best skills in place to start school.

Lyn Jarvis is a qualified KindyROO Early Childhood Neuro Physiological Development Consultant and KindyROO teacher trainer.

Resources:

  1. NSW Dept. Education & Training: Beginning at a Public School.
  2. Toddler Kindy GymbaROO: 4 Year Olds – to School Next Year

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