Are you looking to enrol your child into primary school next year, however unsure whether your child is ‘school ready’? School readiness as the term is colloquially known, isn’t so much about a checklist of whether your child can read, write and do basic maths but rather a measure of the behavioural and social skills your child possesses in order to succeed at school.
St Margaret’s Head of Junior School, Louise Sayar states that “school readiness is more about whether a child is emotionally and socially attuned to learning. For example, do they possess basic communication skills to be able to express an idea through play, drawing or singing? Can the child convey a message with purpose and make themselves understood? Furthermore, are they able to sit down and listen to others and follow simple instructions? These foundational communication skills are important tools for ensuring your child thrives rather than survives the transition to Prep.” Ms Louise Sayar Head of Junior School (pictured)
“A child who can regulate their emotions and behaviour, can communicate their ideas and show an interest in learning- whether that be trying to count or reciting letters of the alphabet- are showing positive signs of school readiness”, states Louise.
For parents, the decision can be overwhelming and difficult to assess, however one of the greatest sources of information regarding your child’s school readiness is their kindergarten teacher. “July and August are good times to discuss your child’s school readiness with their kinder teacher. They have the training and ability to assess your child’s developmental progress and communication skills, “says Louise.
St Margaret’s appreciates the importance of fostering positive partnerships with parents in regards to their child’s education. Parents can assist the transition process by helping the child develop their own independence and resilience at home. Louise states “parents can help set goals with their child and work on their persistence to finish tasks alone. Helping their child achieve small tasks such as dressing themselves, putting their own shoes on and going to the bathroom independently are great skills for their child to have mastered by Prep. Reading to your child daily has also shown to be one of the most effective ways to prepare your child for school.”
Furthermore, the transition programs in place at St Margaret’s are an integral step to ensuring a smooth transition to primary school for your child. Louise explains “these sessions are so important for your child to get used to specialist teachers as well as becoming familiar with a new environment. “
And when it comes time for your child to start school? Louise advises as a parent, it’s normal for your child to experience some separation anxiety however, it’s important to try and keep your emotions in check, and trust the teachers have the skills and experience to make your child feel safe and comfortable.
ST MARGARET’S AND BERWICK GRAMMAR SCHOOL
Phone 03 8703 8111 or visit www.stmargarets.vic.edu.au
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