Download your ‘ready for school’ reward chart

If your child is about to start either at pre-school or at primary school, there are lots of things you can work on at home to help get them ready.

Print off our downloadable reward chart to use with your child. Choose one or two ‘mini goals’ to work on together and write them on the chart. Then pop it up somewhere you both can look at it regularly – the fridge for example.

Getting ready for school reward chart

Choosing your goals

The statements below (developed in partnership with a number of organisations) describe things most children should be able to have a go at by the time they are three or four, recognising that all children are different and develop at different rates.

For each statement, we’ve suggested some mini goals you may like to work on. Talk to your public health nurse if you need some more ideas.

Involve your child in choosing a suitable reward for achieving their goal – it could be something as simple as a trip to the park to play on the swings, or an extra bedtime story.

Age three (ready for pre-school)

Age four (ready for primary school)


Age three (ready for pre-school)

Settle happily when I’m not there

Mini goals:

  • I can show my happy face when I’m dropped off at pre-school

Read more:

Feel secure, say how they feel and ask an adult for help

Mini goals:

  • I can talk about things that make me happy
  • I can talk about things that make me sad

Play with others and begin to share

Mini goals:

  • I can wait for my turn when playing a game
  • I can share toys I really like with my friends or brothers and sisters

Read more:

Enjoy exploring new things and making choices

Mini goals:

  • I am happy to try new games
  • I can choose my own drink and snack

Read more:

Listen, talk and understand

Mini goals: 

  • I can point to parts of my body when asked to
  • I can use 3-4 words in sentences

Read more:

Enjoy rhymes, songs, stories and books

Mini goals:

  • I can sing my favourite nursery rhyme
  • I can sit and listen to a short story

Walk, run, climb and balance

Mini goals:

  • I can climb a ladder at the park to go down the slide
  • I can catch a ball using both hands

Eat, chew, try different foods and drink from a cup

Mini goals:

  • I can use a knife and fork with my food
  • I can pour my own drink

Read more:

Use the toilet, wash their hands, and clean their teeth

Mini goals:

  • I can pull my pants up and down by myself
  • I can wash my hands and dry them

Read more:

Begin to dress themselves

Mini goals:

  • I can put on my own pyjamas
  • I can put on my own coat

Age four (ready for primary school)

Settle happily when I’m not there

Mini goals:

  • I can play with my friends at pre-school
  • I can find another grown up if I’m sad

Read more:

Feel secure, say how they feel and ask an adult for help

Mini goals:

  • I can say how I feel
  • I can ask for help with something if I need it

Play with others and begin to share

Mini goals:

  • I can take turns in a small group
  • I can name two of my friends

Enjoy exploring new things and make choices

Mini goals:

  • I can help load the trolley in the supermarket
  • I can choose my own clothes to wear

Read more:

Listen, talk and understand

Mini goals:

  • I can follow three instructions at once (for example: ‘Put down the pen, close the book and come here’)
  • I can use sentences of 4-5 words

Read more:

Enjoy rhymes, songs, stories and books

Mini goals:

  • I can sing my favourite nursery rhymes and do the actions
  • I can tell my own story using pictures in a book

Walk, run, climb and balance

Mini goals:

  • I can hop
  • I can jump forwards with two feet together

Eat, chew, try different foods and drink from a cup

Mini goals:

  • I can try a new food
  • I can help to set the table

Read more:

Use the toilet, wash their hands, and clean their teeth

Mini goals:

  • I can brush my teeth all by myself
  • I can wipe my own bottom

Read more:

Begin to dress themselves

Mini goals:

  • I can do up a button on my clothes
  • I can move a zip up and down

Read more:

Useful links: