Top tips: What do I need to know/prepare for September starting reception?

(52 Posts)
shirleycat1 Tue 02-Jul-13 20:01:20

I'm sure this has been done lots of times before but please tell me your top tips for what I need to know, prepare, do... DS is starting reception in September and I've not really thought enough about it I don't think. Would be good to hear the voice of experience, do's and don't welcome.

Thanks in advance...

TeamEdward Tue 02-Jul-13 20:04:18

Practice getting uniform on and off (and PE kit!), especially shoes and plimsolls.

TeamEdward Tue 02-Jul-13 20:06:14

Make sure he can use a knife & fork if he's having school dinners, and can open wrappers if he's having a packed lunch.

Label EVERYTHING. With coats and jumpers label the collar but also write his name inside a cuff. If it goes "missing" you'll be able to claim what is rightly yours.

TeamEdward Tue 02-Jul-13 20:07:16

Pack spare pants a trousers, in a plastic bad, in his school bag. It's not uncommon for Reception children to have accidents.

Kbear Tue 02-Jul-13 20:07:42

your child will need a red t-shirt for sports relief, a yellow one for marie curie/hospice day, a white one to draw on for something or other day, you will need a massive arts and crafts box for make a costume dressing up as a whale/sea anemone/superhero/book character/film star/favourite animal day which will be, on average, once a month and you will need wipes in your handbag for cleaning shoes trod in dog mess on the walk to school, you will need an excel spreadsheet for remembering what to take in for school fetes, hampers, harvest festival, christmas, ooh, don't forget reindeer/Mary/Joseph/sheep/antelope/elephant costume for nativity

apart from that, it's a breeze

Kbear Tue 02-Jul-13 20:08:23

My DS is about to leave year 6..//!!!! laters!

All the little 'practicalities' of life - asking to go to the toilet, sorting himself out there, wiping his nose, getting clothes on and off - velcro is good for shoes, look at the fastening options on trousers, shirts, etc to check he can manage them. Dealing with a tray of food if he is having school lunches, or his lunchbox if he's taking a packed lunch.

Sitting quietly for a few minutes and listening to instructions. Being able and willing to at least try to follow them before giving up or asking for help grin

The big difference is that the teacher's attention as to be shared out between them all, so anything he can manage by himself helps him along.

TeamEdward Tue 02-Jul-13 20:09:08

grin Kbear!

Do a practice run of getting to school now, before they break up for the summer. Then your LO (and you!) won't be so shocked at the mad rush to the gate or for the last parking spot!

badfaketan Tue 02-Jul-13 20:14:44

Yes I was wondering about this..mainly about school uniform.
How many do I need of each thing?They are not fussy about it having the logo on so can buy it all from supermarkets.
Sorry if this is a stupid question but at the moment DS is so dirty he has to wear clean clothes every day so maybe it depends how much washing I want to do.
Do I need 5 of everything?!What have others done?.

sittinginthesun Tue 02-Jul-13 20:20:09

I tend to buy three jumpers per child (3 polo shirts for infants), and four pairs of trousers. Then I can do a colours wash on a Saturday and a Wednesday. I have to put them in clean tops every day, because they just attract dirt.

Buy your uniform now - M & S have a sale on uniform this week. I stop up on pants, vests, socks, PE kit etc at the same time and do it in one go online.

TeamEdward Tue 02-Jul-13 20:23:43

My Ds needs a clean shirt everyday - he is a walking dinner menu!
He gets through 3 pairs of trousers a week.

Don't spend top dollar on shoes. You'll only feel gutted when he's scraped them to oblivion three weeks into term. Reception children spend a lot of time on the floor!

Sprink Tue 02-Jul-13 20:28:11

My best advice would be to prepare yourself.

For example, do bring a hand tissue packet for the first day.

If your child has been at nursery school, don't expect the teacher or TAs to give you hour-by-hour synopses of your child's day at pick-up time.

Do keep a regular bedtime schedule, if not earlier than normal. Children become exhausted from all the learning.

