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Dudley Council the historic capital of the Black Country
Dudley Skyline

Getting your child ready for school

Children are born ready and eager to learn. A huge amount of learning happens with you before your child starts nursery or school and this learning is happening all the time. School readiness is really life readiness.

What is school readiness?

School readiness means the expectation that children feel prepared and ready to start school socially, emotionally and physically. Children need be able to express their needs, feelings and wants. Teachers need to be sure that children understand them and children also need to feel heard and understood by their teachers. This will mean that children will be excited, enthused and demonstrate a curiosity to learn both inside and outside of the classroom. See the signs of school readiness below:


A child who is school ready in terms of physical development will be:

  • Able to move in a variety of ways for example; jumping, running, skipping, rolling
  • Developing their muscles for writing
  • Learning how to dress themself
  • Going to the toilet themself

Personal, Social, Emotional

A child who is ready for school in terms of personal, social and emotional development will be able to:

  • Interact with others
  • Cooperate
  • Take turns
  • Form relationships
  • Separate from their parent or carer
  • Follow simple directions and rules
  • Talk about their emotions


A child who is school ready in terms of communication development will be able to:

  • Take part in a conversation
  • Ask questions
  • Explain their own needs
  • Show an interest in books
  • Retell their own experiences

Top Tips for being ready for school

• Prepare yourself and your child emotionally for starting school
• Find out the name of your child’s teacher, and talk to your child about them
• Do the walk/drive to school and talk about the building and the playground
• Read books about starting school
• Involve your child when buying their school uniform
• Attend any settling in sessions
• Support your child in getting the skills needed to be independent at lunch time
• Encourage your child to dress and undress themselves
• Make sure your child has had the necessary immunisations

Who can help you?

Your local family centre can help you by providing advice and support on getting your child ready for starting school.