Early Years settings and school readiness

How schools and setting can support children to be ready for school.

There are many ways in which an Early Years setting and school can support a child in being ready for school, including:

  • Offering a stimulating environment and planning purposeful activities that engage and interest all the children, taking into account individual interests and needs. This may include circle time, show and tell, or story time. These, in turn, develop children’s social, language and communication skills.
  • Providing opportunities to extend children’s speaking skills. This will ensure that the needs of children who communicate in alternative ways are met.
  • Implementing a ‘key person’ approach in which adults are sensitive to and fully inclusive of all children’s needs.
  • Providing active opportunities to role model and teach ‘appropriate’ behaviours (rather than policing) through creative and motivated teaching. Use positive reinforcement – commenting on the appropriate behaviours rather than noticing the inappropriate behaviour.
  • Ensuring there are plentiful opportunities for children to develop independence and resilience rather than ‘doing things’ for children. For example, encourage them to wipe their own bottoms. Provide posters with ‘how to steps’ in the toilets to assist them.
  • Develop motor skills by providing both indoor and outdoor play environments.

Useful websites:

PACEY is the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years – it is a charity dedicated to supporting everyone working in childcare and early years. There is a section on communication with lots of resources and ideas.