Is Your Child Ready for Grade 1? Here are 5 Key Areas to Assess

by

You’ve applied, and maybe your child has been accepted into Grade 1, but you don’t feel as confident as you should.

It’s that time of the year when parents of preschoolers (Grade R) are asking if their children are ready for Grade 1.

It is a major decision for a parent, but remember that your child’s teacher should have the best idea of whether your child can meet social and academic expectations. Listen to the advice given by them as they have been trained in early childhood development.

These feelings that you have, maybe even anxiety, are to be expected because they reflect the intense emotional bond you have with your child. Elizabeth Stone said: “Being a parent is to decide to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”

Some questions you may have:

  • Will my child become bored if I keep them in Grade R another year?
  • Is my child emotionally mature enough to handle all the requirements of Grade 1?
  • Will my child be able to keep up with the pace in Grade 1?

The first five years of life are critical to a child’s lifelong development. Young childrens’ earliest experiences actually influence brain development, establishing the neural connections that provide the foundation for language, reasoning, problem solving, social skills, behaviour and emotional heath.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance that we prepare and develop our children’s potential and ability to learn during this phase (Simone Pieterse, 2012).

So what is school readiness actually?

In a nutshell school readiness involves two types of readiness: a readiness to learn (which is continuous) and a readiness for school (which is associated with a fixed age). School readiness is thus a measure of how prepared a child is to succeed at school.

No single factor determines whether a child is ready for school. School readiness depends on both emotional maturity and scholastic ability. It is split into different areas and, although these areas are separate, they do interact with and reinforce each other. Children need to develop across all of the areas.

The 5 key areas of school readiness are:

1. Physical and Motor Development:

  • Gross motor e.g. running, skipping, standing on one leg.
  • Fine motor e.g. comfortable using a pair of scissors, successfully doing zips and buttons, is able to use cutlery.
  • Perceptual development: both visual and auditory.
  • Taking care of themselves e.g. manages to go to the toilet by themselves.

2. Emotional and Social Development:

  • A child who is emotionally well-adjusted has a significantly greater chance of early school success.
  • Gets along with peers – can interact within a group or shows an interest in other children, willing to help a friend.
  • Can express feelings and needs.
  • Can share.
  • Can sit still e.g. long enough to listen to a story.
  • Can concentrate on a task for a reasonable amount of time.
  • Able to deal with frustration in an acceptable way.

3. Cognitive Development:

  • Can make independent decisions and follow through.
  • Have ideas of their own.
  • Can follow simple directions or instructions.
  • Shows an interest in learning.

4. Language Development: (this includes literacy, listening, speaking and vocabulary)

  • Should be able to communicate effectively in home language.
  • Be able to sequence (retell a story or a set of events).
  • Identify similarities and differences between objects.

5. Emotional maturity:

  • Independence.
  • Reasonable control over emotions.
  • Basic problem solving skills.
  • Confidence.
  • Shows responsibility.
  • Handles separation well.

What can you do to prepare your child for this new phase in their lives?

  • Read to your child.
  • Teach your child songs, nursery rhymes and poems.
  • Take your child on excursions e.g. to a museum.
  • Make regular opportunities for play-dates.
  • Play games so that your child starts recognising colours, numbers, letters.

In the words of Dr Melodie de Jager at the Mind Moves Institute, Johannesburg. 2014:

“School readiness is not a means to discriminate against some children. On the contrary, it is a way of giving all children an equal opportunity in life …”

However, children should:

  • Have minds crammed with concrete and semi-concrete experiences.
  • Have been exposed to abstract concepts in concrete ways for years.
  • Use the language spoken in the Grade 1 classroom spontaneously to converse, learn and reason.
  • Have had ample opportunity to play outside, so that they are now ready for and eager to experience the primary school adventure.

Is your child ready to tackle Grade 1? Post your comments or share your experiences below.

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About the Author

Adele Keyser has 27 years experience in teaching pre-primary, foundation phase, intermediate-senior phase and adult education. That's 27 years experience in dealing with children (and parents!). Currently teaching in Cape Town, her major focus is building classroom environments that foster healthy self-esteem and help children realise what they're capable of.

53 Comments

  1. Annemie

    My twins were born on 13 December 2013. we are currently holding them back a year as the kids in their age group looked so much older than them. my question is, is it better to hold them a year back when they have to go to grade 1 as they are currently a year behind.

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Annemie

      Thank you for your message.

      It will certainly be beneficial to “hold” your twins back if they need more time to acquire adequate skills to help them when going to Grade 1. Grade 1 is a very important year, as it is the foundation on which all further schooling is built. So, if the extra year is used wisely and to the benefit of the twins, it can only make the transition to Grade 1 that much easier.

      Thank you
      Adele Keyser

      Reply
      • Nana Tubail

        Hi Miss Olivier,
        My son born in 17th October 2011 he did Grade 1 2017-2018 !!
        And I am planing to repeat Grade 1 for him so when the school start his age is 6 Turing to 7 during 2018.
        I found him not ready because he is not spelling well and can’t read and write yet.
        He has som medical problems last year so he miss a lot of classes so he keep saiying that every body better than him and he start to be shy he don’t Want to take
        talk at class. His teacher advice is to repeat the year and his father don’t want him to miss 1full year!!??
        Regarding his medical problem he had convulsions related to the high fever and dr decide to give him antiepilibtic medication ( after EEG) so that’s affect him.
        I want to know regarding his age which grade he should be?
        Regards.

        Reply
        • Kayleen Olivier

          Hi Nana

          Thanks for your message.

          School readiness is as dependent on emotional maturity as it is on scholastic/cognitive ability.

          Normally, a child starts Grade 1 in the year that they turn 7. Grade 0 is normally for children 4-5 and Grade R for children 5-6.

          In order to be deemed cognitively school ready, children need to achieve particular outcomes on school readiness assessments. Yet, many children who have scored well on the cognitive side of these assessments, are still deemed not school ready based on their levels of emotional maturity.

          There also seems to be a commonly held myth that all children reach the same level of maturity at the same age. Children vary greatly in their levels of emotional maturity. This is partly influenced by parenting but also depends to a large extent on a natural developmental process and will increase with time.

          So what exactly do we look for when we assess school readiness? By no means are we expecting children to act like miniature versions of serious adults. We still expect them to be childlike, to be more focused on fun than anything else and to be largely egocentric in their outlook, but we expect them to display some of the following traits:

          1) Confidence:
          Is your child confident enough to speak up in a busy classroom when he is uncomfortable or needs help? A formal schooling environment does not always allow the teacher to pay individual attention to each child and children who do not speak up may easily fall behind. Children also need to be able to let the teacher know when they need a bathroom break, are feeling ill, do not have the right tools or are being bullied.

          2) Separation:
          Does your child separate easily from you when you drop him off in the morning or are the goodbyes long, teary affairs? Some crying in the first few weeks is absolutely normal and is even expected, but teachers simply will not have the time (and often will not have the patience) to console a tearful child all day long.

          3) Responsibility:
          Does your child take responsibility for his belongings. Does your child remember to put his lunchbox back in his bag and his eraser back in his pencil case or is his teacher constantly running after him returning lost goods?

          4) Concentration:
          Is your child able to sit still at a desk and concentrate for relatively long periods at a time? Grade 1 teachers will allow for many short breaks during the day, but a child who is constantly getting out of his seat can be very disruptive and will soon elicit complaints from his classmates.

          5) Problem solving:
          Is your child able to solve the majority of basic little problems that pop up on a daily basis? For example, will she know to borrow a ruler from a friend if she doesn’t have one, ask her teacher to phone you if she’s left her lunch behind or go to look in the lost property box when she can’t find his jersey? This also relates to social interactions. “Telling on” is probably the phrase heard most often on foundation phase playgrounds and teachers expect to be asked to be both judge and jury in certain cases, but children need at least some basic skills in resolving minor conflicts.

          6) Independence:
          Can your child complete most tasks on her own or is she constantly running to her teacher’s table for approval or intervention?

          7)Persistence:
          Carefully designed lessons include both tasks that are easy to complete, so that learners experience a sense of accomplishment, and tasks that are challenging, to extend the learners. Some children have a habit of simply shrugging their shoulders and repeating the familiar “I can’t do it” without ever really having given the task a full go, thus never progressing to higher levels of academic work.

          The best option, and where we would suggest you start, is to arrange a meeting with your son’s current teacher and express your concerns to them. They will be able to provide more clarity on the reasons for their repeating Grade 1, and what the best option for your son will be next year. They should be able to provide ‘evidence’ as to why they would prefer for your son to repeat the grade.

