Readiness for School

Is my child ready to attend 1st grade and what skills must they have mastered in order to cope successfully at school?

These are some of the questions asked by parents of preschool children who are about to walk through the door of Primary School for the first time. A child who is ready for Primary will have mastered basic skills and knowledge from a variety of areas that will be needed to secure successful progress. Some children who are 6 years old and are formally entitled to attend Primary 1, are not yet “mature” enough to cope adequately with their new demanding role.

Among the main risk characteristics commonly reported in preschool children are speech and language disorders or delays, insufficient motor development, poor cognitive development, and visual-perceptual disorders (Huffman & Speer, 2000).

Early detection through specialized and accredited tests such as the Athena Test, the A’ Test etc. and treatment with appropriately designed intervention programmes is considered the most appropriate way to prevent future problems at school and the negative emotions and experiences that accompany them (Tzouriadou , 2000).

Motivation & Movement

The basic criteria for a child to enjoy a smooth transition from kindergarten to elementary school are:

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Mental ability (perception, memory, ability to put things in order, cognitive ability, logical mathematical concepts)

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Reading ability (script-phonological awareness, letter recognition)

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Oral ability (understanding and expression of speech, communicative speech, listening comprehension)

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Physical ability (gross and fine motor skills, self-care, concentration, attention, orientation)

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Social and emotional competence (emotion recognition, interpersonal skills, emotion management, receptivity)

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A child's school readiness must be assessed by special education experts using valid and reliable tests.

Special educator
Katsourani Theodora