As we know children all develop at different stages; and some children starting reception will be almost 5, whilst others are just turning 4, so there will be a range of children’s ability when they start school. However as a parent or carer you can help your child be ready for school by supporting them to develop their skills in self-care and self-regulation.


Between four and five years old children should:

  • Be prepared to be separated from their parent or main carer
  • Be able to listen and follow age appropriate instructions
  • Show an interest in a variety of subjects and paying attention
  • Have enough of a range of vocabulary and language to express their needs (toileting, hunger or illness), feelings, thoughts or ideas
  • Be able to identify themselves by name, age, state factors in their life, name family members etc.
  • Be able to interact in an age appropriately with another child or adult
  • Be able to interact, share and play, taking responsibility for their actions, understanding repercussions for their actions
  • Be able to observe, notice, discuss and ask questions about their environment and experiences
  • Be able to engage with books, have some understanding of words and language
  • Respond to boundary setting
  • Dress and undress
  • Ideally your child is learning to swim –


Lewisham Family Information Service (FIS) provide free advice to Lewisham families with children for:

  • Childcare and free early education
  • Children/ family Centres
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)
  • Health
  • Schools and Learning
  • Support for parents and carers
  • Young people activities and clubs


FIS Leaflet



Speak to your health visitor for further information or support with getting your child school ready.

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