Ready For School Mobile App

The Brief

The client approached Degree 53 to develop a mobile app, branding and a promotional website for its new pre-school app, Ready for School. The app enables parents to assess the school readiness of their pre-school children, and to help them develop the skills they need to start a new school with confidence.

The Ready for School app is divided into three categories: Personal (dressing, friendship, eating, hygiene, myself in the world); Attitude (consideration, concentration, confidence); and Learning (creativity, maths, speaking and listening, writing, reading and phonics, motor skills). It encourages parents to work with their children by asking specific questions or completing certain tasks.

The client required an interactive app which would be appealing to and easy to use for both parents and children, with immediate and useful feedback and recommendations for further activities. It was important that the app was developed for small-screen mobile devices, to enable its use on the move and in all types of environments.


The client had a clear vision in mind for the app: it needed to focus on both types of users – parents and children – using illustrations and minimal text. It was also important to be relevant to both male and female users and to an international audience.

Designers at Degree 53 came up with an idea for the app to tell a story through three strong and memorable characters. They created exciting visuals with a simple yet bold look, incorporating graphics that users can easily relate to.

The design team created the app’s logo – big and small bear – which represents the parent-child relationship, both growing and developing together. Degree 53 followed this with different animal characters and a jungle theme for use throughout the app that adults and children would be able to remember. Each character represents a specific level of the broad levels of readiness: Tim the Tiger – More Than Ready For School; Bo the Bird – Ready For School; and Mo the Monkey – Getting Ready For School. In addition, there are other characters (avatars) available to use as profile pictures that the parent can set for their child’s account.

iOS App Development

Degree 53 developed a native iOS app for Ready For School which enables parents to create profiles for their children and track their development. The app provides guidance for carrying out various tasks, explaining each objective pertinent to each category. These include activities, such as selecting an object of the correct colour, an item of clothing suitable for a particular situation, maths, speaking and listening. As children are also required to participate in some of them, these sections of the app are more simplistic and game-like, including intuitive buttons, audio prompts and colourful visuals for better use and understanding. The tasks can be completed at any pace, as well as retaken over time to assess progress.

Each category includes a variety of topics that determine the child’s readiness for school. Parents can focus on any skills in no particular order. Upon completion, the app provides an overview of the child’s progress. The collected data is then used to provide relevant suggestions for further development. Once a category is completed, parents can print out a certificate with one of the characters based on the results.

The Results

The app was launched in December 2015 and was well received by parents, parenting and education media and bloggers. This innovative product shows how educational materials can be incorporated into interactive, modern technology, moving away from traditional methods of assessment. Schools and other educational institutions are increasingly adopting mobile phones or tablets for day-to-day activities. Now, parents can also benefit from a fun and easy-to-use test for their children to evaluate their progress towards starting school.

The Testimonial

We love this app! I added a profile for my daughter, age 4, who is due to start reception in September and my son who is 3 and in pre-school. Both of them enjoyed the activities and I felt they both got something from them, although my daughter more so. As a former primary teacher myself, I felt this was a useful app to gauge where your child “is at” in terms of readiness for school and would be helpful in identifying areas which may need focus and support. I would highly recommend this app to anyone with a nursery age child..

A mum


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