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School Readiness Checklist | Prep Checklist for Starting School

Are you looking for a definitive School Readiness Checklist to see if your child is ready to start Prep? Well, we don’t know if this is an exhaustive list, but a kindy has put this together this prep readiness list of skills to help parents work out what it would be best for children to be capable of when starting Prep.

This Prep checklist considers: fine and gross motor skills, social skills academic skills, physical skills, knowing about personal health and safety and knowing their personal information.

Here’s a beginning primary school readiness skills checklist that we hope helps.

Fine motor skills

  • Can put a 10-piece puzzle together.
  • Can hold scissors correctly.
  • Can hold a pencil/crayon properly.

Gross motor skills

  • Runs, jumps, skip.
  • Can walk backwards.
  • Can walk up and down stairs.

Social skills

  • Uses words instead of being physical when angry.
  • Speaks clearly so an adult can understand them.
  • Plays with other children.
  • Follows simple direction.
  • Expresses feeling and needs.
  • Goes to the bathroom by themselves.
  • Waits their turn and shares.
  • Talks in sentences.
  • Asks questions about things around them.
  • Enjoys having books read to them.
  • Can tell a story about a past event.
  • Says please and thank you.
  • Can spend extended periods away from parents.

Academic skills

  • Recognises basic shapes.
  • Can sort items by colour, size and shape.
  • Can identify six part of their body.
  • Understands concept words such as up, down and in and out.
  • Counts from 1 to 10.
  • Recognises five colours.
  • Times to write their name.
  • Recognises their written name.

Health and safety

  • Eats healthy food.
  • Follows simple safety rules.
  • Uses good habits, eg spoons, forks, covers mouth and nose when sneezes.
  • Washes hands after going to the toilet.
  • Has a set routine for going to bed and brushing teeth.

Physical skills

  • Can put on and take off jumpers, shoes and sock independently.
  • Uses the toilet independently.
  • Can open and close lunch boxes and drink bottles.
  • Can identify their own belongings.
  • Can care for and put away play things.

Personal information

  • Knows their full name.
  • Knows their age.
  • Knows their address and telephone number.
  • Knows his mum and dad’s first names.

What do you think? Is this prep ready checklist helpful?

Armed with this Prep readiness information you may be able to make a more informed decision about whether or not your child is ready for Prep or perhaps you are considering delaying Prep? Let us know in comments if you would add anything to this list!

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Amanda Mergler

Dr Amanda Mergler is an expert in child and adolescent development. Her PhD focused on personal responsibility and she has published papers on delayed Prep entry.. She has been an academic at Queensland University of Technology for over 10 years and is currently a Guidance Officer at Federation University. Her academic credentials together with her advocacy work makes her a credible source and highly reputable expert on the Families Magazine team.

3 thoughts on “School Readiness Checklist | Prep Checklist for Starting School”

  1. My little one misses the cut off by 2 days so this is handy to get an idea of what’s required. I think she won’t be stimulated enough if she’s at daycare for another year and can do almost all of these things. Hopefully the schools feel the same way(?). Time will tell.

  2. ThAnk you for the excellent list. My question is more about “Is my daughter emotionally ready for prep?”

    I’d like to see more of a checklist around emotional needs.

    • Join our ‘Ready for Prep’ event on Facebook – follow us on Facebook to ensure you see our post about the event in late August.


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