          Repeating Grade 1, considering your son’s medical difficulties and the possibility that he may have missed a few key learning areas during his illness, may not necessarily be a bad idea. Talk with his teacher before making any decisions.

          I hope this helps. Please let us know if you’d like more information, or possible suggestions on how to develop your son’s school readiness, we’ll be happy to assist.

          Kayleen 🙂

          Reply
          • HKNaik

            Thanks a lot for this wonderful article Kayleen.Heartiest thanks but specific thanks for the key points you enlisted down for this particular query.
            ~Thanks a lot

          • Ross Frank

            Hi there! Thanks for your comment! We will be sure to pass on your comment to Kayleen and let her know what you think of her blog post. We are also glad to hear that you find our blog posts useful. Please let us know if there are any other blog topics you would like for us to cover in the future or if you have any questions regarding our content.

            Ross 🙂

  2. Ma-africa

    Hi my son was born in 2012 and in grade RR so I also like t prepared my son for grade r ,the problem is he’s epileptic end he’s losing concentration sometimes pls help what can I do ?

    Reply
  3. Rolene

    Hi Kayleen

    My son is currently in Gr RR and was born on 6 December.
    His teacher informed us that he is battling emotionally as he doesn’t want to share and cry when he doesn’t get what he wants. She wants us to be prepared for him possibly having to repeat Gr R next year as she has concerns over his emotional readiness.
    What can we as parents do to help with school readiness?
    He is very active and love sport, hence I want to do everything possible to avoid holding him back a year if possible at all.

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Rolene

      Thanks for your message.

      School readiness is as dependent on emotional maturity as it is on scholastic/cognitive ability.

      In order to be deemed cognitively school ready, children need to achieve particular outcomes on school readiness assessments. Yet, many children who have scored well on the cognitive side of these assessments, are still deemed not school ready based on their levels of emotional maturity. This happens very often with children whose birthdays fall in the last quarter of the year and are having to compete with classmates who are virtually a year older and more capable, simply by virtue of their age – as in your son’s case.

      There also seems to be a commonly held myth that all children reach the same level of maturity at the same age. Children vary greatly in their levels of emotional maturity. This is partly influenced by parenting but also depends to a large extent on a natural developmental process and will increase with time.

      So what exactly do we look for when we assess school readiness? By no means are we expecting children to act like miniature versions of serious adults. We still expect them to be childlike, to be more focused on fun than anything else and to be largely egocentric in their outlook, but we expect them to display some of the following traits:

      1) Confidence:
      Is your child confident enough to speak up in a busy classroom when he is uncomfortable or needs help? A formal schooling environment does not always allow the teacher to pay individual attention to each child and children who do not speak up may easily fall behind. Children also need to be able to let the teacher know when they need a bathroom break, are feeling ill, do not have the right tools or are being bullied.

      2) Separation:
      Does your child separate easily from you when you drop him off in the morning or are the goodbyes long, teary affairs? Some crying in the first few weeks is absolutely normal and is even expected, but teachers simply will not have the time (and often will not have the patience) to console a tearful child all day long.

      3) Responsibility:
      Does your child take responsibility for his belongings. Does your child remember to put his lunchbox back in his bag and his eraser back in his pencil case or is his teacher constantly running after him returning lost goods?

      4) Concentration:
      Is your child able to sit still at a desk and concentrate for relatively long periods at a time? Grade 1 teachers will allow for many short breaks during the day, but a child who is constantly getting out of his seat can be very disruptive and will soon elicit complaints from his classmates.

      5) Problem solving:
      Is your child able to solve the majority of basic little problems that pop up on a daily basis? For example, will he know to borrow a ruler from a friend if he doesn’t have one, ask his teacher to phone you if he’s left his lunch behind or go to look in the lost property box when he can’t find his jersey? This also relates to social interactions. “Telling on” is probably the phrase heard most often on foundation phase playgrounds and teachers expect to be asked to be both judge and jury in certain cases, but children need at least some basic skills in resolving minor conflicts.

      6) Independence:
      Can your child complete most tasks on his own or is he constantly running to his teacher’s table for approval or intervention?

      7)Persistence:
      Carefully designed lessons include both tasks that are easy to complete, so that learners experience a sense of accomplishment, and tasks that are challenging, to extend the learners. Some children have a habit of simply shrugging their shoulders and repeating the familiar “I can’t do it” without ever really having given the task a full go, thus never progressing to higher levels of academic work.

      As I mentioned earlier emotional maturity is, to a large extent, a natural process and needs to develop over time but there are some things that you can do as a parent to encourage emotional development in your pre-school child:

      – Allow your child to do age-appropriate things for himself and refrain from interfering unless he asks for your help. Also, when he does ask for your help, encourage him to work through the problem solving process with you by asking questions such as: How else could we do this? What do you think we need to do first / next? What could we have done differently?
      – Take a step back when your child is faced with conflict situations in peer relationships (this is very hard, but give it a try) and observe whether he is able to solve the conflict on his own. Only get involved when someone stands to get hurt. Also, once the situation has been diffused offer solutions on how to handle similar conflicts in the future.
      – Play with your child to help develop joint attention, turn-taking, how to handle losing, cooperation and sharing. Board games are great for this!
      – Create opportunities for your child to interact with other children of a similar age through play dates and playgroups.
      – Help your child to understand and display their own emotions and to recognise these emotions in other people. Also help them to understand and recognise how other people are feeling in particular situations. You can do this by talking about/verbalising or modelling these behaviours/emotions. You can also comment on facial expressions when reading books and talk about the way the person might be feeling and why. Talk about ways to express different emotions (e.g. you are laughing because you are happy; you are crying because you are sad).

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you’d like more information, or more possible suggestions on how to develop your son’s school readiness, we’ll be happy to assist.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  4. Bongz

    Hi
    I have the same problem my daughter is in grade R and a December baby (15) she is confident and a social leader within her circle of friends here at home who are a few months to a year older than her. But at school her teacher says she seems to be overpowered by her friends and always the follower not the leader she is at home.Now they say she should repeat grade R because she’s not emotionally mature for grade 1 yet. She also tends to be insecure in her own work and constantly says she’s tired and wants to play or can she finish tasks the following day.
    My gut says let her go to grade 1 and help to boost her abilities to learn and concentrate cause she adapts easily to situations but I’m scared also to push her to something she’s not emotionally ready for.As her school readiness assessment came her learning capabilities are well most exceeding her age group just maturity that was the concern.

    Reply
  5. Yasmin

    Hi

    My 6 year old son is in Grade R this year and he is supposed to be starting big school in Jan 2018. He is generally a very “sharp and quick” child. However, they had their school assessment last week, and I kinda got mixed reviews.

    I was actually so proud of him for the initial academic or scholastic part of assessment. And his work book for the year too was so neat and had positive comments from teacher.

    However, later AFTER ASSESSMENT, when I commented to the teacher doing the assessment (who is not his usual daily class teacher) about him “being READY for big school, she responded by saying that “she wished that she had had more time with him” and went on to say that “he was not CONFIDENT enough” or that “he takes longer to do stuff”.

    Since then, my mind is in a tizz. I’m totally confused going forward. I have stress/anxiety pains about this. Not sure what next.

    Keeping him back a year, could impact positively and negatively.

    If he IS NOT READY, then it gives him a year to “get ready” both academically and emotionally. OR I could be keeping him back a year unnecessarily???

    OR, send him to big school in January, and he might adjust and cope well. Or NOT?

    PLEASE HELP.

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Yasmin

      Thanks for your message.

      School readiness is as dependent on emotional maturity as it is on scholastic/cognitive ability.

      In order to be deemed cognitively school ready, children need to achieve particular outcomes on school readiness assessments. Yet, many children who have scored well on the cognitive side of these assessments, are still deemed not school ready based on their levels of emotional maturity.

      There also seems to be a commonly held myth that all children reach the same level of maturity at the same age. Children vary greatly in their levels of emotional maturity. This is partly influenced by parenting but also depends to a large extent on a natural developmental process and will increase with time.

      So what exactly do we look for when we assess school readiness? By no means are we expecting children to act like miniature versions of serious adults. We still expect them to be childlike, to be more focused on fun than anything else and to be largely egocentric in their outlook, but we expect them to display some of the following traits:

      1) Confidence:
      Is your child confident enough to speak up in a busy classroom when he is uncomfortable or needs help? A formal schooling environment does not always allow the teacher to pay individual attention to each child and children who do not speak up may easily fall behind. Children also need to be able to let the teacher know when they need a bathroom break, are feeling ill, do not have the right tools or are being bullied.

