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School readiness – how to help you child start big school!


2 August 2021

What does “school ready” mean?

  • Having social skills
  • Can cope with being separated from parents
  • Are relatively independent with self-care
  • Are curious about the world and have a desire to learn more about it.

Getting our children ready for big school is an important task for everyone! It may feel like an even bigger transition for you as a parent but, with the right support you and your little one will be able to successfully meet any challenges that lie ahead. At Kids Planet, we want our pre-schoolers to be confident in all they do when starting their new journey into school life.  We work with children and parents in a variety of ways to make the transition to school as easy as possible.

Whilst it’s totally normal for children to enter school at different stages of development, there are some things we can all do to ensure our children are ready for this new and exciting experience.

Does my child need to be able to read before starting school?

For many children, the first reception year of school will involve a lot of learning through play, not dissimilar to what they experience at nursery.  Your little one doesn’t need to be able to read before starting school but it’s great to give them lots of opportunities to share, listen and enjoy a range of books to help them develop a love of reading which will help them as they get older. Our nurseries have reading corners, and many have a lending library set up so children will be used to seeing and having access to lots of books to choose from.

Should they be able to write their name?

Through mark making, we help our little ones strengthen their arms, hands, and fingers muscles to get them ready for writing.  Activities like making pasta bracelets by threading string helps fine motor control, and using brushes to paint on lots of different surfaces also help strengthen arm and hand muscles for when they’re ready to hold a pen.  Whilst making a start on writing can get your little one off to a good start, it’s important to go at their own pace – if they show signs of frustration, ease off – you don’t want to turn it into a battle! And remember, every child is different and that’s okay too – their new teachers will be skilled at helping children progress at their own level.

From mark making to tidying up to self-service at mealtimes, at Kids Planet we’ve already been working with your little ones to support them as they get ready for the transition. Here are some other ways you can help your child:

  • Talk with them about starting school. It might help them to read about what they can expect in their classrooms, in the canteen and in the playground in a book like this one by Jean Adamson, ‘Topsy and Tim: Start School.”
  • If you child seems anxious, try focusing on the thing they’ll like best – maybe PE lessons, having a packed lunch or making new friends.
  • Make sure your child can open wrappers and packets if they are taking a packed lunch to school. And most packed lunches aren’t kept in the fridge so buy an ice pack or think about the contents before you send them in with anything that needs refrigerating!
  • Help your little one practise putting their school clothes on and off ready for P.E. Shoes with Velcro and clothes with elastic bands are easier for them to handle.
  • Practise some fun listening games like, “Simon says” to help them follow instructions.
  • Find some photos of you in your school uniform and talk to them about happy memories from your own school days.
  • Practise the school morning routine such as getting dressed and eating breakfast in time to leave.
  • Help develop their independence by giving them a few responsibilities like feeding a pet, laying a table, or putting their clothes away
  • If you think your little one will struggle to make friends, teach them some useful phrases such as “Can I join in?” or “Do you want to share?”


Finally, however you’re feeling about your child starting school, it’s important to talk about school in a positive way. Any negative talk around your child is unhelpful.

We know that this can be a difficult time for parents too, especially if this is your first child.  Starting school is just as important a change for you as it is for your child.  But try to remember that even distressed children soon settle into their new routines and, before you know it they’ll be skipping into Year One!

For details about how we prepare pre-schoolers for starting school, get in touch with our Nursery Managers who will be happy to chat. Or, take a listen to our 9th podcast episode here where we’re chatting to one of our Early Years Teachers and a Quality Leader at Kids Planet about school readiness.


If you are looking to find a nursery then why not use our simple tool to locate the nearest Kids Planet Day Nursery to your postcode?


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