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Starting school is exciting and nerve-wracking for children (and parents). So, here’s our practical first-day-of-term guide to help calm the nerves, get organised and enjoy your child’s biggest milestone so far


Get set for the new term

Each school has a slightly different school uniform policy, so read the rules thoroughly. There’s a lot going on in the week before starting term and you really don’t want to be worrying about uniform at that point, which is why it’s a good idea to get sorted now. Also, remember that September can often be quite warm and many schools still wear summer uniform, so ask other parents – or the school’s Facebook group – if you’re unsure.

Top tip: “Label everything,” says Claire, mother to five-year-old twins Arthur and May. “Kids leave cardigans and jumpers everywhere and quite often when they’re in Reception they’ll come home dressed in someone else’s uniform/shoes/coat. Seriously. At least if it’s labelled everything eventually finds its way back to its rightful owner.”

Girls’ school uniform

Boys’ school uniform

Making starting school stress-free

We realise that anything that takes the strain out of that mad morning dash for the door is a winner with you, so we’ve done everything we can to help. From non-iron shirts and dresses to crease-resistant, stain-resistant and water-repellent shorts, trousers, skirts and pinafores, everything is designed to save you time, money and energy and help keep them smart.

Top tip: “Anything that helps children get dressed by themselves is brilliant – and the teachers will be very grateful too,” says Sam, mother to Charlotte, 5 (and Edward, 2). “The obvious one is Velcro-fastening shoes, but there are also easy-dressing dresses and shirts with Velcro behind the buttons that are great for younger ones or kids who don’t have as much dexterity. I always buy tights a size bigger too as they’re much easier to get on.”

Easy-dressing uniform range

School shoes

Help them be prepared

Whether it’s packing a spare uniform for little accidents or making sure they have a coat on even the sunniest day so they’re prepared for sudden downpours (this is Ireland after all), keeping kids comfortable, dry and warm goes a long way to keeping them happy at school. And when it is hot, don’t forget sunhats and apply sun cream – playgrounds can often be particularly shade-free zones.

Top tip: “For new starters, I’d suggest short-sleeved shirts and blouses all year round, especially if their school’s uniform requires white ones,” says Louis, dad to Lola, 6 and Bruno, 5. “The play-based learning of foundation stage coupled with kids’ still-developing motor skills means their sleeves are a magnet to everything from paint to pudding. And while M&S shirts wash well, it just saves you having to wash them after every single day.”

Shop school uniform

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