What Is School Readiness? 

School can feel like a big step for children and parents. With a new school year nearly upon us, school readiness is a term likely on many minds.

In short, school readiness refers to how prepared a child is to succeed in school socially, cognitively, and emotionally.

Although many believe school readiness involves counting to 10 and writing one’s name, it refers to a broader range of skills.

School readiness begins after a child is born with the support of parents and caregivers.

This is when children acquire and develop the social, cognitive, and emotional skills required for success in life and school.

Forward planning can facilitate school readiness. By ensuring children regularly participate in certain activities, they can develop the appropriate skills to prepare them for an easier transition into school.

School Readiness Skills

The development of school readiness skills allows teachers to expand and further develop a child’s skills while ensuring the child isn’t playing catch-up compared to their peers. 

School readiness skills include, but are not limited to:

  1. Recognising numbers, shapes, and colours 
  2. Listening and communicating their needs 
  3. Socialising and forming friendships
  4. Sharing and following instructions
  5. Independence getting dressed and going to the bathroom

1. Recognising Numbers, Shapes & Colours

Recognising numbers and counting is an important school readiness skill.

Children should also be encouraged to sort and identify shapes and colours.

Understanding numbers, shapes, and colours sets a child up for success in school.

School readiness refers to how prepared a child is to succeed in school socially, cognitively, and emotionally.

2. Listening & Communicating Their Needs 

School-ready children should be able to listen to their teachers, other staff members, and peers.

They also should be able to communicate their needs clearly with a developed vocabulary.

Asking questions and encouraging conversation is a good way to develop these healthy communication skills.

3. Socialising & Forming Friendships

Socialising and making friends is an important school readiness skill.

Putting children in social situations is crucial to developing their ability to have reciprocal verbal and nonverbal interactions and compromise with others.

This, in turn, will positively impact their ability to “fit in” and form friendships with their peers.

4. Sharing & Following Instructions

Sharing and waiting their turn is a crucial skill to learn before attending school.

Children must also know how to follow instructions and rules their teachers and other school staff set out.

This will help them cooperate, get along with their peers, and engage appropriately with staff.

Knowing how to wait your turn and share is a very important school readiness skill.

5. Independence Getting Dressed & Going To The Bathroom

Independence in getting dressed and going to the bathroom is a school readiness skill that’s crucial to master.

Practising this regularly and choosing a school uniform that’s easier to put on and take off, such as one with elastic waistbands, can encourage this independence.

Moreover, parents should make extra time in the morning for this independence, which is essential for a child’s development.

The importance of uniforms in school readiness cannot be understated. For a child, a uniform represents fitting in, feeling accepted, and having a sense of pride in their school community.

However, with the cost of living as high as it is, many families are struggling to make ends meet. This is where Home-Start Cymru’s School Readiness Appeal comes in.

Home-Start Cymru’s School Readiness Appeal

Home-Start Cymru is reaching out to the wider community on behalf of the thousands of families our charity supports across Wales.

Many families are already struggling with the cost of living and making impossible choices between heating their homes and putting food on the table. 

Our conversations and research have revealed that the average cost of school uniforms for primary school children in Wales is a staggering £287 per year. 

Considering this additional cost, school uniforms become an unaffordable expense that impacts their children’s educational experience and sense of belonging at school. 

When children are unable to adhere to dress codes due to financial constraints, they can be made to feel different and isolated from their peers. They may even face bullying, discrimination, or discipline due to not wearing the proper uniform.

Children who go to school without uniforms can even be excluded, affecting their education, school experience, and the rest of their lives.

This is why Home-Start Cymru is launching our School Readiness Appeal, which will run from May 23rd to September 1st.

School uniform helps children to feel accepted and like they’re apart of a community.

How You Can Help

By supporting our School Readiness Appeal, you can help make a huge difference for families struggling across Wales.

Your involvement in Home-Start Cymru’s appeal will help to bridge this gap and enable children from vulnerable families to participate in their education without the added stress of being excluded.

Every contribution, no matter how small, makes all the difference. Your donations will be used to purchase school uniform items for the families we support in Wales.

If you would like to contribute to our School Readiness Appeal, you can donate to our Home-Start Cymru School Readiness Appeal JustGiving page or email us at hengland@homestartcymru.org.uk.

Home-Start Cymru is a charity here for families who need it most.

If you would like to know more about the support available for families, please call 03338800014 or email info@homestartcymru.org.uk.

Written by Jemima for Home-Start Cymru.