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School Readiness Assessments
Port Elizabeth | Eastern Cape

A School Readiness Assessment is a group and individual cognitive screening assessment administered to the Grade R learners of a school towards the end of the academic year to determine their developmental readiness for formal schooling (progression to Grade 1). Not only is this assessment useful in this regard, but is also useful in understanding learner’s areas of development, identifying new teaching techniques to be developed and upskilling teachers.

School readiness assessments examine whether a child’s development is progressing at the rate expected for their age and can identify any potential areas for concern and development regarding their school related abilities.

The abilities assessed during an assessment such as this include the following:

Lateral discrimination: The ability to distinguish between the concepts left and right.

Lateral preference: Preference of the use of an organ or a limb on one side of the body, rather than the corresponding organ or limb.

Visual-motor: Co-ordination of eyes and hands to copy figures such as a horizontal line, a circle and a triangle.

Reasoning: This includes the application of logical and abstract principles in problem-solving, an understanding of concepts such as size and the ability to separate parts from a whole.

Incidental memory: The ability to recall visually presented information without being instructed or reminded to remember the information beforehand.

Visual-spatial: This includes the ability to see a sequence produced on the blackboard, to hold it in the memory, and then to reproduce it.

Story memory: The ability to accurately reproduce information in the form in which it was presented after a short time period.

Auditory memory for digits: The ability to accurately reproduce digits in the form in which they were presented after a short time period.

Number-Quantity: The ability to appreciate differences in quantity and to see a progression from small to large. These abilities are precursors to mathematical ability.

Ready knowledge: The ability to apply learnt knowledge to verbally presented questions.

Draw-a-person (DAP): This assesses general intellectual functioning and the knowledge of body parts.

All these abilities lay the foundation for a child to be able to cope with the learning demands at school.

 

The National Education Policy states that it is compulsory for a child to commence Grade 1 in the year in which she or he turns seven and formal application for exemption must be made to the above-mentioned department should the child not be school ready.

An assessment such as this will enable parents and teachers to identify learners who are school ready and functioning at an age appropriate level, learners who simply require monitoring and attention in certain areas and children who require supportive intervention and may benefit from delaying commencement of Grade 1.

Another benefit of a school readiness assessment is that if certain concerns about a child’s development are brought to light based on the results, a more comprehensive measure can be conducted if desired by the parents.

School readiness assessments are an absolute joy to administer and I find myself having just as much fun as the learners do. It is filled with excitement, engagement and lots of laughs from the children. School readiness assessments have a group component as well as an individually administered section which allows myself to get to know the children personally and make any necessary observations that may assist in my evaluation of them.

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