Limassol Therapy Center

Going from Kindergarten to Elementary School: Is my child ready?

The term “transition” defines the “passage” from a “known” to an “unknown world”. The transition from Kindergarten to Primary School, ie the transition from preschool to school life, is considered one of the most critical periods of childhood and marks a new and important stage in the development of the child and family.

The transition consists of complex and sequential processes of change, exposing the child to a wide variety of requirements (cognitive, emotional and social) to which you are called to adapt.

The most common changes that children face are:

  1. The increase in number of students in the classroom.
  2. The longest period of their stay in the classroom.
  3. Changes in the type and degree of involvement and participation of parents.
  4. The increase of expectations of parents and teachers for individual work.
  5. Less individual help with the simultaneous emotional support of the teacher.
  6. The different curriculum (new knowledge, activities, cognitive requirements, etc.).
  7. The differentiation of the way of teaching and the approach of the students from the teacher.
  8. The new and different rules that will follow in the new school context.

The degree to which the child will respond positively to the transition and will meet the requirements of Primary school depends on his “readiness” in various areas of development (social, emotional, behavioral, cognitive, learning, motor, physical, language – communication). Therefore, to judge whether a child is ready to go to primary school depends on the degree to which he has acquired basic skills and knowledge from a variety of fields. The chronological age of the child is not a unique and reliable factor of a child’s readiness to attend and adapt to primary school.

The inability of children to adapt to new changes, during this school period, can have long-term effects on further development in the various areas of development (cognitive, learning, social, emotional). Therefore, school readiness is a very important factor for a child’s subsequent course.

Key areas and some of the key skills that are expected and important for a child to go to primary school:

Linguistic / Communication Development

Language skills

Perception of Speech

Following Complex instructions

Monitors and understands stories (appropriate for his/her age)

Monitors and understands a simple conversation

Distinguishes the real from the imaginary event in a story or fairy tale.

Expression of Speech

Properly produces all the sounds and complexes of the Greek language.

Produces simple and complex sentences.

Keeps the topic of a discussion.

Uses suggestions that include two or more ideas

Uses descriptive language

He/she knows by heart and recites some common poems and songs

Tells or retells stories and/or everyday experiences

He/she asks questions and expresses his/her curiosity

Expresses ideas so that others can understand them

Answers open and closed questions.

His/her speech is understood by unfamiliar listeners / interlocutors

Uses the melody of his/her voice correctly (prosody), whispers and changes the tone of voice if necessary

Phonological Awareness
Sensorimotor Development
Gross Motor Skills

He/she goes downstairs.

He/she bounces and catches the ball.

He/she claps rhythmically.



Fine Motor Skills

Hold the pencil correctly.

Use the scissors correctly.

He/she fastens the pants and raises or lowers the zipper.

Visual-motor coordination.

Handwriting skills

Can draw a straight line with the pencil.

He/She can followed continous lines with the pencil for the completion of an endless shape.

Paints an image without going out of frame.

Cognitive functions – abilities

Working / Short Term Memory

Long-term memory

Visual and audio memory.

Attention and Concentration.


Processing and reaction speed.

Learning Development
Logical-mathematical concepts

Recognizes sizes (eg small – large, medium, tall – short) and can make size comparisons.

Recognizes quantities (eg many-one-few, more-less, empty-full).

Groups objects

Recognizes numbers up to ten

Recognizes and identifies similarities and differences.

Recognizes colors

Recognizes shapes

Graphophonological Awareness 

Recognizes the uppercase phonemes of the alphabet individually

Writes most letters of the alphabet

Writes his/her name

Space Concepts

Recognizes the position of objects and his/her body as well as places objects in his/her space according to the concepts: Up-down, inside-out, front-back, near-far, between, first-last.

Time Concepts

Understands the concepts: morning-noon-evening, before-now-after, yesterday-today-tomorrow.

Social Development and Social Functionality

Non verbal communication

Adapts to unfamiliar conditions

Relationships with other children and adults.

Shares items with others.

Basic relationship management skills (eg conflict management, collaboration).

Emotional Development

Recognize, express, accept and manage emotions (positive or negative) and emotional states (eg stress, frustration).

Ability to empathize (to understand the feelings of others).

Emotional mood, phobias, bodily reactions that do not affect functionality.

Self-awareness – self-care

Skill to go to the toilet.

To dress himself/herself.

To brush teeth and hands.

To eat alone.

There are specialists (school psychologists, special educators, speech therapists, occupational therapists) who assess a child’s school readiness and implement individualized intervention programs based on the strengths and weaknesses of each child. The comprehensive development of a child is the basic condition for school readiness and is achieved with the cooperation of all specialists.

Militsa Demetriou
Registered School / Educational Psychologist (Registration Number 423)

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