School readiness is a strategy to close the learning gap and improve equity in achieving lifelong learning and full developmental potential among young children.
Participants in the field of early childhood development have been reluctant to define school readiness. Some educational approaches use a narrow ‘pre-primary’ educational approach that stresses literacy and numeracy skills to align with a primary school curriculum in preparation for the year 1, other approaches use an approach that stresses a broader preparation for life beyond a school-based curriculum.
The United Nations World Fit for Children mission statement of 2002 is an example of current concepts of school readiness - a good start in life, in a nurturing and safe environment that enables children to survive and be physically healthy, mentally alert, emotionally secure, socially competent and able to learn. The WFFC goals highlight the importance of a caring, safe and stimulating environment for the holistic development of young children.
The three dimensions of school readiness are:
Ready children, focusing on children’s learning and development.
Ready schools, focusing on the school environment along with practices that foster and
support a smooth transition for children into primary school and advance and promote the
learning of all children.
Ready families, focusing on parental and caregiver attitudes and involvement in their
children’s early learning and development and transition to school.
All three dimensions are important because school readiness is a time of transition that requires the interface between individuals, families and communities
A range of articles support practice and provision for early education, health and early help practitioners:
- Eat, sleep, play, learn
- Early Years: A preparation for life …not just for school
- UNICEF – Child2Child
- Early Intervention Foundation – Language as a child well-being indicator
- School Readiness Literature Review
- Teaching four and five year olds – The hundred review of the reception year in
- NAHT School ready report
- Growing Up North
- Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED)
See here the powerpoint presentations from the recent Child Ready: School Ready events - enabling schools, families, communities and children to be ready for one another, in order for the first steps of a child’s journey into school to be successful”
The day was dedicated to consideration of the key issues surrounding school readiness, presented the work currently being undertaken across North Yorkshire to support school readiness, provided opportunities to identify opportunities to enhance practice and improve children’s life chances, and to contribute to the planning of the future work in this priority.
- The Big Picture – national and local data, Stuart Carlton Corporate Director Children and Young People’s Service
- Are the Children Ready, Linda Mortimer, Headteacher, Saltergate Schools
- Off to school with Dad – Jeremy Davies, Fatherhood Institute
- North Yorkshire Coast Opportunities Area, Richard Benstead
- Stronger Communities – Inspire, Achieve, Innovate, Marie-Ann Jackson
- Starter for Ten, Adult Learning and Skills Service, Ann Featherstone
- Parenting support for school readiness - Enhancing Social-Emotional Health and Wellbeing in the Early Years, Dr. Sarah Blowers, University of York
- Early Years, nurturing lifelong learning, a continuum from birth. Ruth Mason, Lead Adviser, Early Years, School and Early Years Improvement Service.