Primary School Assessments: What is my child really expected to do?

Hundreds of four year olds are gathered in the school hall, holding onto their parents’ sweaty hands tightly. They are dressed up in their Sunday best listening to an adult waffle on and on. Then, all of a sudden, they are shuffled in the direction of another adult and ushered away with a bunch of other four year olds. At least one of the children starts to wail and refuses to go.

Depending on the school and the parents, the assessment process may be a lot more relaxed than this, but not always.

Either way, your child is gone for up to an hour. What happens during that hour?!!

If your child is hoping for a primary place in Sept 2018, you’ll find yourself in a similar scenario later this year or early next.

Over years of experience of these assessments in many schools, we summarise here what your child may be expected to do during these assessments.

Motor Development: Gross Motor Skills

These are skills requiring whole body movement which engage the large (core stabilising) muscles of the body to perform everyday functions. Your child should be able to:

• run: start, stop, and turn; hop on one foot; gallop

• walk in a straight line forwards, backwards and sideways

• walk up and down stairs with ease

• catch, throw, kick and bounce a ball easily

Children may be invited to the playground to “play”. In fact, they are being assessed on their gross motor (physical) skills.

Motor Development: Fine Motor Skills