With back to school around the corner (or some of you may already be back!) – we’ve compiled a helpful checklist for parents of the top 10 things to remember for the start of school. Whether your child is starting school for the first time or not, we hope this list is helpful for getting you prepared for the new school term.

1. New school stationery

Butterflies back to school mega bundle. Featuriong four sheets of stick on name labels, a blue note book and black pencil case. Pencil case and notebook have write writing for the name and it is surrounded in pastel butterflies.

I’m sure everyone remembers when they were little that one of the best things about starting a new school term was new stationery. A new pencil case, new pen set or even a new set of highlighters, buying some new stationery can be a cheap way to get your kids excited for the start of school.

If you’re thinking about gifts for children starting school we’ve also launched our Back to School stationery gift sets, which include an A5 notebook, a pencil case and some name labels (if you choose the mega sets). All personalised with a name of your choice, these back to school gift bundles are available in a wide range of designs also.

2. Use school name labels to label your things

School name labels perfect for labelling lunchboxes, stationery, school uniform, clothing and much more!

If your child is starting school for the first time, you’ve no doubt had your school induction during the summer. The one takeaway from all these sessions is to make sure everything is labelled. That was the only thing I actually remember from our induction! But with lost property causing a real issue for some schools, it will help you to buy some school name labels and get everything labelled. Uniforms, sports kits and all clothing is an absolute must (did you know we have our own iron on school name labels perfect for this). But also lunch boxes, drinks bottles, stationery are great to label with some stick on school name labels as well. You might think some items would be possible to lose but you’ll be amazed at how little comes back after the first week!

Having everything labelled will take the stress out and you should be able to recover items from lost property. Or even better, they get returned straight back to your child by the teachers as soon as they’re found!

3. Arrive early!

There is nothing worse than feeling stressed on the first day because you’re running late (they’ll be plenty of time for this later in the school term!). Your child will no doubt be excited/nervous/anxious so try to help the situation by getting up 15 minutes early and making sure you leave the house earlier than you would. This will give you time for any emergencies e.g. forgetting important items! and will also allow you to arrive in plenty of time and not add any further stress to you or your child.

4. Prepare packed lunch the night before

preparing packed lunch the night before school starts

When compling this list we consulted our team (many who are parents with school aged children) for their things to remember for the start of school. One thing that will help the first morning will be preparing the packed lunch the night before. Having this on your plate during the morning can add stress so having it all prepared the night before, if you’re opting for a packed lunch, helps.

Because you’re able to plan and take your time, you’re also more likely to make healthy choices here rather than chucking things into a lunch box. So it’s a win-win! There’s a great page we use over on BBC Goodfood which gives loads of healthy packed lunch ideas if you’re struggling. Most are really easy to prepare also!

5. Layout school uniform

Night Sky school name labels perfect for space fan to label your child's belongings

I’m not sure what your children are like in the morning, but ours are very slow! They like to potter about and when it comes to getting dressed it tends to be when there are arguments over what everyone is wearing.

A good way to combat this, and avoid any stress, is to have their uniforms laid out the night before. Our eldest has always liked things to be super organised so she always loves seeing her uniform set out for her and almost always avoids any meltdowns with what to wear.

6. Get a good nights sleep

During the summer holidays it’s likely you’ve been seeing friends and family, and the nice school routine you established has been chucked out the window. Now it’s back to school, it’ll be a great idea to try and get a good early bedtime in the night before their first day. This gives you plenty of time to get things ready in the evening. But also, will give your kids a good chance to get a good nights sleep before they start.

This will not only help their mood in the morning (avoiding any meltdowns!) but will also help them concentrate better during that first day. When they see all their friends it’s likely going to be quite an excitable day, so by getting an extra 30-60 mins sleep can help. Depending on what your children are like at night time, it might be best, if you’re able to, to start introducing this a week to 2 weeks before the start of term so they can get used to the adjusted routine.

If you need any tips on how to get a good night sleep, pop over to the NHS’s Tips on getting a good nights sleep.

7. Take it easy

Remember that your children have had 6 weeks on holiday and it will take them some time to adjust to their new routine. This is particularly true if your little one is starting school for the first time, with the added stress of all the ‘newness’ and unfamiliarity. Take it easy – try not to place too much pressure on them and give them a little more slack than usual to get time to adjust.

This is also true for parents. Try to give yourself a little bit of a break and moment to yourself in the evening to unwind and relax. This ensures that you don’t let stress build up during the first week and allows you to ease back into the new routine.

8. Read any school policy changes

Throughout the summer there may have been e-mails or communications from the school about policy changes at the school. It’s a great idea the weekend before school starts to have a read over these and familiarise yourself with any adjustments. This is particularly relevant at the moment with regard to any COVID-19 measures that have been introduced or altered since the last school year.

9. Complete/check any homework that was set for the summer

child doing homework

If your children are a little older then they may have been set some projects to be completed over summer. It’s very possible that as soon as school holidays started, such projects were forgotten!  With plenty of time therefore it is worth checking in to see if everything that should have been completed has been, and avoid a last-minute panic to get it done.

10. Prepare for any after school clubs

Last but not least, the new school term may bring a new routine to morning or after school clubs. This can involve different travel arrangements or require additional equipment/kit to be taken into school. Try to familiarise yourself with the new plan, sticking it up in the kitchen so everyone in the family can see the new timetable so there are no big surprises.

That’s all! We hope our Top 10 things to remember for the start of school proves useful to you and your family. These gentle reminders will help you get off to a nice calm, relaxed start for the new school year. If your little one is starting school for the first time, best of luck on your first time. Any child’s first day of school is a true milestone in their life and following these reminders will help it get off to a nice smooth start.