What Should My Child Know by the End of Pre-Primary?

Posted By Tanya Harper  
14:30 PM

Foundation in WA is the curriculum set for pre-primary, which is the first formal year of your child’s education and it is also the first compulsory year of schooling for kids in WA. This is the year that your child will first face expected outcomes, hence also the first year that their academic achievements are measured (or evaluated).

This can be a stressful time for many parents because it can also be the first time you notice that your child isn’t working at the same level or pace as some of the other children in their class. My first piece of advice to all parents is never compare you child to another. That includes siblings, cousins, your friends kids and definitely not to other kids in their class. At this age the differences in understanding and ability will make your head spin. But it is by no means a

determining factor in your child’s academic success in the future. What it is, is a sign of individual differences. Your child’s academic life is a journey, not a race. They all bloom at different times, in different areas and in different ways. Always focus on growth and development never on comparison. Also remember in any class there can be up to a 12 month age gap between children, which at this age can be up to 25% of their life lived so far, so no pressure!

There is a large amount of content in the foundation curriculum, which is all aimed at introducing and exposing your child to new ideas and concepts to give them the basics for future development.  But what exactly should my 4/6 year old know and be able to understand by the end of their first formal year of education? Below is a simplified version of the expected outcomes for a child completing foundation for language and Maths.

English : Receptive modes

(listening, reading and viewing)

Students will be able to:

  • use predicting and questioning strategies to make meaning from text. This means looking at the cover of a book, the title and some of the pages and be able to get some idea of what it might be about and ask you questions to gain more understanding
  • recall one or two events from a text
  • have an understanding that there is a connection between text and personal experience
  • read short, decodable predictive texts with familiar vocabulary and supportive imagery (pictures)
  • recognise the letters of the English alphabet in upper and lower case
  • know the most common sounds of the letters
  • read high frequency words
  • blend sounds orally to make common CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words. For example c-a-t, d-o-g
  • recognise rhyming patterns and sounds in words
  • use appropriate interaction skills to listen and respond to others

English: Productive Modes

(speaking, writing and creating)


  • know that their written texts can reflect their own experiences
  • can identify and describe their own likes and dislikes about familiar texts, objects, characters and events
  • can communicate clearly in both formal and informal settings
  • can retell events
  • will be able to use familiar words, phrases and images to convey meaning in their own writing
  • writing will show evidence of letter and sound knowledge as well as the beginning of grammatical understanding, including the use of capital letters and full stops
  • can correctly form known upper and lower case letters


Math is a very large subject area that includes content from the three strands: number and algebra, measurement and geometry and statistics and probability. The content also covers the proficiency strands of understanding, fluency, problem-solving and reasoning, which are an important part of mathematics.

At this year level:

  • understanding includes connecting names, numerals and quantities
  • fluency includes readily counting numbers in sequences, continuing patterns and comparing the lengths of objects
  • problem-solving includes using materials to model authentic problems, sorting objects, using familiar counting sequences to solve unfamiliar problems and discussing the reasonableness of the answer
  • reasoning includes explaining comparisons of quantities, creating patterns and explaining processes for indirect comparison of length.

Math: Expected Achievement Standards

Student will be able to

  • make the connection between number names, numerals and quantities up to 10.
  • compare objects using mass, length and capacity.
  • know the days of the week including the difference between the weekdays and weekends.
  • explain the order and duration of events.
  • count to and from 10 and order small collections.
  • group objects based on commonalities (ie shape, colour size).
  • answer simple questions to collect information and make inferences.

Math Pre PrimaryThis year is just the beginning year of structured schoolwork, where they begin to read and write but still need a great deal of support. As previously stated, all kids will develop at a different pace and in different ways. Some children will be able to verbalise concepts well beyond their years, while others will need more time to develop. To help and support your child through these first years try to keep it simple and fun. Flash cards are a great way to work with your child. You can purchase sight words flash cards as well as number and alphabet cards which will help them recognise the letters and numbers. Alphabet snap and memory games are also a great way to have fun while learning. There are books that you can purchase that will give you some great activities to help support your child’s fine motor skills (to develop handwriting) and rhyming word games and activities that you can play. We have a range of books in store for foundation, all aimed at helping parents support their child’s development in this early stage. Please contact us if you would like some advice, or pop into our bookshop to see our range of resources.

All information for this Blog has been taken from the Australian Curriculum website.