What is the best way to prepare children for school?

preparationEducational trends are showing that more emphasis is being given to preparing children emotionally and socially for school rather than academically. The continuity of children's experiences and the preparation for the changes school brings are most important.

Listed are some of the areas we focus on at Preschool and is also a guide in determining whether your child has the necessary skills to allow for a smooth and stress free transition to School.

Social skills: Skills that facilitate friendships and participation in a large group

Does your child?

  • take turns in a group
  • mix happily with friends and can leave Mum and Dad without tears
  • share, comfort and help other children
  • play co-operatively
  • initiate play with other children
  • participate and attend group times with peers
  • sit without disrupting others
  • follow rules and expectations
  • comply with an adult's request
  • Resolve conflict

Motor skills: Motor skills include both large muscle co-ordination and fine motor muscles such as those found in the hand

Does your child know how to?

  • jump
  • run
  • catch a ball
  • hold a pencil correctly (tripod grip)
  • hold small objects such as Lego
  • use scissors

Self-help skills: Skills that allow the child to care for their primary needs independently

Does your child:

  • look after their own belongings
  • go to the toilet independently
  • dress themselves with zips and buttons
  • unpack lunch and eat independently

Communication skills: Skills that allow children to become effective communicators, including speaking and listening

Does your child:

  • speak fluently and clearly
  • express their needs
  • contribute to discussions
  • ask and answer questions
  • respond to directions, follow instructions
  • listen to an adult or peer who is talking



Cognitive skills: Skills that form the foundations of academic learning

Can your child:

  • label the colours green, red, yellow, blue, orange, brown, black, white
  • recall elements of short stories told five minutes ago
  • recognise or write own name
  • say or sing a nursery rhyme
  • recognise shapes and letters




Physical well being: A child's primary physical needs must be satisfied before they can focus on learning

Does your child:

  • eat sufficient nutritious food
  • have enough stamina to complete a full day at school
  • have all the necessary immunisations


Emotional skills: A positive attitude towards themselves and learning

Is your child:

  • willing to attempt new experiences
  • eager to participate in activities
  • motivated and confident
  • wanting to learn and interested in new things

Fine motor skills: Holding a pen and writing

Is your child:

  • holding a pen correctly
  • able to write their name
  • able to draw shapes
  • holding their pen with good strentgh and control

What the centre will do?

At Balgowlah Preschool, during the year we will begin to talk about school and introduce a transition program for children going to school. Working in partnership with families, the centre will work out a transition plan which incorporates each child's individual needs.

The transition program will involve a range of activities and experiences to help provide a 'continuity of experience' for children.

Experiences could include:

  • group discussions about what happens at school
  • familiarising children with going to the library
  • exposing children to packed lunches
  • focusing on road safety
  • talking about bell times
  • going to the toilet on their own
  • telling news in front of a group


Activities will focus on preparing children emotionally and socially for the changes encountered when going to school rather than preparing them academically.

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