Apples Childcare and Learning Centre promotes Play Based Learning (PBL). A lot of schools are moving towards this style of learning in the younger years in recognition of the fact that children learn best through play.  School Readiness happens in a fun and an interactive way, we believe that by providing them with school readiness skills that we will lay a foundation for their future learning.

We help children become confident within their bodies, to be able to express themselves, their opinions and their ideas. We also encourage children with experiences which provide the opportunity to build an awareness of literacy, numeracy and self-help skills. We encourage our children to explore hands on, fueling their curiosity, critical and creative thinking. We strive for children going to school to have an enthusiasm for learning, and for life!

Te Whāriki  is the Early Childhood  curriculum in which underlies our practice and influences our teaching. This curriculum supports us in building a solid foundation for future learning at Primary School. This interlinks and extends into the New Zealand Curriculum. Some of the ways Apples helps the children with this transition are listed below

Managing own self:

  • Have skills to independently care for themselves, e.g. putting clothes away, dressing themselves, toileting skills
  • Recognise when they are thirsty, and get a drink
  • Ask for help or things they need
  • Learning about emotions and social cues, e.g. interrupting, getting angry or sad about things
  • See themselves as a capable learner with a positive, can-do attitude
  • Have strategies for dealing with difficult situations
  • Able to follow rules and routines of the day centre

Using language, symbols and text:

  • Know the names of the colours, the letters of the alphabet and the numbers 1 to 9
  • Interpret meaning from images e.g. talk about books and the pictures in them
  • Understand simple mathematical and scientific concepts like weight, measurement, shapes and counting
  • Can hold a pencil correctly and use scissors
  • Can identify their name and the letters in it
  • Are able to hold a picture book and turn the pages correctly
  • Is confident talking and communicating with others

Relating to others

  • Know how to take turns, and wait for things
  • Listens, shares ideas and point of view
  • Can work together in a small group through positive and reciprocal relationships with others
  • Takes responsibility for themselves and others
  • Aware of how their words and actions can impact on others
  • Take on different roles and know how to compete or cooperate
  • Can be respectful towards others and show kindness.
  • Interact appropriately with a diverse range of people

Participating and contributing

  • Can follow instructions
  • Can sit on a chair at a table for a short period of time completing an activity
  • Aware of the others and how to interact
  • Have leadership skills, knowing when to lead and when to follow
  • Confident to share and offer ideas, while listening to others peoples thoughts
  • Is actively involved in a group setting
  • Encourages others


  • Curiosity for learning
  • Can be reflective of themselves and actions
  • Problem solving
  • Making decisions for themselves
  • Challenge and question themselves and others
  • Use and Create knowledge
  • Critical and Creative thinking


What Can You Do At Home to Support School Readiness

Supporting children’s learning dispositions are likely to be particularly relevant for long-term success.Fostering their children’s friendships with other children is an important step that families can take to support children’s transition to school. Networking with other parents and caregivers can be helpful too. Rich learning experiences are also important and do not have to cost money. – Education Counts

Apples will help your child with these things, but together we can strengthen their skills, knowledge and understanding. Here is a list of things you can help you child to learn at home.

Encourage and support independence to:

  • Do up their shoes
  • Blow their nose
  • Recognise when they are thirsty and get a drink of water
  • Ask for things they need
  • Be able to use the toilet and wash their hands
  • Be able to dress themselves
  • Work through and identify different emotions

Talking with and Listening to them will help them to:

  • Be able to follow simple instructions, rules and finish tasks
  • Have good communicatin skills
  • Know the names of colours
  • Know the letters of the alphabet
  • Be able to listen to others
  • Understand what the teacher says.
  • Know the numbers 1 to 9
  • Identify their name and other lower case letters
  • have a set routine and schedule for preparing for: preparing for bed, brushing teeth, taking a bath, eating meals

Get involved with them so they will:

  • Be able to climb equipment safely
  • Throw and catch a ball
  • Unpack their lunch box and eat their lunch
  • Be able to share and take turns, and wait for things
  • Get along with others
  • Be able to go into situations with unfamiliar people
  • Practice making marks on paper – drawing and making their own lists
  • Believe in themselves
  • Learn lower case letters
  • See you reading and writing

Reading with them will help them to:

  • Sort out problems
  • Understand the meaning of the images in the books
  • Have good vocabulary skills
  • Speak and express their thoughts clearly
  • Try to read in everyday situations (e.g. street signs, store signs, cereal boxes, newspapers, magazines, TV advertisements)
  • Hold a picture book and turn the pages carefully

Figure 1: ERO Continuity of Learning Report

Have a chat to any of your child’s teachers to explore how their learning is developing while they are playing in the sandpit, reading books, using their imagination, building with blocks and so much more.

What do the Experts say about School Readiness?

Kathy Walker, early childhood expert at Early Life Foundations says “School readiness is not about being able to read or write, know colours or count. These skills will be taught at school so they are not a priority for starting school,” she goes on to say. “To enter school ready to thrive, flourish and enjoy the challenges – rather than merely just coping – we are taking the issue of school readiness more seriously and carefully. Readiness is really mostly about emotional and social maturity – aspects of development that we cannot fast-track. We cannot make a child who lacks the necessary maturity become mature.”

The Education Review Office (ERO) found that the most effective practices supporting children as they approach transition to school included, “Relationships with parents and whānau, and other important adults, focused on learning and supporting the child (including their language, culture and identity)”. (p 27, Continuity of Learning: Transitions from early childhood services to schools. 2015).

What do Local Schools Expect?

All Teachers and Schools have slightly different expectations, but overall the skills children need when starting school have already been covered in this page. One of the hardest things for a teacher to unteach a child is the use of capitals in the middle of words. It is important that we show children the correct way of writing by only using capitals where it is appropriate.

  • recognise their written name (with capital letters ONLY at the start of the word), shapes and colours
  • match or sort items in different ways, e.g. size, colour, weight
  • understand concepts such as: in, out, under, on, off, big, small, heavy, light, front and back
  • know their body parts (head, shoulders, knees etc.)
  • enjoy outdoor play such as running, jumping, climbing, and bouncing ball
  • interact appropriately with peers and have friends
  • follow through when given one or two instructions
  • comply with rules, limits and routines
  • respect the rights, property and feelings of others
  • look at books or pictures on their own, pretending to read the book by looking at the picture
  • try to read along with you on favourite parts of the story or sentences that are repeated over and over again
  • pretend, create, and make up songs or stories
    • put puzzles together
    • cut out with scissors
    • try to write, scribble or draw letters, numbers and their own name
    • draw a picture of themselves including head, body, arms and legs
    • express their ideas so that others can understand
    • use words to solve problems when angry or frustrated
    • do things for themselves, e.g. dress self, put away own toys and belongings, take care of own toileting needs, tie their shoes
    • attempt new tasks knowing it’s okay to make mistakes
    • stay with an activity to completion e.g. finish a picture, build something with blocks/Lego
    • talk about everyday experiences, i.e. ask questions about how things work in the world around them
    • correctly count four to ten objects
    • demonstrate curiosity, persistence and exploratory behaviour