Derbyshire parents, carers and professionals have identified the 10 keys to unlocking school readiness. These will help parents and families understand what their children should be able to do by the time they start in a reception class, if they are developing typically for their age.
- I can settle happily without my parent or carer.
- I can tell friends and grown-ups what I need.
- I can take turns and share when I am playing.
- I can go to the toilet on my own and wash my hands.
- I can put on my own coat and shoes and feed myself.
- I can tell a grown up if I am happy, sad or cross.
- I know that what I do and say can make others happy or unhappy.
- I am curious and want to learn and play.
- I can stop what I am doing, listen and follow simple instructions.
- I enjoy sharing books with grown-ups.
How you can help your child be ready to learn as they start their school life
Find out more about helping your child use the toilet.
A helpful guide to how your child is learning and developing in the first 5 years can be found on the Foundation Years website. The guide is titled 'What to expect, when? Guidance to your child’s learning and development in the early years foundation stage'.
Do you know when you can get help paying for childcare?
Search for school readiness on the Nursery World website.
Home Start's Big Hopes Big Future will give you some tips and activities you can try, and games you can play with your children. All of them will help your children be ready for school and make that first day less scary.
More help or advice
Don’t be afraid to ask. Speak to children’s centre staff, your health visitor, practice nurse or GP. And you can ask your child’s childminder or nursery for guidance, particularly if you’re concerned about your child’s development.
Special Educational Needs and disabilities
The advice here is aimed at families whose children are developing typically for their age. Families whose children need extra support because of special needs or a disability are advised to speak to their health visitor or other professional.
More than 1,800 people filled in our survey about what children need to know and be able to do before they start school.
Read the report
The full ready for school report with a summary and recommendations is attached to this page.
Identifying what school readiness means helps parents and childcare professionals work together to make more young children prepared for school. We want every child get a flying start at school and the results of the survey will support that.
We’re communicating our findings with parents and professionals and signposting them to ways they can help the children in their care become ready for school.
The following recommendations from the report are to be built into Derbyshire's strategic planning for Health, Education and Children’s Centre services:
- health and childcare professionals are ready to advise parents and help them to develop a secure attachment to their babies and young children
- families, nurseries and childminders can get help to encourage children to talk and develop their language skills
- parents and professionals will be made aware of milestones for toilet training and helped to meet them
- schools will be helped to provide flexible admissions arrangements to suit individual children and help them move from early years to primary school
- all nurseries, childminders and nurseries will strive to deliver high-quality 0-5 education that makes learning exciting
The survey was needed because school readiness can mean different things to different people. This can be difficult for us as we plan and develop services for children, families and the childcare professionals who work with them.
More than half of the respondents were parents, carers or family members. The rest were mainly made up of teachers, non-teaching school staff, childminders, nursery or pre-school workers. The age group most represented was 31 to 45 years old, with people aged from 13 to over 65 taking part.
Working together discussion sheets
There are a number of discussion sheets attached to this page that cover:
- listening skills
- sharing books
- toilet training
- talking skills.
These discussion sheets are to support a conversation between Early Years staff (teachers, practitioners, children’s centre staff), parents and carers in helping children to achieve the Derbyshire keys to school readiness. The bite sized steps are suitable for use when working with nursery age children or those children in reception class who do not yet have the key skills.