School readiness is important as the development of these foundational skills allows teachers to expand and further develop the child’s skills in the specific areas of social interaction, play, language, emotional development, physical skills, literacy and fine motor skills and assists children to access the curriculum. This checklist provides an overview of what types of skills are expected when a child enters a mainstream school setting. This may help you to determine areas in which your child might need additional practice before school begins. Remember, if your child has a disability they may be working towards obtaining some of these skills. It is important to discuss with your child’s occupational therapist what skills they have and what support their future school can offer.

Areas to consider with school readiness:

  1. Social & Communication skills
  2. Self care skills
  3. Pre-writing and scissor skills (general fine motor skills)
  4. Cognitive and information processing abilities
  5. Visual perception
  6. Gross motor skills.

In functional terms consider some of these activities that are generally performed in a typical school day. This is a short list of skills therefore, should you have concerns whether your child is ready for school, contact your local occupational therapist for an assessment.

  • Open and close their school bag
  • Open a lunch box (lids such as yoghurt lids)
  • Unwrap their sandwich, open a popper or peel fruit
  • Push their chair in/out
  • Hold a pencil or cut with scissors along a line and cut-out basic shapes
  • Pull on/off their jumper or jacket
  • Do their shoelaces or fasten the velcro or buckles
  • Manage their clothing and belts or raincoat
  • Get on/off the toilet, turn on taps and wash their hands
  • Blows and wipes their nose
  • Engage in running or balancing activities
  • Catch and throw a ball
  • Endurance for sport activities
  • Negotiating stairs
  • Follows simple instructions
  • Recognises basic shapes as well as primary and secondary colours
  • Give eye contact and can initiate or respond to conversation

This information is of a general nature only and does not constitute advice to a child or carer’s particular circumstances. Tip sheets are not intended to replace professional therapy services.

If you have any questions or would like additional information contact Grace Children’s Therapy on 1300 760 779.