Starting school

I remember the day Gemma started school like it was yesterday. I remember popping on her red uniform, tying her hair in pigtails and putting her shiny new shoes by the front door. Making her a special breakfast of pancakes and bacon. Checking and rechecking her book bag, lunch box and PE kit. Taking the obligatory photo of her in front of the fence in her uniform. 

I remember walking her down the road, with Jacob in the pushchair. We were at school really early, along with a gaggle of other brand new school run mums and dads. She ran off to play with the friends she already knew from nursery. When the bell rang she was off like a shot, barely glancing back at me and her brother. 

I remember feeling a bit….lost? She had been my sidekick for so many years, and now she wasn’t there. 

And now she is finished with primary school, and heading off to a new adventure at high school in September. I’m not quite sure how I feel about this yet – seeing her in her tie and blazer, off to a school 4 times the size of her primary. Off to gain the qualifications that will see her on the path to her chosen future. 


When Jacob went off to school I felt a little more prepared. I knew the school layout, the teachers and we had the morning routine down to a fine art. He had seen what happened in reception class, he knew where to hang his bag, where to put his lunch and where to sit on the carpet. 


Now, almost 4 years later and it’s Max’s turn. In just 4 short weeks, my youngest boy will be heading off to school. I feel like a newbie again – it’s so long since we had a child in reception, some of the teachers have changed, some of the morning routine is different. This time around, I won’t be the main carer – it will be Kevin dropping off and picking up most of the time. I’m not sure how I feel about that either. Of course, I am so excited about starting my new career, but it will be really strange to know someone else is doing the school run. 

Max is so ready for school. Over the last few weeks, we have noticed that nursery just isn’t enough for him anymore, and he needs a new challenge. He’s really excited, and will tell everyone about his new uniform, and who his new teacher will be. 

We have been trying to gently prepare him for this new chapter, by letting him choose his bag, his lunchbox and his coat. We bought him a couple of early learning books with his favourite characters in, and he has been practicing his numbers and letters. We have shown him his classroom, his playground and which way we will walk. He has been on a couple of taster sessions, where he spent some time with his classmates and teachers. He has his new uniform and shoes lined up ready in the wardrobe. 

preparing for school


But no matter how much we prepare, and no matter how confident he seems now, we just don’t know how it will be on that very first morning. He might find it daunting and a little bit scary, or he might be off without a backwards glance, keen to explore. 

If, like us, you have a little one about to start their school adventure, you might like to have a read of the ‘Trust Me I’m a Teacher’ campaign from M&S. To help parents feel at ease, they have spoken to the teachers who see this day in, day out. They know that every child is different, there is nothing they haven’t seen, but they also know it all works out in the end. 

Which reassures me. I know that, no matter what that first day holds, Max WILL settle in, and this will all seem like a distant memory – because they just grow up so, SO fast, and my curly haired little tot is going to school. 




  1. August 6, 2017 / 5:56 pm

    Those first few weeks are nerve-wracking but they soon settle. In fact, it takes us parents longer to feel comfortable in the school yard

  2. August 15, 2017 / 11:06 am

    It goes so fast doesn’t it when they start school. My youngest starts school this week. Great tips here thanks for sharing x

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