      2) Separation:
      Does your child separate easily from you when you drop him off in the morning or are the goodbyes long, teary affairs? Some crying in the first few weeks is absolutely normal and is even expected, but teachers simply will not have the time (and often will not have the patience) to console a tearful child all day long.

      3) Responsibility:
      Does your child take responsibility for his belongings. Does your child remember to put his lunchbox back in his bag and his eraser back in his pencil case or is his teacher constantly running after him returning lost goods?

      4) Concentration:
      Is your child able to sit still at a desk and concentrate for relatively long periods at a time? Grade 1 teachers will allow for many short breaks during the day, but a child who is constantly getting out of his seat can be very disruptive and will soon elicit complaints from his classmates.

      5) Problem solving:
      Is your child able to solve the majority of basic little problems that pop up on a daily basis? For example, will he know to borrow a ruler from a friend if he doesn’t have one, ask his teacher to phone you if he’s left his lunch behind or go to look in the lost property box when he can’t find his jersey? This also relates to social interactions. “Telling on” is probably the phrase heard most often on foundation phase playgrounds and teachers expect to be asked to be both judge and jury in certain cases, but children need at least some basic skills in resolving minor conflicts.

      6) Independence:
      Can your child complete most tasks on his own or is he constantly running to his teacher’s table for approval or intervention?

      7)Persistence:
      Carefully designed lessons include both tasks that are easy to complete, so that learners experience a sense of accomplishment, and tasks that are challenging, to extend the learners. Some children have a habit of simply shrugging their shoulders and repeating the familiar “I can’t do it” without ever really having given the task a full go, thus never progressing to higher levels of academic work.

      The best option, and where we would suggest you start, is to arrange a meeting with your son’s current teacher and express your concerns to them. They will be able to provide more clarity on the reasons for their findings in the assessment, and what the best option for your son will be next year.

      As I mentioned earlier emotional maturity is, to a large extent, a natural process and needs to develop over time but there are some things that you can do as a parent to encourage emotional development in your pre-school child:

      – Allow your child to do age-appropriate things for himself and refrain from interfering unless he asks for your help. Also, when he does ask for your help, encourage him to work through the problem solving process with you by asking questions such as: How else could we do this? What do you think we need to do first / next? What could we have done differently?
      – Take a step back when your child is faced with conflict situations in peer relationships (this is very hard, but give it a try) and observe whether he is able to solve the conflict on his own. Only get involved when someone stands to get hurt. Also, once the situation has been diffused offer solutions on how to handle similar conflicts in the future.
      – Play with your child to help develop joint attention, turn-taking, how to handle losing, cooperation and sharing. Board games are great for this!
      – Create opportunities for your child to interact with other children of a similar age through play dates and playgroups.
      – Help your child to understand and display their own emotions and to recognise these emotions in other people. Also help them to understand and recognise how other people are feeling in particular situations. You can do this by talking about/verbalising or modelling these behaviours/emotions. You can also comment on facial expressions when reading books and talk about the way the person might be feeling and why. Talk about ways to express different emotions (e.g. you are laughing because you are happy; you are crying because you are sad).

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you’d like more information, or more possible suggestions on how to develop your son’s school readiness, we’ll be happy to assist.

      Reply
  6. Thumeka Kokisi

    Hi
    I have a concern. My child was born in 2012-06-29. In 2017 my daughter was in grade R and she is confident and a social leader within her circle of friends here at home who are a few months to a year older than her also in her previous school. Now we have moved to our home town. In her new school, I’m told that she can’t proceed to Grade 1 but to Grade 0 instead, because she is not ready for Grade 1. For God sake she can write her name without copying as well as the vowels. With other words, symbols and numbers she can copy them correctly. Now my question is; should a 5 and half year old child be able to write perfectly? What is the aim of Grade R? Is being able to write the only factor for Grade 1 readiness when a child manages to perform on other tasks? I strongly feel the new school is being unfair and is delaying my child. Please help…

    Kind regards

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Thumeka

      Thanks for your message.

      School readiness is as dependent on emotional maturity as it is on scholastic/cognitive ability.

      Normally, a child starts Grade 1 in the year that they turn 7. Grade 0 is normally for children 4-5 and Grade R for children 5-6.

      In order to be deemed cognitively school ready, children need to achieve particular outcomes on school readiness assessments. Yet, many children who have scored well on the cognitive side of these assessments, are still deemed not school ready based on their levels of emotional maturity.

      There also seems to be a commonly held myth that all children reach the same level of maturity at the same age. Children vary greatly in their levels of emotional maturity. This is partly influenced by parenting but also depends to a large extent on a natural developmental process and will increase with time.

      So what exactly do we look for when we assess school readiness? By no means are we expecting children to act like miniature versions of serious adults. We still expect them to be childlike, to be more focused on fun than anything else and to be largely egocentric in their outlook, but we expect them to display some of the following traits:

      1) Confidence:
      Is your child confident enough to speak up in a busy classroom when he is uncomfortable or needs help? A formal schooling environment does not always allow the teacher to pay individual attention to each child and children who do not speak up may easily fall behind. Children also need to be able to let the teacher know when they need a bathroom break, are feeling ill, do not have the right tools or are being bullied.

      2) Separation:
      Does your child separate easily from you when you drop him off in the morning or are the goodbyes long, teary affairs? Some crying in the first few weeks is absolutely normal and is even expected, but teachers simply will not have the time (and often will not have the patience) to console a tearful child all day long.

      3) Responsibility:
      Does your child take responsibility for his belongings. Does your child remember to put his lunchbox back in his bag and his eraser back in his pencil case or is his teacher constantly running after him returning lost goods?

      4) Concentration:
      Is your child able to sit still at a desk and concentrate for relatively long periods at a time? Grade 1 teachers will allow for many short breaks during the day, but a child who is constantly getting out of his seat can be very disruptive and will soon elicit complaints from his classmates.

      5) Problem solving:
      Is your child able to solve the majority of basic little problems that pop up on a daily basis? For example, will she know to borrow a ruler from a friend if she doesn’t have one, ask her teacher to phone you if she’s left her lunch behind or go to look in the lost property box when she can’t find his jersey? This also relates to social interactions. “Telling on” is probably the phrase heard most often on foundation phase playgrounds and teachers expect to be asked to be both judge and jury in certain cases, but children need at least some basic skills in resolving minor conflicts.

      6) Independence:
      Can your child complete most tasks on her own or is she constantly running to her teacher’s table for approval or intervention?

      7)Persistence:
      Carefully designed lessons include both tasks that are easy to complete, so that learners experience a sense of accomplishment, and tasks that are challenging, to extend the learners. Some children have a habit of simply shrugging their shoulders and repeating the familiar “I can’t do it” without ever really having given the task a full go, thus never progressing to higher levels of academic work.

      The best option, and where we would suggest you start, is to arrange a meeting with your daughter’s current teacher and express your concerns to them. They will be able to provide more clarity on the reasons for their findings in the assessment, and what the best option for your daughter will be next year. They should be able to provide ‘evidence’ as to why they would prefer to keep your daughter in Grade R.

      School readiness is not purely based on a child’s ability to copy words or numbers, there is a lot more that is developed during these very important pre-school years.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you’d like more information, or more possible suggestions on how to develop your son’s school readiness, we’ll be happy to assist.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  7. MM

    I would like to know what the formal process is that parents should follow if they want to send their child to school a year later.

    Reply
  8. Sarah Moolla

    hi

    My son turns 5 in October and the school wants to hold him back in Grade RRR instead of putting him in Grade RR. I am concerned about this as he is only 4 and we still don’t know what the future holds . They did an assessment where he was expected to count to 30 items – draw a figure with fingers and eyes copy 2 D shapes and cut shapes and paste – I feel this is stuff more for Grade R …or even end of grade RR…I’m so confused – What should i look for to see if he is ready for Grade RR

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Sarah

      Thanks for your message.

      While it’s true that children learn more in their first three years than ever again, it’s between ages three and five that they acquire the skills necessary for school. As children’s attention span, memory and language skills develop, they also become increasingly more sophisticated and social—qualities they’ll need for preschool.

