Four-year-olds not school-ready

Parents face lots of decisions when it comes to their children. One of those decisions, under the Australian system, is when to start their child at school. In New South Wales, for instance, children can start kindergarten at the beginning of the school year if they turn five on or before July 31 in that year and all children must be enrolled in school by their sixth birthday. That means that some children in any given school year might be starting school at ages as young as four-and-a-half while others are approaching their sixth birthday. According to a new study, those four-year-olds might not be physically ready for school.

In the new study researchers used a range of tests to assess the physical development of children of school starting age. They found that just under 30 per cent were classified as “of concern” and 90 per cent demonstrated some degree of movement difficulty.

A child’s physical development impacts their ability to complete tasks like sitting still, holding a pencil, putting on their shoes, and even reading. Their conclusion was that many four-year-olds are not physically ready to start school.

In the UK they are implementing a program called Movement for Learning gives kids the opportunity to improve fine and gross motor skills as well as inhibiting primitive reflexes. Not only are kids who complete the program better able to do things such as run and catch a ball but developing physically also helps them develop intellectually and emotionally.

This does not mean that four year old should not start school but they should be as physically active as possible before school so they can be as ready as possible for the year ahead.

Source: Loughborough University

Terry Robson

Terry Robson

Terry Robson is the Editor-in-Chief of WellBeing and the Editor of EatWell.

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