Starting School: Tips & Tricks
So that’s it, The Biggest is officially starting school in September. Officially a kid, no-longer a preschooler. However, we qualified for the 30 hours funding, so he was at pre-school full time from last September (at the school he got a place at!) and had to wear a uniform, so to me it feels like he has already started! So I thought I would give a heads up on how I found the process and some tips I picked up along the way.
1) You Don’t Need To Spend A Lot On Uniform
Because The Biggest is only a little tiddler size wise, I was limited on where I could get some of my uniform last year, only M&S and Asda offered some stuff in 2-3. I got a couple of bits from Aldi as well and in all honesty, they all washed as well. Jumpers especially ended up covered in pen, the sleeve edges looked dog eared and I ended up having to chuck a load and replace them.
This year, I went to Aldi and got a load of sweaters from there for just £1 each! I only brought one logo jumper for school photos. Also, if they can wear a coloured polo, do it. I let The Biggest wear a white one in the summer and it seriously looked like he had taken it off to scrub the floors with it.
2) Pop Some Spare Clothes In Their School Bag
Even if your child has been toilet trained for ages, it can’t hurt to have some spares in bag – its a new experience and accidents can happen. Before he started, The Biggest had been toilet trained for well over a year, but an incident occurred where he decided he didn’t want to give up a motorbike he was playing on and as a result, he didn’t make it to the toilet in time and he crapped his pants. As mentioned before, he is a bit smaller than most kids his age, so the spare clothes the school had in the cupboard were miles too big and his trousers literally fell down round his ankles about 3 times on the walk home, poor love!
3) Label Everything
We used MyNametags (not an ad, they are just brilliant!) as I didn’t have the time to iron or sew them into clothes. (See also: I couldn’t be bothered!) You can order one set and they are dishwasher, washing machine and tumble dryer safe. Ours are still going strong after a whole year. You can customise them with icons and colours, so even if your child can’t read yet, they can learn to recognize their particular tag. Ours are red with rockets on. If you just get their name and a contact telephone number on, rather than their class, you can reuse what ever you might have left for the following year too!
4) Choose Your School Shoes Wisely
I honestly do not know what they do in school to cause such shoe devastation, but they do! Last September I spent £35 on a pair of what claimed to be hard wearing school shoes. They were not. By Christmas, the toes had worn away leaving a hole. With my second pair I discovered re-enforced rubber toes on a pair from Deichmann. They were bit cheaper and are still surviving, even now!
5) Its All About a 3-in-1 Coat
If you want one coat to last you the whole school year, try Trespass or Mountain Warehouse, who do 3-in-1 coats, which have a zip in fleece which means it’s super toasty in Winter but in Autumn / Spring you can zip it out and have it as just a fleece or waterproof thinner coat. Both stores always have great sales on too.
6) Always Check Their School Bag
Trust me – unless you want to stroll in to school and find they were supposed to be wearing something specific or bring in something for a project, check their school bag for a mashed up note they probably stuck down the side of their bag.
7) Try And Make Friends With Other Parents
I appreciate for those who are shy or suffer with anxiety, this can be difficult. But if you can, get chatting to other parents in the playground. These will be your lifeline! I have heard some horror stories about competimums and stuff, but I am fortunate to have found a really great group of mums to chat too. If you’re running late, or need to ask a question late at night, its nice to know you have somewhere to turn/ let the teacher know / watch your kid. If you’re a little shy to begin with, have a look on FB. Chances are the PTA might have started a group or there might be an unofficial parents one and you can get to know people online to begin with.
8.) Book An Eye Test
If you haven’t already, book an eye test. It’s recommended you do it before they start school, so if they have any issues they are picked up on before they start.
Thats about it! I really worried about him settling in to full time days, but he absolutely loved it, he has been constantly asking all holiday when he is back at school. A sentitment I think we both share! 🤣
If you’re a seasoned school mum, is there something I missed, or if you’re about to join the school run motley crue, are you ready?