      Many preschool teachers agree that a child’s preschool readiness depends more on her individual personality and temperament—a combination of mental, physical and emotional traits—than her so-called “academic” abilities. Even so, our developmental checklist can help you and your child get ready for this big step.

      Pre-School readiness checklist:

      Social skills
      Initiates and maintains independent play (for example, plays alone in the sandbox, or role-plays independently)
      Enjoys doing things on their own sometimes, such as reading, crafts or getting dressed
      Can separate from you for several hours, such as an afternoon at a friend’s house or a sleepover at Grandma’s
      Appears interested in going to a “big-kid” school, learning new things, and/or meeting new friends
      Enjoys participating in group activities
      Can express emotions, needs and requests
      Responds well to consistent routines, such as quiet time or naptime following lunch
      Anticipates what comes next during the day (for example, knows that naptime follows lunch)

      Motor skills
      Increases proficiency in gross motor skills, strength and balance, such as jumping in place, standing on one foot, running and kicking
      Develops gross motor coordination, such as to navigate around obstacles
      Rides tricycles
      Runs to kick a stationary ball
      Improves hand-eye coordination when playing with building blocks and simple puzzles
      Begins to improve pencil control by using fingers rather than the whole fist to grasp pencil and stylus
      Begins to show left/right-handedness

      Reasoning & concept development
      Matches like objects, mainly identical objects, or matches objects by shape and color
      Develops object permanence and understands that objects continue to exist even when out of sight
      Shows interests in tinkering with objects by taking things apart and putting them back together
      Explores with elements of nature, such as sand and water
      Remembers short sequences of events of 2 to 3 steps

      Language skills
      Uses language to communicate with others for a variety of purposes (for example, describing something, making requests, greeting someone, etc.)
      Speaks clearly to be understood by others
      Uses accepted language and communication styles (for example, using polite manners, using appropriate volume and tone)
      Tells simple stories
      Uses accepted nouns, verbs and adjectives in familiar contexts
      Understands words for common categories (for example, toys, food, clothes)
      Uses sentences with two phrases or concepts

      Reading
      Holds a book properly and turns pages
      Understands that words convey the message in a story
      Recognizes the first letter of their own name
      Knows some letter names
      Knows the main characters in familiar stories
      Enjoys reading books with others

      Writing
      Holds a writing tool with a fist or finger grasp
      Draws with a variety of tools (crayons, pens, pencils)
      Scribble-writes in a linear fashion
      Makes marks and refer to them as “my name”

      Math
      Identifies some shapes such as circle, square and triangle
      Understands and explores empty containers and full containers
      Recognizes and matches small quantities to the number words 1, 2 and 3
      Shows interest in numbers and recites some number words
      Can count along with help, although might make mistakes
      Distinguishes between “some” and “all,” and parts of a whole
      Uses some size words, such as “many”
      Uses words such as “same as” to make comparisons
      Shows interests in patterns and sequences
      Classifies or sorts objects into simple groups (such as by colors and size)
      Understands the order of the day, and begins to use some time words such as “morning” and “night”

      Science
      Asks questions about objects, events and animals observed in their environment
      Considers and offers explanations of how things might work
      Shows interest in different animals and the sounds they make
      Uses descriptive terms such as “fast” and “slow,” “hot” and “cold”

      Creative arts & music
      Begins to use a variety of art tools such as crayon, construction paper and colored pencils
      Knows a few color words
      Drawings have basic resemblance to objects and people
      Articulates what he/she is drawing
      Likes to imitate sounds and rhythm; might have a favorite song
      Uses realistic toys in pretend play or to imitate household routines
      Engages in dramatic play with others to act out simple play scripts, such as playing house

      Social studies
      Recognizes common features of the home and neighborhood, such as trees, houses and streets
      Shows interests in familiar people such as siblings, family members and friends
      Shows interests in common jobs and professions such as firefighter, doctor and nurse

      What are the building blocks necessary to develop preschool readiness?

      Self regulation: The ability to obtain, maintain and change emotion, behaviour, attention and activity level appropriate for a task or situation.
      Sensory processing: Accurate processing of sensory stimulation in the environment as well as in one’s own body which effects attention, behaviour and learning.
      Receptive language (understanding): Comprehension of spoken language (vocabulary, instructions, questions, concepts) for group instructions as well as peer interaction.
      Expressive language (using language): Formulating sentences that have age appropriate grammar (e.g. using pronouns ‘he/she’ correctly) and word order, using specific vocabulary, and telling a simple story.
      Articulation: The ability to clearly pronounce individual sounds in words and sentences.
      Executive Functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills (e.g. working out how to make the desired building, collecting the materials and overcoming challenges in the process).
      Emotional development/regulation: The ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions and regulate emotions. It also means responding age appropriately to a frustration and managing to ‘contain’ tantrums or recovering quickly from an upset.
      Social skills: Determined by the ability to engage in reciprocal interaction with others (either verbally or non-verbally), to compromise with others and to be able to recognise and follow social norms.
      Planning and sequencing: The sequential multi-step task/activity performance to achieve a well-defined result.

      How can I tell if my child has problems with preschool readiness?
      If a child has difficulties with preschool readiness they might:

      – Get easily frustrated when expectations are placed upon them.
      – Struggle to follow instructions in daily activities.
      – Rely on parents/teachers to perform self care tasks for them (e.g. dressing, hygiene).
      – Not be toilet trained (day time).
      – Be socially immature.
      – Have poor understanding of simple questions (who, what, where).
      – Struggle with formulating sentences.
      – Respond in only short sentences to questions.
      – Be difficult to understand (due to poor articulation or use of words).
      – Have a difficulty understanding consequences of their behaviours.
      – Not be interested in looking at books and/or doing sit down activities.
      – Not interact well or easily with their peers.
      – Have limited play skills (short duration, narrow range, find it difficult to play alone and/or with peers).
      – Not be willing to engage in new activities and/or to be guided about how to develop new skills.

      writing, cutting, opening lunch boxes, playing with play doh and using tweezers to retrieve small objects for finger strengthening.

      What can be done to improve preschool readiness skills?
      In advance of the transition into the preschool environment:

      Parenting expectations:
      Increase expectations of the child around self care tasks such as dressing, toileting, eating, and getting ready to go out of the house.
      Social skills: Encourage the child to develop relationships with known and unfamiliar children of a similar age.
      Books: Expose the child to books to prepare them for sitting and listening to stories as part of group time at preschool.
      Early preparation: Start preparing the child for preschool at the age of 3 by talking about expectations at preschool/kindy, appropriate behaviour, sit down activities.
      Collaboration: Work with the child’s child care educators (if in child care) to identify any signs of deficit or slow development so that these areas can be targeted before the child starts preschool/kindergarten
      Visual strategies: Use visuals, such as picture schedules, to help the child understand the routine of their day both at home and at preschool/kindergarten.
      Outings: Prepare the child for group excursions when at preschool/kindergarten by going to places such as the library, the zoo, the shopping centre, the post office and help the child to understand appropriate behaviour in these environments.
      Fine motor skills: This is an area that will be a large part of the activities undertaken at preschool, so developing these skills will enable the child to participate in activities much more easily and willingly.

      Another very important step would be to also contact your child’s teacher and arrange a meeting with them to discuss your concerns. They work with your child each day and should be able to provide some good insight and resources to address your concerns.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions, or would like some more information, we’ll be happy to help.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  9. Neo

    Good day , My son is 6years old a very energetic and hyper in grade R the teacher praised him that he is doing very well.He is now in grade 1 at the new school. He seems to be very shy around other kids and complains all the time about the school, sometimes he doesn’t even want to go to school saying he doesn’t like it and is boring. They have a school prefect in their class. apparently when they talk the class prefect takes the scissor as says if they don’t stop talking he will cut their mouth, which was the order from the teacher. Yesterday he came with a cut on the mouth .It is only the second month I even want to change the school

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Neo

      Thanks for your message.

      Adjusting to Grade 1 can take time and is a very normal reaction. The new school, new teacher, new daily schedule and new classmates, are all things that your son needs to adjust too. It is still early in the year, so you may find that he settles in and starts making friends in the not so distant future. So, just keep an eye on him and ask him about his day. If your concern increases, it may be a good idea to contact his teacher and have a good discussion about your concerns.

      With regards to the scissors and the class prefect, we would strongly suggest that you meet with his teacher and make them aware of the apparent behaviour of this older learner. This type of behaviour is unacceptable, and even if the scissors are merely a story or idle threat, the teacher needs to be made aware of this and another option put in place.

