Well, here we are. We survived, we conquered and live to tell the tales, (and many are now on first name basis with their off licence sellers…) What’s even better is the kids survived too and are ready to start back at school – or start a new journey completely!
I’m actually really surprised how quickly the 6 weeks have gone, I was all geared up to feel the sickening ‘mum guilt’ of not doing enough or going out every day, but to be honest it’s only crept up on me a handful of times.
With only a few days left of freedom before the manic morning school rush starts back up, I suppose it’s worth making sure you’ve bought everything your kids will need for the new school year! So here I am with a handy checklist for you!
First of all, a no brainer here:
If this is your child’s first year at school then everything will be brand new for you, but if your child is moving up a year, it’s worth checking their last years clothing to see if you can get the last bit of life out of it.
I did this with Lily’s clothes and found that I can still use her skirts and grey pinafore dresses this year, winner! (This has saved me a lot! The pinafore dresses themselves are anywhere between £7-£10 each!)
Now, personally I’ve opted to have enough uniform to get through the week, this then means I can wash it all over the weekend and have it ready for the next week. A quick list of what you’ll need – your school should have told you what’s accepted at the school, their colours and what they expect to have embroidered – if anything. Most schools will have this information on their website if you can’t remember!
The list: (for boys and girls)
- – Polo tops/Shirts
- – Dresses
- – Skirts
- – Trousers
- – Shorts
- – Tights/Socks
- – Cardigans
- – Jumpers
- – Shoes
I’m sure we’ve all heard those conversations between parents which go something like, “I’m going to wait until the end of the holidays to buy school shoes.”
This is probably the best advice out there for school uniform. Kids are growing all the time, but for some reason you can guarantee if you buy their school shoes at the beginning of the summer holidays they *will not fit* by the end of them! It’s best to leave it until the 2nd to last or last week of the holidays to make sure their shoes will actually fit by the time school comes! (I’d also recommend letting your kids wear them a few times over the holidays to wear them in a little!)
Bear in mind that we’re coming into the winter terms and summer open shoes for girls aren’t going to be the best idea after the first term. Have a think about if it’s worth spending £££ on a pair of shoes that will likely only fit for a short while, and buying some boots or closed in shoes when they start coming into stock.
If your child is still young, don’t buy them lace up shoes. It’s unnecessary hassle for them and their teachers to constantly be tying them up, stick with easy Velcro or zip up until they’ve learned how to do shoe laces themselves!
Also, a handy tip I’ve seen floating about the internet for children who sometimes get their shoes muddled up on their feet: get a sticker and cut it in half, then stick it on the insole of the shoe so when they’re paired up the sticker will make a whole picture again. – We also told Lily with her zip up boots that for her shoes to be on the right feet, the zips need to kiss each other!
PE Kit & Bag
- Jogging bottoms
- Socks (girls wearing tights will have to take them off – better to put a spare pair of socks in for them!)
Again, check with your school if they require a coloured top or a plain white one etc.
Depending what year your child is going into, there probably isn’t much that they’ll need to take in with them!
We have a standard bag from the school with the schools logo on, but this year Lily has asked for a backpack so we’ll be changing to this provided the school allows it!
As for stationary sets, for KS1 I don’t think they’re really necessary (unless stated by your school) but if your child is adamant, I’d recommend a few lead pencils for them to write with. Generally everything is stocked and ready for them.
The nights are drawing in and the warm weather is fast leaving us, which means that winter is coming…as we know kids will play out in all weather, and for the most part schools will let them out (provided it’s not pouring down with rain!) so it’s important to have a decent coat. And if you’re like us and walk to school, the mornings can be bitterly cold! (Closer to winter, a hat/gloves & scarf will be useful too!)
Currently, KS1 get free school meals (reception, year 1 & 2.) Depending on what your child likes to eat, you can choose between packed lunches or school meals.
We have the school lunch menu pinned to the fridge and each night Lily decides if she’d like a packed lunch or school meal. Generally, we have packed lunches Monday-Thursday, and Friday is a school meal (because all kids love fish finger Friday!)
Obviously if you’re going to have packed lunches you’ll need a lunch box (labelled with your child’s name on, you’ll be surprised how many duplicates there are!) and drink bottle (optional.)
I think that pretty much sums up your basic essentials for going back to school! Is there anything you’d add to the list? Let me know in the comments below! Let the routines begin…