Getting Ready for School

Your child learns and develops mainly through play. It cannot be stressed enough how valuable play opportunities are for your child, allowing him/her to explore the world around them and make connections in their thinking which leads to deep level learning.

Here are some things you can practise at home to help you get ready for school.

Self-Care and Independence

  • I can wash and dry my hands.
  • I can wipe my nose.
  • I can put on/fasten my coat and shoes.
  • I can use the toilet (and wipe my own bottom).
  • I am learning to dress/undress – this will help me change for PE.
  • I am happy to be away from my parents or carers. I know they will be back soon.

Playing with Others

  • I join in games and activities with other people.
  • I can share and take turns.

Speaking and Listening

  • I can talk about my ideas, needs and feelings.
  • I can ask a grown-up for help.
  • I can follow simple instructions.

Eating and Drinking

  • I can use a spoon, knife and fork.
  • I can open my lunch box as well as wrappers and packaging.
  • I can drink from a water bottle, carton or open cup.

Reading and Writing

  • I enjoy listening to stories and rhymes.
  • I can recognise my name.
  • I can hold a pencil to draw.
  • I am learning to write my name with lower case letters.


  • I like singing number rhymes or songs.
  • I am learning to say numbers to ten.
  • I can count a small number of items 1:1.
  • I can recognise some numbers.


Top tips for parents and carers

  • Your child learns better when they feel well and can see and hear well. Health checks and immunisations help to keep your child healthy. Any health problems your child may have should be addressed early so that they can do well in school.
  • Allow opportunities for playful learning and stimulating your child’s imagination and curiosity.
  • To prepare you child for  school it is important to spend time with them and have fun together. Read to them, share stories, sing songs (nursery rhymes) talk about anything and everything.
  • Read with your children at home without distractions. Read books about starting school.
  • Talk to your child about starting school. What do they think it will be like? What are they looking forward to? Is there anything they are worried about?
  • Find photos of you and other family members at school, and talk about happy times you spent at school.
  • Try to have a good morning and night time routine that are not rushed so your children arrive at school in a calm frame of mind and are not tired from a late or disturbed night.
  • Allow them to try to carry out independent tasks such as getting dressed or doing little jobs or simple tasks where they have to follow simple instructions. Do not rush your child’s attempts to do things for themselves. Their natural urge to be independent is good and should be embraced.
  • Practise the school morning routine, including getting dressed and eating breakfast in time to leave.