Transition to School

At Young Explorers Early Learning Centre, we understand the importance of children developing skills prior to starting school to help facilitate a smooth and seamless transition into school. The NSW Department of Education and Training has developed a list of skills to help make the transition easier. These skills will form the basis of our yearly developmental summary reports for children in the Butterfly room to give you a guide as to how your child is progressing.

Click here to be redirected to the NSW Department of Education Transition to School page where you can access further information and view the summary report.



Defining School Readiness and Transition to School programs


A School Readiness program refers to the daily program which implemented all year round to promote the development of skills which are optimal for children to possess before commencing school.

A Transition to School program refers to the additional activities that are offered to the children at the third week of October to help them prepare for a smooth transition to a school environment.


The main objectives of a School Readiness and Transition to School program


  • The most important factors associated with a successful start and continued learning at school relate to a child’s social and emotional development. Therefore, the Centre’s primary objective is to develop and enhance children’s social and emotional development
  • To develop skills, abilities and characteristics which promote children’s ability to become successful learners
  • To familiarize children with a school environment
  • To increase awareness of school routines, rules and expectations
  • To develop realistic expectations of “big school” Whilst early literacy and numeracy is important for pre-schoolers, formal reading, writing and counting are not important indicators for school readiness



Our Transition to School program will be implemented each year for all children who will be attending school the following year. The following activities will be organised so your child has the skills to make a smooth transition into school:


Visits to local schools: We hope to develop partnerships with different Schools so that children can visit and familiarize themselves with a school environment


Lunch box lunches: Our cook will prepare lunch box lunches for a period of 4 weeks. During this time, the children will be encouraged to put their empty lunch box in a basket on arrival, collect their lunch box before lunch, manipulate the packing to open their lunch, dispose of rubbish appropriately and put their belongings away once they finish. The children will also attend a role play Kiosk and buy their lunch, using pretend money


Uniform week: Children attending school will be encouraged to bring their uniform to the Centre to show and discuss with their friends


Dramatic play: A dramatic play area will be set up to reflect a class room environment for children to play and explore


Group time discussions: Regular discussions, stories and pictures will be explored to increase children’s knowledge and understanding of “big school”


News time/show and tell: News time/show and tell will be implemented once a week. Children will be encouraged to listen to each other before asking and answering questions


Ants in the apple: Flash cards and music related to Ants in the Apple will be used to increase children’s knowledge of letters and sounds


Swapping rest time for quiet activities: Table top activities will replace rest time. As other children will still be resting children will participate in quiet activities that promote school readiness skills


‘Special work books’: Workbooks will be used during rest time with a focus on shapes, numbers, tracing, cutting, colouring, letters etc. Bookwork will only be implemented for short periods of time and integrated learning will still be adapted


A project on starting school: Children and staff collaboratively will research, explore and learn about “big school”. Children’s existing knowledge will be discovered and realistic expectations of what it will be like to start school discovered


Sign in/out register: A register of children’s names had displayed for the children to “sign in/out” on arrival and departure at the centre


Road safety and stranger danger: Kids and Traffic resource kit will be used to further promote children’s knowledge of road safety. There will also be a visit from the police organised to talk to the children about “stranger danger”



Caring for belongings: We encourage you to teach your child to pack their bags to bring to the centre. A picture checklist of hat, jumper, lunch box etc. will help to remind them of what’s needed and teaches them to care for their own belongings. We also encourage you to teach your child to collect all their belongings at the end of the day rather than we collecting them



Indicators that a child is ready for school


A child is ready for school if they display the following skills, characteristics and maturity:


  • Ability to problem solves
  • Ability to communicate effectively with peers and teachers i.e. communicate needs, ask and answer questions, retell stories
  • Ability to deal with, and solve conflict fairly
  • Ability to form friendships
  • Ability to relate to teachers
  • Ability to follow instructions and directions from staff
  • Ability to take responsibility for their own belongings
  • Ability to take responsibility for their own behaviours and actions
  • Ability to focus and not be easily distracted
  • Ability to work independently
  • Ability to share and turn take
  • Ability to play cooperatively to meet a common goal
  • An awareness of rules and the reasons for them
  • Ability to dress themselves, ties shoe laces, use Velcro or buckles, toilet independently, wipe nose, wash hands, and open own lunch and school bag
  • Ability to separate from parent
  • Ability to sit still and concentrate
  • Ability to share an adult’s attention with other children
  • Ability to adapt to new environment and experiences; and
  • Displays an understanding of functional print



Suitable skills for a child to acquire before starting school


(The following are not essential criteria in determining if a child is ready for school)


  • Can recognize own name in written format
  • Can write own name
  • Begins to recognize letters of the alphabet
  • Begins to print a few letters from the alphabet
  • Begins to recognize and print a few numbers
  • Draws pictures with detail
  • Sorts objects according to category
  • Demonstrates the concept of opposites
  • Hold writing implements using correct grip
  • Uses scissors with safety and control
  • Recognizes shapes and colours
  • Can finish a task and tidy up afterwards
  • Participates in imaginative play
  • Understands sequence of events
  • An awareness of road safety and stranger danger