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Preparing for school: Emotional readiness and independence

Children running and smiling at N playground

From which school is best to wondering if your child is even ready, you may have a lot of questions about supporting their move to ‘big school’.

At N, the ‘Prepared for School’ aspect of our curriculum (and our supporting N Guide for parents) has been specifically designed to ensure all our children are ready for the big move. In the first of our School Readiness series, we look at emotional readiness and independence.

Emotional Readiness

Children feeling emotionally prepared for the transition to big school is the most important aspect of school readiness. It is completely normal for both you and your child to experience a range of emotions. Your nursery should partner with you to invest time in exploring your child’s feelings around leaving nursery and starting school with the other children

For example, at our N Family Clubs, your child’s key person will talk to them about their new school, create research experiences about where your child is going or may transform a make-believe area into a school and encourage the children to explore school experiences through play.

These activities will all help to gently familiarise your child with the new place they’re going to.


The nature of the classroom environment and the greater ratio of children to teachers means your child will need to be able to be relatively independent at school. They may need to carry out independent tasks set by the teacher; work in small groups without the direct instruction and support of an adult, and follow instructions in larger group time.

Your nursery should have a strong focus on building independent skills throughout your child’s final year of nursery. Including
changing into different clothes, carrying lunch on a tray and using the toilet independently.

At N, we gradually increase small group sizes so that in the summer term before school starts the children are familiar with being in larger groups for learning experiences. This prepares them for the whole class teaching they will have at school.

For full details on N Family Club’s approach to school readiness, take a look at our Getting Prepared for School N guide or for ideas you can try at home read our article on 4 ways to prepare your child for school.