      Having open communication channels with your son’s teacher is a very important aspect of ensuring that he is getting the most out of his schooling. Your child’s teacher is always the best place to start if you have any concerns about your child or their behaviour at school.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to assist.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  10. Charlene

    Hi
    My twins were born premature they were born 7 dec 2012. They in grade R now my girl is doing very good but my boy struggles we getting him glasses now and i tooked an excercise ball to school for him to sit on , he cant sit still and concentrate. He is very busy. do i keep both back? or what can i do to help him.

    kind regards
    Charlene

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Charlene

      Thanks for your message.

      It is still rather early in the year to make any definitive judgement on your son’s school readiness. A lot can change change over the course of this year as he grows, develops and matures.

      We would suggest keeping an open communication channel with his teacher. They will be able to keep you up to date with his development and alert you to any possible ‘delays’ that may need attention in order to progress to Grade 1. They can also give you some great tips on activities to do at home to address any issues highlighted in class. His teacher will also provide you with progress reports throughout the year, which you can monitor for any indications that intervention is needed.

      Remember, his teacher works with him in the school environment 5 days a week. They will be the best person to discuss your concerns with and to get some very important feedback regarding his school readiness. If you are in doubt, they can also refer you to someone to conduct a proper cognitive and school assessment, for more in-depth information.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to assist.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  11. Julia

    Hi

    My son was born 06/2011. He was admitted to grade 1 this year but he is already struggling.

    He had an inexperienced teacher in grade R for 6 months. The next teacher insisted he caught up. She says he was ready for grade 1. But he is already struggling.

    I’m now stuck with the dilemma of making him redo grade R or struggle through grade 1. Also, should he repeat grade R he will be 19 in Matric year.

    Any advice?

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Julia

      Thanks for your message.

      Grade 1 can take quite a lot of getting used to. New school, new teacher, new classmates and a new schedule. Plus, the requirements of the work and how one has to engage with the information is also a bit different.

      It is still early in the year, so you may find that your son starts to cope a bit better over the next few months. We would suggest keeping an open communication channel with his teacher. They will be able to keep you up to date with his development and alert you to any possible ‘delays’ that may need attention in order to cope with the requirements in Grade 1. They can also give you some great tips on activities to do at home to address any issues highlighted in class.

      If you are in still in doubt, his teacher can also refer you to someone to conduct a proper cognitive and school assessment, for more in-depth information.

      Having open communication channels with your son’s teacher is a very important aspect of ensuring that he is getting the most out of his schooling. Your child’s teacher is always the best place to start if you have any concerns about your child or their performance at school.

      Another great option, alongside the above, would be to help your son practice the work done in class. Repetition of the content, along with helpful guidance and explanation, can improve his understanding and strengthen his confidence in his ability. A great source for practice worksheets is WorksheetCloud.

      WorksheetCloud is an online resource that gives you access to interactive and printable worksheets to help you revise and practise for class tests and exams. All the worksheets are based on the South African CAPS curriculum which means that they are 100% relevant to the work done in class.

      We also include detailed memorandums that include the answers and model explanations and working-out for each and every question.

      You can see a full list of subjects and topics we currently cover on this page: https://www.worksheetcloud.com/worksheets/

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to assist.

      Kayleen ?

      Reply
  12. Claire byrne

    Hi my name is Claire from Ireland but during the summer we will be moving to Reno my son will graduate from pre-school here and I’m wondering how do I know where to start him grade 1 or where?he turned 4 in March,also my daughter has done 1 year of secondary school and wondering the same where will she start
    Any advice would be much appreciated
    Thank you

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Claire

      Thanks for your message.

      As our focus is on the South African CAPS curriculum, we are not best qualified to provide definitive advice regarding your query, but we can provide you with a starting point. Here is a link to the South African Educational Department, where you can find the contact details for the relevant school district and contact person that can provide you with the information you are looking for: https://www.education.gov.za/

      If you would like to find out more about WorksheetCloud, don’t hesitate to reply to this email.

      I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at any time or visit our FAQ at http://help.worksheetcloud.com for quick answers to your questions.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  13. Nadia Mahomed

    Hi, my daughter was born 15 Dec 2013. I’m not sure if I should enrol her in grade R for 2019. Since being the last born of 4 children I feel she is still helped and treated like a baby at home (being the youngest) by her siblings. Potty training has been a struggle which we overcame eventually. I’m not sure if she is ready emotionally and her dad feels she is not ready and will benefit if we keep her back a year and start grade R after she turns 6 in December. Would you recommend a visit to the OT? She has never been to school or play school as yet and I feel she is missing out on playing with children her own age. Please advise as I am so confused and just want to do right by her. If I hold her back a year she will turn 7 in Dec and proceed to Grade 1 in January. Is this okay?

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Nadia

      Thanks for your message.

      While it’s true that children learn more in their first three years than ever again, it’s between ages three and five that they acquire the skills necessary for school. As children’s attention span, memory and language skills develop, they also become increasingly more sophisticated and social—qualities they’ll need for preschool.

      As your daughter is born close to the end of the year, she may only develop the necessary needed skills (already developed by her peers born earlier in the year) a bit later. Many preschool teachers agree that a child’s preschool readiness depends more on their individual personality and temperament—a combination of mental, physical and emotional traits—than her so-called “academic” abilities. Even so, our developmental checklist can help you and your child get ready for this big step.

      Pre-School readiness checklist:

      Social skills
      Initiates and maintains independent play (for example, plays alone in the sandbox, or role-plays independently)
      Enjoys doing things on their own sometimes, such as reading, crafts or getting dressed
      Can separate from you for several hours, such as an afternoon at a friend’s house or a sleepover at Grandma’s
      Appears interested in going to a “big-kid” school, learning new things, and/or meeting new friends
      Enjoys participating in group activities
      Can express emotions, needs and requests
      Responds well to consistent routines, such as quiet time or naptime following lunch
      Anticipates what comes next during the day (for example, knows that naptime follows lunch)

      Motor skills
      Increases proficiency in gross motor skills, strength and balance, such as jumping in place, standing on one foot, running and kicking
      Develops gross motor coordination, such as to navigate around obstacles
      Rides tricycles
      Runs to kick a stationary ball
      Improves hand-eye coordination when playing with building blocks and simple puzzles
      Begins to improve pencil control by using fingers rather than the whole fist to grasp pencil and stylus
      Begins to show left/right-handedness

      Reasoning & concept development
      Matches like objects, mainly identical objects, or matches objects by shape and color
      Develops object permanence and understands that objects continue to exist even when out of sight
      Shows interests in tinkering with objects by taking things apart and putting them back together
      Explores with elements of nature, such as sand and water
      Remembers short sequences of events of 2 to 3 steps

      Language skills
      Uses language to communicate with others for a variety of purposes (for example, describing something, making requests, greeting someone, etc.)
      Speaks clearly to be understood by others
      Uses accepted language and communication styles (for example, using polite manners, using appropriate volume and tone)
      Tells simple stories
      Uses accepted nouns, verbs and adjectives in familiar contexts
      Understands words for common categories (for example, toys, food, clothes)
      Uses sentences with two phrases or concepts

      Reading
      Holds a book properly and turns pages
      Understands that words convey the message in a story
      Recognizes the first letter of their own name
      Knows some letter names
      Knows the main characters in familiar stories
      Enjoys reading books with others

      Writing
      Holds a writing tool with a fist or finger grasp
      Draws with a variety of tools (crayons, pens, pencils)
      Scribble-writes in a linear fashion
      Makes marks and refer to them as “my name”

      Math
      Identifies some shapes such as circle, square and triangle
      Understands and explores empty containers and full containers
      Recognizes and matches small quantities to the number words 1, 2 and 3
      Shows interest in numbers and recites some number words
      Can count along with help, although might make mistakes
      Distinguishes between “some” and “all,” and parts of a whole
      Uses some size words, such as “many”
      Uses words such as “same as” to make comparisons
      Shows interests in patterns and sequences
      Classifies or sorts objects into simple groups (such as by colors and size)
      Understands the order of the day, and begins to use some time words such as “morning” and “night”

      Science
      Asks questions about objects, events and animals observed in their environment
      Considers and offers explanations of how things might work
      Shows interest in different animals and the sounds they make
      Uses descriptive terms such as “fast” and “slow,” “hot” and “cold”

      Creative arts & music
      Begins to use a variety of art tools such as crayon, construction paper and colored pencils
      Knows a few color words
      Drawings have basic resemblance to objects and people
      Articulates what he/she is drawing
      Likes to imitate sounds and rhythm; might have a favorite song
      Uses realistic toys in pretend play or to imitate household routines
      Engages in dramatic play with others to act out simple play scripts, such as playing house

      Social studies
      Recognizes common features of the home and neighborhood, such as trees, houses and streets
      Shows interests in familiar people such as siblings, family members and friends
      Shows interests in common jobs and professions such as firefighter, doctor and nurse

      What are the building blocks necessary to develop preschool readiness?

