School Readiness: Statistics and Tips

At this time of year, parents find themselves asking if their child will be ready for primary school next year. Kindergarten interviews are commencing at some schools and pre-schools are focusing more heavily on literacy and maths activities. It’s certainly a big step up from pre-school and not just because of the uniforms and shoe-lace tying. Formal schooling presents many new challenges to children in terms of the increased demands on their speech and language skills.


school readiness testing picHere is what the experts say:

According to Speech Pathology Australia, “Children who enter school with language difficulties are at risk of literacy problems, poor academic achievement, low self-esteem, social and behavioural problems and reduced employment options”.

An Australian study in 2008 showed that teachers are reporting up to 21% of children are entering school with difficulties expressing themselves to others through speech.

A report out of the Child Bank Data Centre in 2012 concludes that “Children who enter school with early skills, such as a basic knowledge of math and reading, are more likely than their peers to experience later academic success, attain higher levels of education, and secure employment.”


What are just some of the skills your child will need when they commence school?

  • Retell stories
  • Understand requests and seek clarification
  • Carry out three part-directions in the correct order
  • Listen attentively and answer questions (particularly in a group situation)
  • Take turns in a conversation with peers
  • Interrupt conversations appropriately
  • Say all their speech sounds correctly
  • Easily deal with frustration
  • Name 6 geometric shapes
  • Sort and classify objects (e.g. by colour, function, size etc)
  • Describe concepts e.g. big/small, more/less, same/different, in front/behind, under/over, actions etc
  • Count objects with 10 or more in the group


So what can you do to ensure your child is ready for “big school”?

  1. Check out our norms for communication development to see if your child is tracking ok on our website http://communicatespeech.com.au/resources/speech-a-language-checklists/school-readiness-checklist
  2. Chat to the team at Communicate Speech Pathology to arrange a school readiness test for your child at home or at their preschool or day-care centre http://communicatespeech.com.au/our-programs/pre-school-screening-and-school-readiness-testing
  3. Book a parent and teacher school readiness talk for your pre-school/daycare group with one of Communicate’s highly trained therapists to learn more about what it means to be school ready.
  4. Check out our Facebook page for lots of suggested games, activities and Apps to promote your child’s  speech and language skills  www.facebook.com/CommunicateSpeech

This information was brought to you by the team at Communicate Speech Pathology.

If you have any concerns about your child’s speech and language development  feel free to contact us on 9328 3444 or [email protected].



Author: Laurice Klaire

Weekly Newsletter Sign Up