Don't go in with all guns blazing--give the teacher a chance to become acquainted with your child. This is one of many years in the many (let's say 80) of your child's life. It isn't necessarily make or break.

Make new friends. (You, and your child.)

ShowOfHands Tue 02-Jul-13 20:43:44

Take a snack when you pick them up.

Put a keyring on their bookbag/PE kit so it's instant recognisable to them in a pile of identical bookbags/PE kits.

Learn how to make a walrus costume with 2 days' notice <sigh>

DD's in Y1 but in reception alone she had to dress up as a sheep, dragon, dog, narrator. Plus source a team t-shirt for sports day in requisite colours, white t-shirt for decorating, spotty items for dress like bloody Pudsey, union jack attire for jubilee day. Plus, bring a miniature green helicopter to school day, raise money for sick porcupines day and you must send 20p for the cake sale and 50p for non-uniform and £2 for the disco and swimming kit and reading book and recorder and library book and consent form for xyz and yes or no to a school trip and oh it's good fun. grin Use your calendar wisely.

TeamEdward Tue 02-Jul-13 20:48:44

I keep a jar by the front door with £2 coins and 50p coins (Breakfast club is £2.50, dinner is £2!)

PoppyWearer Tue 02-Jul-13 20:52:43

Also prepare yourself to walk into that playground and, hopefully, make some new friends!

My DD is now at the end of Reception year and I try to get to school a bit before pickup time so that I can have a natter with the other parents. It took a while (I am quite shy, play dates picked up in the second term) but I am really enjoying my newfound social life now and have met some fascinating people, who I will now hope to see on a daily basis for the next six years.

The downside of this is that it is harder to keep up with non-school friendships. My NCT group, for example, has started to drift a bit as our DCs all attend different schools and finding time to socialise now, with birthday parties from school, can be tough. Get used to having no time for anything.

Oh and don't moan about other kids, parents or teachers too vocally. It turns out in my neck of the woods that everyone knows everyone!

shirleycat1 Tue 02-Jul-13 21:03:23

Thanks for all these brilliant tips. He's pretty good at dressing himself and his uniform is easy pull on and off stuff. He is filthy generally about 15 minutes after his shower so I anticipate doing plenty of washing.

I like the key ring on his book bag idea.

Think he'll be having pack lunches but I'm a bit short in the ideas department there. Any good pack lunch box recommendations? I mean the actual box.

I'm dreading having to meet all the other parents. I'm a bit of a misanthrope and hate small talk.

And I guess I need to teach myself excel!

Thanks again. Keep them coming...

shirleycat1 Tue 02-Jul-13 21:05:16

Oh and regarding labels and lebelling - any recommendations?

PeanutButterOnly Tue 02-Jul-13 21:06:23

My DD (6) has been training her soon to start school brother (3) to sit crossed legged with his arms folded and his finger on his lip grin

TeamEdward Tue 02-Jul-13 21:20:01

I like the Sharpie laundry pens - no sewing or ironing required!

Ds has a lunchbox like this. The large compartment on the top has a drinks bottle it in, and the separate comparments mean I don't have to dig in the cupboard looking for small Tupperware for cut fruit or other small items.

Labelling - get a laundry pen (drycleaners should have them) and just write on the labels.
For DS I needed to ease 4 of everything - mid week wash so I had enough to do the week. Jumpers pretty much needed changing daily.

Packed lunches - get him a colourful character zip up thing from one of the supermarkets. Let him choose so he recognises it (and hopefully will want to carry it grin ). Then you have more flexibility with what goes in. Though you may find he wants the same each day.
I then put in the bags
* a sandwich (in a plastic box - this was no faff with clingflim, no rubbish and no crusts bouncing around the box afterwards)
* a yoghurt jelly (make up jelly with 75% yoghurt - if they spill it it bounces but they still get the calcium. I bought a load of extra Tommee Tippee pots to make it in and store in the fridge. Way cheaper than pots and far less messier/less rubbish).
* A selection of goodlies - from a few mini cheddars, to a bit of cheese, some grapes, dried apricots, cucumber, tomatoes; the odd illicit haribo. I used the blue plastic pots that I used for formular feeding - think they were Tommee Tippee too. Had 3 compartments so something different in each part.