      Self regulation: The ability to obtain, maintain and change emotion, behaviour, attention and activity level appropriate for a task or situation.
      Sensory processing: Accurate processing of sensory stimulation in the environment as well as in one’s own body which effects attention, behaviour and learning.
      Receptive language (understanding): Comprehension of spoken language (vocabulary, instructions, questions, concepts) for group instructions as well as peer interaction.
      Expressive language (using language): Formulating sentences that have age appropriate grammar (e.g. using pronouns ‘he/she’ correctly) and word order, using specific vocabulary, and telling a simple story.
      Articulation: The ability to clearly pronounce individual sounds in words and sentences.
      Executive Functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills (e.g. working out how to make the desired building, collecting the materials and overcoming challenges in the process).
      Emotional development/regulation: The ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions and regulate emotions. It also means responding age appropriately to a frustration and managing to ‘contain’ tantrums or recovering quickly from an upset.
      Social skills: Determined by the ability to engage in reciprocal interaction with others (either verbally or non-verbally), to compromise with others and to be able to recognise and follow social norms.
      Planning and sequencing: The sequential multi-step task/activity performance to achieve a well-defined result.

      How can I tell if my child has problems with preschool readiness?
      If a child has difficulties with preschool readiness they might:

      – Get easily frustrated when expectations are placed upon them.
      – Struggle to follow instructions in daily activities.
      – Rely on parents/teachers to perform self care tasks for them (e.g. dressing, hygiene).
      – Not be toilet trained (day time).
      – Be socially immature.
      – Have poor understanding of simple questions (who, what, where).
      – Struggle with formulating sentences.
      – Respond in only short sentences to questions.
      – Be difficult to understand (due to poor articulation or use of words).
      – Have a difficulty understanding consequences of their behaviours.
      – Not be interested in looking at books and/or doing sit down activities.
      – Not interact well or easily with their peers.
      – Have limited play skills (short duration, narrow range, find it difficult to play alone and/or with peers).
      – Not be willing to engage in new activities and/or to be guided about how to develop new skills.

      What can be done to improve preschool readiness skills?

      Parenting expectations: Increase expectations of the child around self care tasks such as dressing, toileting, eating, and getting ready to go out of the house.
      Social skills: Encourage the child to develop relationships with known and unfamiliar children of a similar age.
      Books: Expose the child to books to prepare them for sitting and listening to stories as part of group time at preschool.
      Early preparation: Start preparing the child for preschool at the age of 3 by talking about expectations at preschool/kindy, appropriate behaviour, sit down activities.
      Collaboration: Work with the child’s child care educators (if in child care) to identify any signs of deficit or slow development so that these areas can be targeted before the child starts preschool/kindergarten
      Visual strategies: Use visuals, such as picture schedules, to help the child understand the routine of their day both at home and at preschool/kindergarten.
      Outings: Prepare the child for group excursions when at preschool/kindergarten by going to places such as the library, the zoo, the shopping centre, the post office and help the child to understand appropriate behaviour in these environments.
      Fine motor skills: This is an area that will be a large part of the activities undertaken at preschool, so developing these skills will enable the child to participate in activities much more easily and willingly.

      Another possible step would be to have your child assessed by a psychologist or OT, who can determine if your child is pre-school ready.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions, or would like some more information, we’ll be happy to help.

      Kayleen ?

      Reply
  14. Navitha

    My son is born on the 12 April 2014. I have put him in a playschool reason being to detach from me. Next year 2019 i want to register him for grade R.
    He knows all his primary and secondary colours. Count from 1 to 30
    Shapes. Know the difference in pictures. Copy on a dotted line. Show him numbers in different orders and he shows the correct number.
    Colour in himself.

    The school i want to take him to the teacher suggest i put him in grade RR next year…but if i want to put him in grade R next year… she will assess him in September this year first. The department of education in SA… is allowing kids to start grade 1 if born before june. So I dont understand why the school is being difficult.Please advice if i am doing the correct thing

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Navitha

      Thanks for your message.

      School or pre-school readiness is not only based on cognitive readiness/development, but also on emotional development. Many preschool teachers agree that a child’s preschool readiness depends more on their individual personality and temperament (a combination of mental, physical and emotional traits) than her so-called “academic” abilities.

      While your son may be excelling in terms of cognitive development (i.e. can count to 30, knows the primary and secondary colours), he may not yet be emotionally ready for the requirements of Grade R. For example: being able to share, sit still for extended periods, follow a lost of instructions independently, be without mom for a good part of the day and so on.

      The best step would be to talk to your son’s teacher and allow them to asses your son in September. Express your concerns and motivations for registering your son in Grade R, and hear why they are perhaps advising for Grade RR. Any teacher’s advice should always be for the best of the child, so it would be a good start to hear why they think Grade RR is best.

      What are the building blocks necessary to develop preschool readiness?

      Self regulation: The ability to obtain, maintain and change emotion, behaviour, attention and activity level appropriate for a task or situation.
      Sensory processing: Accurate processing of sensory stimulation in the environment as well as in one’s own body which effects attention, behaviour and learning.
      Receptive language (understanding): Comprehension of spoken language (vocabulary, instructions, questions, concepts) for group instructions as well as peer interaction.
      Expressive language (using language): Formulating sentences that have age appropriate grammar (e.g. using pronouns ‘he/she’ correctly) and word order, using specific vocabulary, and telling a simple story.
      Articulation: The ability to clearly pronounce individual sounds in words and sentences.
      Executive Functioning: Higher order reasoning and thinking skills (e.g. working out how to make the desired building, collecting the materials and overcoming challenges in the process).
      Emotional development/regulation: The ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotion to facilitate thought, understand emotions and regulate emotions. It also means responding age appropriately to a frustration and managing to ‘contain’ tantrums or recovering quickly from an upset.
      Social skills: Determined by the ability to engage in reciprocal interaction with others (either verbally or non-verbally), to compromise with others and to be able to recognise and follow social norms.
      Planning and sequencing: The sequential multi-step task/activity performance to achieve a well-defined result.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to help.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  15. Nina Otto

    Hi my daughter age 7 years and 4 months is now in Grade 1 and really struggling. Her marks are very low. Although she works with the teacher and can do assignments in class (say at 50-60% accuracy) she falls flat during assessments. She is on ADHD medication and suffers from anxiety. Could it be that she is not school ready and would do much better when she is a year older?

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Nina

      Thanks for your message.

      Grade 1 can take quite a lot of getting used to. Plus, the requirements of the work and how one has to engage with the information is also a bit different.

      It can take the whole year for a learner to adjust to the environment and work requirements. We would suggest keeping an open communication channel with her teacher. They will be able to keep you up to date with her development and alert you to any possible ‘delays’ that may need attention in order to progress. They can also give you some great tips on activities to do at home to address any issues highlighted in class.

      If you are in still in doubt, her teacher can also refer you to someone to conduct a proper cognitive and school assessment, for more in-depth information.

      Having open communication channels with your daughter’s teacher is a very important aspect of ensuring that she is getting the most out of her schooling. Your child’s teacher is always the best place to start if you have any concerns about your child or their performance at school.

      Another great option, alongside the above, would be to help your daughter practice the work done in class.. Repetition of the content, along with helpful guidance and explanation, can improve her understanding and strengthen her confidence in her ability to work independently. A great source for practice worksheets is WorksheetCloud.

      WorksheetCloud is an online resource that gives you access to interactive and printable worksheets to help you revise and practise for class tests and exams. All the worksheets are based on the South African CAPS curriculum which means that they are 100% relevant to the work done in class. You can let your daughter work through the content/worksheets together with you (as she does with her teacher) and then on her own (to strengthen her ability to work independently).

      We also include detailed memorandums that include the answers and model explanations and working-out for each and every question. So you can monitor her progress and easily pinpoint specific areas that need extra attention.

      You can see a full list of subjects and topics we currently cover on this page: https://www.worksheetcloud.com/worksheets/

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to assist.

      Kayleen ?

