Is your child starting Reception Class?

Are they ready for school?

Your School Nursing Service can give advice on helpingyour child to be ready for school:

  • child development
  • eating
  • sleeping and bedtimeroutines
  • behaviour
  • anxiety and emotions
  • toileting and self care skills
  • constipation
  • dental care
  • immunisations

All children are different and willdevelop at their own pace. Youcan help them to become more independent and ready for school by:

  • having a good consistent night time routine
  • your child needs 10-12 hours sleep every night and getting up at the same time every morning helps your child get into a good routine.

Night time routine

You can help your child by:

  • winding
  • down time an hourbefore bed – play quiet games/activities – puzzles, colouring, and reading
  • having a warm bath, brushing teeth, getting into night clothes
  • having a story, cuddle and goodnight – encourage your child to settle by themselves.

A good night’s sleep will help your child to listen and concentrate better at school. For further information visit


Many children will be dry at night before they start school, some children take a bit longer to become dry at night. You can help your child by:

  • encouraging them to drink between 1000-1400mls of water during the day
  • encouraging them to use the toilet regularly throughout the day
  • avoiding giving blackcurrant juice, fizzy drinks or hot chocolate as these irritate the bladder.

For further information visit


Children can be fussy eaters, this is not uncommon at this age. You can help your child by:

  • having 3 regular meal times and avoiding lots of snacks between meals
  • focusing on praising what they eat rather than what they are not eating
  • making meal times a fun social time, prepare food together, and eat together.
  • offering different foods andtextures to try.

For further information visit

Getting ready for school check list

Encourage your child to:

  • recognise their name
  • begin to recognise numbers
  • begin to recognise colours
  • hold a pencil and make marks on the paper, they do not need to be able to write their own name at this stage
  • begin to hold and use scissors
  • begin to use blocks to build with
  • be able to use climbing equipment with increasing confidence
  • look at story books with you
  • sing songs and rhymes
  • play by themselves and alongside their peers
  • share and take turns
  • tidy away their toys
  • put on their coat and shoes
  • begin to dress and undress themselves
  • be able to ask to go to the toilet
  • go to the toilet by themselves
  • wash their hands
  • eat with a knife and fork
  • drink out of a cup
  • be able to tell someone they are hurt or sad
  • be able to wave and say goodbye when going into school
  • be able to listen to and follow simple instructions.

All children will develop at their own pace, if you have any concerns or need support in helping your child to be ready for school, speak to your EarlyYears setting, the School Nursing or Health Visiting
Service or your local Children’s Centre.

Making use of your child's early years Education Funding at 2, 3 and 4 helps children to develop skills to be ready for school.

Download all of this information as a leaflet: SHC School readiness June 2023.pdf [pdf] 2MB