What being ‘school ready’ means

‘School readiness’ is a term used to describe how ready children are to start school in reception class.

We have created a Lancashire definition of school readiness so that childcare providers, schools and parents can all work to an agreed and shared understanding of what this term means for their children.

It has ambitious and high expectations for all children and will support parents with helping their child to get ready for school.

Parents should read this definition alongside the guide helping my child get ready for starting school.

Childcare providers and schools should use this definition alongside the other supporting tools for professionals.

The definition is based on the three prime areas of learning and development within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). You can read about the EYFS on GOV.UK.

Lancashire school readiness definition

A locally agreed understanding of what being ‘school ready’ means.

Personal, social and emotional development

Children should be able to:

  • leave their carer and happily come into school
  • interact positively and appropriately with others
  • listen when someone else is speaking
  • talk about their feelings
  • consider how others might be feeling
  • play co-operatively with other children, taking turns and sharing
  • talk with others to try to solve conflicts
  • follow simple rules
  • dress themselves independently, for example, footwear, coats, cardigans
  • go to the toilet independently
  • show perseverance and determination when working on a task
  • respect others’ property and school resources

Communication and language

Children should be able to:

  • listen attentively for a short period of time
  • use a wide range of vocabulary
  • join in with stories, songs and rhymes
  • talk about characters in a story
  • understand a simple question and respond appropriately
  • follow simple verbal instructions, for example, ‘Put your coat on the hook.’, ‘Wash your hands.’, ‘Fasten your coat.’
  • talk about their own needs, feelings and ideas
  • know and talk about familiar people and places
  • join in a short conversation

Physical development

Children should be able to:

  • use small tools and equipment, for example, scissors for snipping, holding a tool for mark making, using a knife and fork
  • put on and fasten a coat with a zip or buttons
  • move confidently in a range of ways, for example, walk, run, jump, climb, crawl
  • be independent and confident when moving and using equipment
  • choose the right resources for an activity
  • use a comfortable grip with good control when holding a pencil

Advice and support

To support your child to be ready for starting school, have a look at these hints, tips and help.

The guide helping my child get ready for starting school has some more tips, books and websites to help. It is designed to support you with ideas, reduce any anxieties and feel confident that you have shared all the information that you wanted, to help the school begin to get to know the individual needs of your child.