Month: <span>June 2015</span>

School readiness assessment

School readiness assessment

Frequently asked school readiness assessment questions, by parents

Nowadays you will hear professionals rather talk about “readiness to learn than school readiness. Let’s discuss this topic, and the need for school readiness assessments further.

What determines a child’s readiness to learn (school readiness)?

  • His ability to focus and concentrate. The kind of activity on which the child needs to concentrate on plays a role here.
  • The child’s own motivation to learn. Parents and factors beyond the child can influence this.
  • The child’s state of health. A healthy child has more energy and is thus more capable of learning.
  • His emotional maturity. An emotional stable child learns easier.
  • A child’s intellectual ability. Though some children learn more easily than others, a child with an average intellectual ability can be successful in school.

When does readiness to learn (school readiness) start?

  • Readiness to learn (school readiness) starts in the mother’s womb and it is an ongoing process.
  • A child is always ready to learn new knowledge, skills and behaviour.

Above mentioned stresses the role of the parent and teacher to provide appropriate opportunities and activities for the child to learn.

Is school readiness assessment really needed or am I wasting my time and money?

 Yes and yes again. This is why a school readiness assessment, by an educational psychologist, is needed:

School readiness assessment
School readiness assessment

The school readiness assessment is:

  • objective;
  • formal;
  • done by a professional person;
  • detailed, which contains both an intellectual and emotional part.

A school readiness assessment provides information of the level of development of a child.  Problems are highlighted through a school readiness assessment and can be addressed in time.

School readiness is also done by school teachers. Why should I, as a parent, choose an educational psychologist to do the school readiness assessment?

The school readiness (learning readiness) tests by teachers are usually screening tests. These tests are effective and very helpful in screening a child to determine whether he is ready to learn (school ready) and to identify any problems and / or areas of development in the child. These tests take more or less between 45 to 60 minutes and are in small groups of children, between 4 and 10). If any area is suspected as a problem and / or gap in a child’s development and if you want to determine your child’s emotional level, read further:

Only an educational psychologist is allowed to use psychometric tests to determine a child’s intellectual ability (including an IQ test) in his level of readiness to learn (school readiness). An educational psychologist is further qualified to assess your child emotionally in order to determine whether he will be emotional ready to learn (emotional level of school readiness). This assessment takes more or less between two to four hours and is done with only one child at a time. A school readiness assessment by an educational psychologist is usually divided between two morning sessions. Parents receive a formal written report from the educational psychologist.

References: Dr Susan le Roux (Educational Psychologist); The Reception Year: Learning through play. Drs Reda Davin and Christie van Staden.
Parents and teachers are puzzle pieces in child development - Dr. Marisa van Niekerk Val de Vie and Franschhoek

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