      Reply
  16. Christelle

    Hi Kayleen

    I would like to know what must a Gr 1 be able to do to be ready for Gr 2 and how does a teacher mark or base it on.

    Reply
  17. Adeline

    Hi

    My son was born February 2013.He is turning 6 in February 2019 and taking into account the readiness requirements ,he is there.Is it advisable to register him for grade 1 next year

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Adeline

      Thanks for your message.

      If you feel that your child shows the ability to meet all the school readiness requirements for Grade 1 (cognitive and emotional), the next step would be to have them assessed for school readiness by an objective and qualified educator/psychologist.

      If your child is currently in Grade RR or Grade R, you can approach their teacher and discuss your thoughts about their school readiness and ask for an assessment. If your child is not currently in pre-school, it would be a good idea to then contact the school where you intend enrolling them for Grade 1, and ask for a school readiness assessment.

      There are many factors that play an important role in school readiness and sending a child to school before they are ready can have a large impact on them, both cognitively and emotionally. It is always best, especially when you are considering sending your child to school earlier than suggested, to have them properly assessed.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to assist.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  18. nadia

    Hi there

    My son is will be seven this September 2018, He is currently in Grade R as we didn’t feel he was ready last year. I would like to know if there is an assessment that I can do as a parent to assess his readiness for grade 1 at home? Also worksheets etc that I can do with him at home to ensure that he is ready for grade 1 this time around??

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Nadia

      Thanks for your message.

      School readiness is as dependent on emotional maturity as it is on scholastic/cognitive ability. In order to be deemed cognitively school ready, children need to achieve particular outcomes on school readiness assessments. Yet, many children who have scored well on the cognitive side of these assessments, are still deemed not school ready based on their levels of emotional maturity.

      There also seems to be a commonly held myth that all children reach the same level of maturity at the same age. Children vary greatly in their levels of emotional maturity. This is partly influenced by parenting but also depends to a large extent on a natural developmental process and will increase with time.

      So what exactly do we look for when we assess school readiness? By no means are we expecting children to act like miniature versions of serious adults. We still expect them to be childlike, to be more focused on fun than anything else and to be largely egocentric in their outlook, but we expect them to display some of the following traits:

      1) Confidence:
      Is your child confident enough to speak up in a busy classroom when he is uncomfortable or needs help? A formal schooling environment does not always allow the teacher to pay individual attention to each child and children who do not speak up may easily fall behind. Children also need to be able to let the teacher know when they need a bathroom break, are feeling ill, do not have the right tools or are being bullied.

      2) Separation:
      Does your child separate easily from you when you drop him off in the morning or are the goodbyes long, teary affairs? Some crying in the first few weeks is absolutely normal and is even expected, but teachers simply will not have the time (and often will not have the patience) to console a tearful child all day long.

      3) Responsibility:
      Does your child take responsibility for his belongings. Does your child remember to put his lunchbox back in his bag and his eraser back in his pencil case or is his teacher constantly running after him returning lost goods?

      4) Concentration:
      Is your child able to sit still at a desk and concentrate for relatively long periods at a time? Grade 1 teachers will allow for many short breaks during the day, but a child who is constantly getting out of his seat can be very disruptive and will soon elicit complaints from his classmates.

      5) Problem solving:
      Is your child able to solve the majority of basic little problems that pop up on a daily basis? For example, will she know to borrow a ruler from a friend if she doesn’t have one, ask her teacher to phone you if she’s left her lunch behind or go to look in the lost property box when she can’t find his jersey? This also relates to social interactions. “Telling on” is probably the phrase heard most often on foundation phase playgrounds and teachers expect to be asked to be both judge and jury in certain cases, but children need at least some basic skills in resolving minor conflicts.

      6) Independence:
      Can your child complete most tasks on her own or is she constantly running to her teacher’s table for approval or intervention?

      7)Persistence:
      Carefully designed lessons include both tasks that are easy to complete, so that learners experience a sense of accomplishment, and tasks that are challenging, to extend the learners. Some children have a habit of simply shrugging their shoulders and repeating the familiar “I can’t do it” without ever really having given the task a full go, thus never progressing to higher levels of academic work.

      There are some great tips on things to do at home with your child, that will allow you to monitor their progress in these areas, as well as develop and build their ‘school readiness’. You can find them here:
      https://www.schoolguide.co.za/guide/primary/entry/primary/school-readiness-is-my-child-ready-for-big-school.html
      https://parentingcenter.co.za/a-school-readiness-checklist/

      Another great resource is WorksheetCloud! WorksheetCloud provides you with practice worksheets, so that your child can practice and revise content covered in class. You could start covering the basic Grade 1 worksheets now, to get a head start on the content and ensure that your son will feel comfortable and confident when he starts Grade 1. This will also show you how developed his language and math ability is, and which areas may need additional attention before he starts Grade 1.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you’d like more information, or more possible suggestions on how to develop your son’s school readiness, we’ll be happy to assist.

      Kayleen ?

      Reply
  19. Marycke

    Good day

    My son is turning 6 in 10 august his techer says he is right for grade 1.

    But he has got a speaking problem
    He cant read aswell.
    The rest he is amazing

    I need advice what can I do

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Marycke

      Thanks for your message.

      It sounds like there are a lot of different aspects and factors that could be having an effect on your son’s schools readiness. We’d suggest that you have a very serious and honest conversation with your son’s teacher/s. Express your concerns to the teacher/s, highlighting your worry about his speaking difficulty and reading level. The teacher can then explain why they feel he is ready for Grade 1 (you may be surprised at how well he ticks all the other school readiness boxes), as well as provide some useful tips on things to do at home to improve his speech and reading skills.

      Remember, school readiness does not require your child to be able to read, reading is focused on a lot more in Grade 1. So what exactly do we look for when we assess school readiness? Learner heading into Grade 1 are required to display some of the following traits:

      1) Confidence:
      Is your child confident enough to speak up in a busy classroom when he is uncomfortable or needs help? A formal schooling environment does not always allow the teacher to pay individual attention to each child and children who do not speak up may easily fall behind. Children also need to be able to let the teacher know when they need a bathroom break, are feeling ill, do not have the right tools or are being bullied.

      2) Separation:
      Does your child separate easily from you when you drop him off in the morning or are the goodbyes long, teary affairs? Some crying in the first few weeks is absolutely normal and is even expected, but teachers simply will not have the time (and often will not have the patience) to console a tearful child all day long.

      3) Responsibility:
      Does your child take responsibility for his belongings. Does your child remember to put his lunchbox back in his bag and his eraser back in his pencil case or is his teacher constantly running after him returning lost goods?

      4) Concentration:
      Is your child able to sit still at a desk and concentrate for relatively long periods at a time? Grade 1 teachers will allow for many short breaks during the day, but a child who is constantly getting out of his seat can be very disruptive and will soon elicit complaints from his classmates.

      5) Problem solving:
      Is your child able to solve the majority of basic little problems that pop up on a daily basis? For example, will she know to borrow a ruler from a friend if she doesn’t have one, ask her teacher to phone you if she’s left her lunch behind or go to look in the lost property box when she can’t find his jersey? This also relates to social interactions. “Telling on” is probably the phrase heard most often on foundation phase playgrounds and teachers expect to be asked to be both judge and jury in certain cases, but children need at least some basic skills in resolving minor conflicts.

      6) Independence:
      Can your child complete most tasks on her own or is she constantly running to her teacher’s table for approval or intervention?

      7)Persistence:
      Carefully designed lessons include both tasks that are easy to complete, so that learners experience a sense of accomplishment, and tasks that are challenging, to extend the learners. Some children have a habit of simply shrugging their shoulders and repeating the familiar “I can’t do it” without ever really having given the task a full go, thus never progressing to higher levels of academic work.

      There are some great tips on things to do at home with your child, that will allow you to monitor their progress in these areas, as well as develop and build their ‘school readiness’. You can find them here:
      https://www.schoolguide.co.za/guide/primary/entry/primary/school-readiness-is-my-child-ready-for-big-school.html
      https://parentingcenter.co.za/a-school-readiness-checklist/

      Another step, if you feel that your son’s teacher/s won’t be able to assist or you feel added assistance would benefit him best, would be to have him assessed by an educational psychologist or occupational therapist. It may be that he just needs a little help to bridge gaps in his speech and reading ability. You can find a list of relevant professionals here: http://www.findhelp.co.za/

      I hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us at any time and we’ll be very happy to assist.

      Kayleen ?

