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DAD.info | Fatherhood | Being Dad | Back to school preparation guide for dads

Back to school preparation guide for dads

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

There are around 2 weeks left of the summer holidays before the kids go back to school. If you haven’t already, it’s time to make sure you have organised everything they need before it’s too late- uniform items like trousers and skirts in particular can sell out in August.

Here’s how to get everything together that they need:

Uniform

The school will have supplied a list of uniform requirements. If you haven’t got it to hand then the school website should usually offer the information. Some items- like a blazer or jumper with the school badge- will need to be obtained from a certain supplier or sometimes the school itself. Everything else- dresses, shorts/ trousers, shirts/ polo shirts, socks and shoes- will need to be picked up from high street stores or supermarkets.

Jackets and coats may need to be a certain colour to adhere to the school policy- black, for example. Otherwise, any jacket or coat will work.

Some primary schools also ask for children to bring in wellies which stay at school year round. Plus, don’t forget about PE kit! Details of this will also be in the school’s uniform policy. Sometimes this will have the school logo on and need to be obtained from a certain supplier, otherwise plain shorts and t-shirts can be bought from the high street.

Lunch boxes and water bottles

Don’t forget to either pick up a lunch box or check last year’s one for mould (and tip out any manky crumbs!). It’s a good idea to have a couple of water bottles on the go during the school week rather than one- they often go missing or get left behind.

Be sure to check the school’s lunch box policy- sometimes ingredients such as peanuts are banned from the school to protect vulnerable allergy sufferers. Healthy food is usually advised and sometimes schools will ask that sugary treats and sweets are not sent in to school with children.

Shoes and PE trainers

Beware the dreaded queue for new school shoes in Clarks! The sooner you can get school shoes ticked off your lost the better- the nearer the start of school the longer the wait to be served. Make sure you grab trainers for PE too! Certain secondary schools will require pupils to have football boots or rugby boots as well.

School bag and pencil case

Make sure their school bag and pencil case is sorted with everything they need. For primary school children generally need a basic supply of pencils, a ruler, a rubber, colouring pencils and a pen. For secondary, the list of requirements should be on the parent’s area of the school website and may include a protractor, a scientific calculator, highlighters etc.

Check whether there are any specific textbooks needed as well as additional items- an apron for food tech, for example.

Label everything!

Make sure everything is labelled- from uniform to shoes to water bottles and pencil cases. There are a few options including iron-on labels, but we find peel and stick labels the easiest. We like these from Amazon- they can be used for everything including uniform and equipment.

How will your child be getting to school?

If you haven’t already, plan your route now to avoid morning traffic. If you’re walking, you could try walking the route together to time how long it takes. Is your child old enough to travel to school alone? Have a look at our helpful guide to safety.

Will the new school year be a challenge?

For some children going to a new school might be causing them to feel nervous or afraid. If your child is making the move to secondary, read our guide here. For primary aged children, going to big school can be exciting, or scary. Reception teachers usually are well-versed in helping young children settle in, and even if there are tears when you drop them off at first, chances are they’ll be merrily be playing with toys and having fun 20 minutes later.

If your child is anxious, notify the school so that their new teacher is aware. If they struggle to feel comfortable, the school should be able to find ways to make your little one settle. Tears at drop off are upsetting but also normal.

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