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Ready for School!

Is your child ready to start school? The perennial question many parents agonize over. Age-wise your little bundle of joy may be able to start school, but are they actually ready to embark on this new learning journey in education? For both Whānau and tamariki, the transition to primary school is an enormous milestone.

Whaea Kate is one of our Pāpāmoa Beach Ngahiraka Kaiako and is super passionate about getting our older tamariki ready for school. Have a read of what she has to share!

What is school Readiness?

There can never be a completely independent decision on whether our Tamarki are “ready” to start the school journey. School readiness is not all about being able to read or write fluently, know numbers and count backwards. These skills are all taught during their first years at school. Although they may be beneficial, Tamariki entering school ready to thrive, flourish and enjoy the challenges are just as important! This is something we aim to support – and prepare our tamariki both educationally, socially and emotionally for the next steps in their journey.


Our cool for school club is designed to inspire and spark curiosity among our little legends transitioning to school. We want to encourage children to be excited about their transit to school and support them in all areas for them to be lifelong learners! During our together time we explore and engage in a number of different learning opportunities such as:

  • Learning more about our local schools eg. What does the school look like? The uniforms?
  • Social and Cooperative games and role plays
  • Engaging in fun literacy and numeracy games/activities
  • Exploring self-management skills; they learn to understand initiative, commitment, perseverance, and enterprise as they adapt to new situations.

Top Tips & Tricks for Whānau

Encourage Self Help Skills/Independence:
By the time your little legend is 5 they’re probably showing signs of wanting to be more independently little beings. Starting school will only reinforce their need for independence. One of the best things you can do for your tamariki is to show them, and let them practice how to do things for themselves, like: putting their bag away when they get home, putting on their own shoes, zipping and putting on jackets and coats, etc.

Encourage Social Skills:
Schools are full of different personality types from the strong willed, to the easy going, to the very quiet. It’s important to give your tamariki helpful tips on how to talk to new children and make new friends at school. Learning alongside them with different ways to deal with situations like sharing,conflict, and misunderstandings, will immensely help their social wellbeing. We also know that school is a place where sharing and taking turns is really important. An easy way to practice this is at home! Sharing at home with pens, balls and toys. Understanding these interactions will help support them throughout their primary school years.

Exposure to Letters and Numbers:
Although these are explored in depth throughout the early years of primary school. Provide your children with a little helping hand by exposing them on a regular basis to letters and numbers. This will give them a huge boost in those first few terms of school.
It is not essential for tamariki to know how to read or write letters before school age, some kids just aren’t ready for that (which is totally fine), but by exposing them to letters and numbers you can lay foundations they’ll need in school. Exposing children to numeracy and literacy through play is an awesome way to achieve this! Even talking to your children about what letters are in their name? And if they can identify these in other names? There are so many daily occurrences where we can expose our children to these! Get creative!


These tips and tricks are just a few of the things that we can do to help support our tamariki on their transition to school journey.

In the words of Dr Suess….

“You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself in any direction you choose!”