      Reply
  20. Shazia

    Good day
    I’ve been reading all the comments and they have been so helpful. my daughter is in grade r currently and has some difficulties . We have been taking her for ot lessons but now the teacher says she not mature for grade 1. I do not agree with her. She also mentioned that she has to repeat instructions 4 times to my daughter but she is able to do the work fine. I am so confused as what to do. I don’t want her to repeat the year.

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Shazia

      Thanks for your message.

      We are glad to hear that you have been finding the comments on this article helpful.

      School readiness is as dependent on emotional maturity as it is on scholastic/cognitive ability. In order to be deemed cognitively school ready, children need to achieve particular outcomes on school readiness assessments. Yet, many children who have scored well on the cognitive side of these assessments, are still deemed not school ready based on their levels of emotional maturity.

      If you feel that your child shows the ability to meet all the school readiness requirements for Grade 1 (cognitive and emotional), the next step would be to have them assessed for school readiness by an objective and qualified educator/psychologist. A great place to start would be to chat with her OT and hear their thoughts on the matter, as they work closely with your daughter and know the areas she is struggling in.

      We’d also suggest that you have a very serious and honest conversation with your daughter’s teacher. There may be a disconnect between what you experience at home and what they are seeing in class. Express your concerns to the teacher, highlighting that you feel she is emotionally ready. The teacher can then point out and explain the necessary ability and skills they feel she is not yet competent in – being able to carry out instructions is a very important part of Grade 1 readiness.

      Together with your daughter’s teacher and OT, you will be able to decide on the best possible way forward for your daughter. Pushing a child into the formal schooling environment before they are ready, can have as much of a negative effect on your child as keeping them back when they are ready to move up a grade.

      It is not an easy decision to make, but by engaging with those who work with her both at school and in therapy, you’ll get a clearer image of her current ability and be able to make a more informed decision.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to assist.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  21. Gina

    Good day

    I would like to know where I can do a course in school readiness testing? Do you have any recommendations?

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Gina

      Thanks for your message.

      School-readiness assessments are a subset of psycho-educational assessments, which are normally carried out by professionally trained and licensed personnel (like qualified teachers, psychologists, counsellors or psychometrists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, audiologists, kinderkineticist or social workers).

      In order to be able to conduct school readiness testing, you need to complete a degree in any of the above mentioned professions, before you will be eligible to conduct these types of tests. You can look for degree courses (or short courses if you already hold one of the above mentioned degrees), at your nearest university.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to help.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  22. pakie

    My son was born in January 2013, is he eligible to proceed to Grade 1 now in 2019 or he supposed to do Grade R

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Pakie

      Thanks for your comment!

      Generally children are required to turn 6 years of age in the year that they commence Grade R; and then to turn 7 years of age in the year that they commence Grade 1. Some children, if they meet all the necessary school readiness requirements for Grade 1, can start Grade 1 in the year they turn 6.

      So, if you feel that your child meets all of the Grade 1 school readiness criteria, it would be a good idea for them to complete a school readiness assessment to ensure they are ready for Grade 1. Should their assessment show that they are equipped for Grade 1, they could commence with Grade 1 in the year that they turn 6. However, we would stress that a formal school readiness assessment is performed before making a decision.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll be happy to help.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  23. Suzette Meyer

    I have a grandson of 6 who will be 7 in August and the teacher has communicated to me that she is concerned that he may not be emotionally ready for Grade 1.
    When I work with him, which is a lot of work and time, he is fine and answers the things correctly and reads well YET when he gets to the classroom it is not the same child that I have at home. He doesnt seem to have confidence to do something on his own, if the teacher is not sitting with him, for which the task they are busy with is correct, he doesn’t event attempt it. He is a very sensitive child so if someone laughs at him it upsets him tremendously. The teacher says he is such a good little boy and what she gives him to do he does, he doesnt hurt other kids, is friendly and NEVER seems upset, a very happy go lucky kid. When I do spelling with him the day before the time, he does a test at school and he gets 7 out of 10 wrong. He also has increased in his tendency to write things the wrong way round. B and D is a problem he will do a 7 the other way around. I am really desperate to help him as he is busy with extra lessons once a week at school with a teacher at school, he is sit an OT and RT and I spend so much time with him. I really just dont know what to do anymore to get him emotionally ready for Grade 1, which he already is 4 months into the year. Very concerned. He and his brother were orphaned in 2013 when he was 7 months old and has been placed in my care since then. I thought of an option to home school him for grade 1 untill he is school ready but am not sure if the schools will then take him back in grade 2 or 3? Your thoughs please as I am at wits end.

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Suzette

      Thanks for your comment!

      Due to the intricate nature of your query, we have sent you an email to the email address you have provided with our assistance.

      Please let us know if you do not receive our email and we’ll be happy to assist you here further.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  24. Jitender

    Good Day,

    I will be relocating to Johannesburg as expat and new to South African education system.
    My son was born in September 2014 , when he will be eligible for Grade1. As of now I am planning to admit him to a playschool;I believe he will be admitted to Grade R , and he will be in grade R in year 2020 as well , as he will not complete 6 years in June 2020 ; which means he will take admission in Grade R in January 2021.

    Please guide me if my understanding is correct or I can admit him to Grade1 early in 2020 as well.

    Confused with Grade R , Grade 0

    In India we have following

    Kindergarten or Play/Pre-School
    ———————————————–
    Pre -Nursery 2-3 years
    Nursery 3-4 years
    LKG 4-5 Years
    UKG 5-6 Years
    Main Schooling
    ————————
    1st class – 6years

    He is in LKG as of now in India as 4.5 years old. Session here is from April – April.

    Thanks
    Jitender

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Jitender

      Thanks for your comment!

      I have detailed the different terms we use to refer to the different school phases in relation to what you use in India below, I hope this helps clarify the information for you:

      Kindergarten or Play/Pre-School
      Pre -Nursery 2-3 years = Nursery/educare (child is 2/3 years old turning 3/4 years old in this school year)
      Nursery 3-4 years = Grade RRR/Grade 00 (child is 4 years old turning 5 years old in this school year)
      LKG 4-5 Years = Grade RR/Grade 0 (child is 5 years old turning 6 years old in this school year)
      UKG 5-6 Years = Grade R (child is 6 years old turning 7 years old in this school year)

      Main Schooling
      1st class – 6 years = Grade 1 (child is 6 years old turning 7 years old in this school year)

      If your son is currently 4.5 years old, that means (depending on his cognitive and emotional development of course) he would be eligible for Grade RR now and Grade R in 2020. Our school year runs from January to December, so if your son turns 6 in the year 2020 (January 2020 to December 202), he’ll be placed in Grade R in 2020.

      I hope this helps. Please let us know if you have any further questions, we’ll be very happy to assist.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply
  25. Mammusi Thakhuli

    Hey Ms Olivier

    My son is in grade1 and he is doing well. His spelling class test he now and then get only 1 or minimum of 3 wrong. I am very happy with his progress in English and Maths and I even had meeting with his teacher enquiring about his progress and the teacher seems not to have any concerns.

    However, I am little bit concern when he is trying to tell me the story of anything that has happen to him or other kids. He stutters a lot and seems to forget what he was about to say and it takes him about 5 minutes to remember one thing and forget the next that he was going to tell me. Even though he does that he will finish telling me the story that was to take only 10 minutes for 15/20 minutes.

    Is this a problem that must be attended to by Occupational Therapy?

    Reply
    • Kayleen Olivier

      Hi Mammusi

      Thanks for your comment!

      The best place to start would be to bring your concerns to your son’s teacher’s attention. You mentioned that his teacher has expressed that they are happy with his progress, and it does appear that he is achieving the required results in class as per his spelling tests etc. Perhaps the teacher does not see the same behaviour in class that you experience at home, or they may feel that this behaviour does not warrant intervention and will be resolved over time.

      The Grade 1 year is a busy one and learners go through a lot of changes in all areas of their development. If the teacher feels confident that your son is achieving the necessary milestones, it may be wise to let them know your concerns so they can provide some insight about his behaviour in class, as well as some ideas on exercises and activities you can do at home to improve this behaviour.

      If after that you are still concerned and would like a more in depth assessment, then you could contact an occupational therapist. However, given your son’s academic progress and that the teacher is not concerned, starting with some home activities to improve speech and the retelling of stories would be a good starting point.

      Please let us know if you have any other questions or if you’d like for us to provide you with some exercises to start with, we’ll be happy to help.

      Kayleen 🙂

      Reply

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