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School holidays are here which means it’s only a hop, skip and a jump until the 2017 intake of excited Preppies wave their mums goodbye at the school gate. Is your family ready?

It’s a scary thought, sending our littlies off into the big world (or schoolyard) with little more than a shiny new lunchbox and oversized hat. Days spent cruising in shopping trolleys and napping to the melodic voices of Playschool will soon be replaced with reading, writing and new routines, begging the question: are they ready?

The teaching crew at King’s Christian College understand the stress of starting Prep and the apprehension all parents feel about school readiness. Their goal is to team up with parents to give every King’s kid the best start.

“Our aim is to complement the role of parents by providing a school environment that is safe, considerate and encouraging,” says Principal Rees Davis. “It is our experience that when this is achieved, success will automatically follow.”

King’s Christian College has compiled a handy list of  ‘30 things your child needs to know before starting Prep’ to help prepare your child – and yourself! – for the next big step. They recommend working on these skills in fun and creative ways to make sure your little one feels ready; easing your anxiety and ensuring your child gets the most out of prep. Hurrah!

Literacy skills

  1. Can they follow two-part directions?
  2. Do they speak clearly – are they understood by others and able to ask for help?
  3. Do they listen with understanding?
  4. Do they use language to ask questions and communicate their thoughts and ideas?
  5. Do they show interest in stories and enjoys being read to? It’s of utmost importance to encourage them to read. While pre-schoolers won’t actually be reading, they pretend to and memorise or repeat words they have heard and read. Use these school holidays to get reading.
  6. Does your child use scribbles, shapes or pictures to write words or ideas?
  7. Can they take on pretend roles? Having them ‘help’ with cooking and shopping will also help with problem solving.

Social skills/self care

  1. Can they participate in group activities?
  2. Do they take turns and share?
  3. Do they play well with others, and alone?
  4. Can they toilet and dress themselves – despite their fashion sense!
  5. Are they persistent and can finish tasks?
  6. Do they express emotions and deal with conflict appropriately?
  7. Do they understand and follow most rules?
  8. Can they separate from parents or primary carers?
  9. Encourage them to look after their own belongings – teach them to unpack their lunch box, carry their own bag and use and refill a drink bottle.
  10. Do they show natural curiosity and interest in learning new things?

Numeracy skills

  1. Can they sort according to colour, size and shape?
  2. Can they make simple patterns?
  3. Can they identify shapes?
  4. Do they know their colours?
  5. Can they count objects? Make it a game.

Fine and gross motor skills

  1. Can they balance on one foot?
  2. Can they climb?
  3. Can they complete a puzzle?
  4. Can they hold scissors correctly? Give them opportunities to cut out magazines or shapes (with blunt scissors, of course) over the holidays
  5. Can they write their first name (upper case for the first letter and lower case for the remaining letters)?
  6. Can they copy vertical lines, horizontal lines, circles, crosses, squares, triangles?
  7. Can they catch a ball? Put down the iPad and toss a ball outside these holidays.
  8. Can they stack blocks

Visit www.kingscollege.qld.edu.au

Words: Anastasia White

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