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School Readiness Assessments

What is a School Readiness Assessment?

Before we discuss the term ‘ready’, let’s discuss the term ‘my child’. No mother or father can talk about their child without being emotional – not because they are silly, but because they care; because you are supposed to have intense feeling about your child. Elizabeth Stone once said that “being a parent is to decide to have your heart go walking around outside your body”.


School readiness is a sticky topic – especially since it involves more than one readiness: a readiness to learn and a readiness for school.


Readiness to learn means that your child is ready for experiences, tasks and skills that match his/her age. Unlike school-readiness, a readiness to learn does not match a specific age: a baby is ready to learn to suck; a two-year-old is ready to be potty-trained and to give up his/her bottles and dummies; a three-year-old is ready to learn in a group; a five-year-old is ready to learn the difference between reality and fantasy; an 18-year-old is ready to learn for his/her driver’s Licence; a 65-year-old is ready for retirement, etc.


School-readiness, in a nutshell, means that your child is able to:


  • concentrate on a task for at least 11 minutes, even if he does not want to or like the activity (e.g. building a 36-piece puzzle, clipping on colored pegs in a specific order, or drawing patterns along the edges of an A4 sheet of paper using symbols.

  • Listen the first time

  • Speak the language used in the grade one classroom fluently and

  • Has played outside enough to be able to sit still and

  • Is ready to master abstract and symbolic learning activities (to write and read the alphabet and numbers).

School-readiness starts with the readiness to learn, which actually occurs before birth when the baby is “ready” to be born, to breathe and suck. Being school-ready is a goal for which you prepare, much like a December holiday at the coast – you work at it and every now and then you make sure that you are on the right road (reaching milestones), and that progress has been made. Readiness to learn is continuous, while school-readiness is not. School readiness is associated with a fixed age – the time between the fifth and seventh birthday.

How do you know if your child needs a school readiness assessment?

School Readiness Assessments will be extremely beneficial if you are uncertain if your child is ready for school,


The assessment will put the following skills of your child to the test:

  • Visual and auditory perceptual skills – how well the learner can interpret information taken in through the senses of sight and sound.

  • Concept development – whether the learner has mastered concepts such as colors, shapes, and time (e.g. do they know on which days they need to go to school), etc.

  • Fine motor and gross motor skills – the learner should be able to hold a pencil, use a pair of scissors, add beads on a string, etc.

  • Emotional skills – the learner should be able to work independently and, in a group, and be able to share the teacher’s attention as learners in Grade 1 are given less individual attention.

Services offered are:

Child Psychologist Strand, Child Psychologist Gordons bay, Educational Psychologist Strand, Educational Psychologist Gordons bay, ADHD Cape Town

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