Readiness for school – what this means

The three elements of school readiness: the child’s, the setting’s and the family’s.

The EYFS framework says school readiness ‘gives children a broad range of knowledge and skills that provide the right foundation for good future progress through school and life’.

UNICEF’s description of school readiness states that three elements together increase children’s likelihood of success. These elements are:

  • Children’s readiness for school affects their learning and development. This is related to things such as communication skills, personal, social, emotional and physical development.
  • Early years settings and schools’ readiness for children ensures learning environments are child-friendly and adapt to the diverse needs of young learners and their families. This is related to how early years professionals create learning environments that support children’s further development when they enter school.
  • Families’ readiness for school promotes a positive and supportive approach to education, their children’s learning and the transition from home to school.

These three aspects will maximise each child’s likelihood of success as they progress through their time in school.

A child who is ready for school will be:

  • able to separate from their parent/carer
  • able to identify themselves by name, age, state factors in their life, name family members
  • curious and confident about learning. They should show an interest in a variety of subjects. They will be able to observe, notice, discuss and ask questions about their environment and experiences
  • resilient and ready to take part
  • able to take risks, ask questions and find solutions.
  • able to demonstrate their ability to listen and follow age-appropriate instructions
  • confidently active and be healthy
  • independent with self-care skills and be able to vocalise their needs
  • comfortable to make friends and take turns and to interact in an age appropriate way with another child or adult
  • able to interact, share and play, taking responsibility for their actions, understanding consequences to their actions
  • cared for, feel safe and secure, and respond to boundary setting
  • able to vocalise choices and have enough of a range of vocabulary and language to express their needs, feelings, thoughts or ideas
  • able to engage with books, have some understanding of words and language.