Starting school can be nerve-racking, but it’s also an exciting milestone. Let us help you and your child get ahead so you can enjoy the moment with our back-to-school guide, including top tips from parents in the know
Check the uniform policy, now!
That very first day of school: so much build-up, so many emotions – and that’s just the parents. Don’t let uniform be one of your worries. Get organised and everyone will be happy.
Remember, September is still relatively warm and most schools go back in summer uniform (that might mean gingham dresses for girls and shorts for boys), but always check your school’s uniform policy – and ask, ask, ask other parents.
Top tip: “Schools can be hot places and Reception-class children aren’t very good at taking off layers when they need to,” says Rachel Barnes, Reception teacher and mum to Josh, 9. “I put my son in short-sleeve shirts all year round as he gets really hot in the classroom, especially after playtime and PE.”
Think ease, think comfort, think smart. Our uniform features time-saving innovations from easy-iron shirts to permanent-pleat skirts. There are also lots of helpful details such as Velcro fastenings on shirts, which are great for Reception children who might otherwise struggle to do their buttons up.
Something that saves a lot of time and stress down the line is getting everything labelled properly. Our name labels service – all done by one simple text – is quick, easy and great value for money.
Top tip: “My top stress-busting tip for girls is patent shoes,” says Laura Craik, columnist and mum to Violet, 12 and Eliza, 8. “They never need to be cleaned! A quick once-over with a baby wipe, and they’re good to go. Patent shoes always look shiny and perky – which is how you’ll feel too, once you realise how many hours you’ve shaved off the morning routine by not needing to polish them.”
The unpredictable British climate means it’s a good idea to make sure kids are prepared for sudden downpours in the playground, whatever the season. From autumn half-term onwards, a good warm padded jacket is a no-brainer; from Easter through to summer and then for September, a lightweight rain mac, which can be worn over cardigans and sweaters, should do the job.
Top tip: “If I feel it’s not that warm during summer-uniform season, I add long socks, a cardigan and a good structured coat, ” says Summer Litchfield, journalist and mum to Lily, 5. “I’ve even been known to sneak a pair of three-quarter-length leggings under her favourite blue-and-white gingham dress.”
Editor: Claire Askew / Photographer: Sarah Winborn / Stylist: Kate van der Hage / Groomer: Rose Angus