During the assessment process, a child’s cognitive development, physical and sensory motor development, as well as social and emotional development, are assessed. It looks at a child’s level of development in the following areas to determine whether a child has the necessary skills to meet the required educational, social and emotional demands that formal schooling poses:
- Physical, sensory and motor development
- Cognitive development (which includes intellectual, perceptual, language and numerical development, reasoning ability, memory, and general knowledge)
- Emotional and social development
Why is it important to be school-ready?
Besides the obvious implication that a child who is not school ready will simply not cope in class and will more than likely fail the academic year, one has to keep the significance of the first school year in mind. A child who is not ready for grade 1 will most likely feel completely overwhelmed in class, and may develop a fear or dislike of school all together. The child might also notice that all his classmates are able to cope with tasks that he finds difficult and may begin to think that there is something wrong with him. This may lead to a low self-esteem or may lead children to form “mental blocks” against certain types of schoolwork such as a belief that they “simply cannot do math”, where this might not be the case at all.
It is thus crucial to establish that a child is indeed “school ready” before enrolling them for Grade one.