September is nearly here and it won’t be long before it’s time to go back to school. The school routine can seem a distant memory after the long summer holidays so here’s a quick checklist to ensure you and your children are ready for the new school year.
Does everything fit? Don’t forget school shoes and trainers. Has everything, including their PE kit, been washed?
And is everything named? School lost property bins can rival a black hole and you stand a better chance of finding any lost items if they are clearly named.
Buying new school uniforms can be very expensive so do check out local second-hand options. Some schools have a second-hand shop and there are local uniform banks in Bexhill, Hastings, Newhaven and Rye.
Remember to search on social media and in local charity shops for second-hand uniforms too.
If last year’s school bag still has plenty of life in it don’t worry about a new one for the new academic year.
Just make sure your child’s bag closes securely, doesn’t have any holes for things to fall through, and is still showerproof to cope with the inevitable rainy days. It also needs to be big enough to hold everything your child needs for school.
Pencil cases and stationery
Every child loves a new pencil case but don’t feel pressured into getting a new one every term. Many children have spare pencil cases at home so perhaps they could swap and use one of those rather than buying a new one.
Schools will have a list of the stationery your child will need. As a rule of thumb, more equipment is needed for secondary school and can include a calculator, geometry set, glue sticks, whiteboard pens and headphones as well as the basic pens, pencils, rubber and a ruler. Check your child’s school equipment list, which should be available online, to make sure they have what they need.
Travelling to school
If your child is eligible for school transport, make sure you have organised the necessary bus or train pass. More information and how to apply is available on the school transport pages of the council’s website.
Perhaps you could consider biking, walking or scooting to school? For ideas on alternative ways to get to school take a look at ‘Plan your walk, cycle or scoot to school’.
Don’t forget to let your child’s school know if different people will be dropping off or collecting them. And if your child is going to make their own way to school, spend some time practising the journey with them so they feel safe and confident.
Wrap around clubs
If you are going to need wrap around care, such as breakfast or after school clubs, remember it is often necessary to book your child’s place in advance so check with your school as soon as possible.
A lot of wrap around and after school clubs can be paid for through the Tax Free childcare scheme. Most children in full-time education are eligible, and the scheme will save you 20%. Visit the website to find our more and open an account.
Late nights and lie-ins
One of the best things about the holidays is going to bed later and having a lie-in. Unfortunately, later bedtimes and lazier mornings don’t generally mix with the school day. Try to reintroduce the school sleep routine a week or so before the new school term starts to ease them back in gently! You could try moving bedtime 10 minutes earlier each evening for the last week.
And the blue light from devices and phones interferes with sleep patterns so encourage your child not to use them for an hour or so before they go to sleep.
It’s natural for your child to feel anxious about returning to school after the summer break, particularly if they are starting a new school. Encourage them to talk about their worries and highlight the positives of school such as seeing their friends and learning new things.
Do speak to your child’s school or class teacher if you think they may need extra support. Since the pandemic more children and young people are experiencing difficulties with emotional wellbeing and mental health, and help and support is available.
Let us know if we’ve missed anything, and good luck. It will be the Christmas holidays before we know it!