I then had it easy on emptying the box. No rubbish, no yoghurt pot lids (of half eaten yoghurts) smeared all round everything.

Oh and teach your DS to shut the lid on his drink bottle when he has finished - so unfinished stuff does not leak everywhere.

And enjoy!

timtam23 Tue 02-Jul-13 21:28:26

I bought some iron-on labels which came highly recommended but they inevitably start to peel off sooner or later

Now I write on everything with a Sharpie pen

I was given a good tip for labelling trousers - turn them inside out & write the name on the white fabric lining of the pocket - it shows up really clearly and DS hasn't lost any trousers or shorts this year

We ended up with 6 of everything as DS needs a fresh set of uniform every day (comes home covered in paint, food and mud) and everything seems to come in packs of 2. I started with 4 of everything and it was a pain having to remember to put a wash on midweek (we don't have a tumble drier so in bad weather it was even more of a nightmare)

MrsPnut Tue 02-Jul-13 21:42:19

I agree with using a sharpie to add their name to everything but we also use the easy2name stick on labels for clothes and items. It does mean that everything she owns has a sticky label on it and they do survive the dishwasher too.

I agree also with practicing getting dressed and undressed, going to toilet by themselves and putting on coats and shoes. You will need to do a checklist in the playground each evening to ensure you have everything - that goes on until they are at secondary school and then you just shout at them for leaving their brand new coat on the bus for the third time in a term instead.

zipzap Tue 02-Jul-13 22:00:23

Try to get a lunch box with a shoulder strap as well as a handle and one that he can put a water bottle into easily - at our school, they have book bags that are more like music cases and just have a handle, plus a water bottle, plus a coat or jumper or bit of artwork etc etc and of course dc wants to hold hands and you end up needing hundreds of hands.

I've also got myself a dedicated reusable shopping bag from one of the supermarkets (one of those jute ones that go over your shoulders that I can use to stick in everything that needs to go to school - I have one for each dc. Then I can thrown in snack, water bottle, book bag, lunch bag, games kit if it needs to go back in, ditto wellies or coat etc etc. I also keep a few envelopes and a biro in there so if I'm running late in the morning I can sort out lunch money or whatever once we're at school. Means that there is a dedicated place once we are at home for all the school stuff to be, there is only one bag to pick up to go into the car in the morning and everything in one bag to bring home and then have hands free to hold dc's hand (see above).

Tesco make some good photo keyrings (The square or rectangular plastic ones are the ones I mean) that are like credit cards - so you can stick a picture on it of something they want - and if they are particularly attached to a favourite toy that you don't want to risk going into school but still want them to have some comfort from, then take a close-up picture of favourite toy and then turn that into the photo keyring. Then dc will still have favourite toy sort of with them in school but you don't have to worry about the actual toy being there, getting lost or damaged etc and also nobody else is likely to have the same keyring.

Get yourself several clothes marking pens and leave in useful places as you always find yourself with unmarked stuff that needs to go in despite having done the whole lot of your kit beforehand. I have one upstairs on my landing window (near the airing cupboard and where I put out the dc's clothes the night before, and near where they get dressed in the morning), one downstairs and one in the car. Ditto a black sharpie for labelling non-clothes gubbins that needs to go in. Then if names have faded or they are wearing mufti or whatever, you can just label as you need to.

Get used to getting everything out the night before that needs to go - uniform, bags etc assembled by the door, shoes ready, coat if needed... And whilst it might not be possible to get a lunch box ready the night before, see if there are any bits that you can do - make sure you've got enough clean little boxes, any biscuits/crisps/whole fruit/etc that doesn't hurt being in the lunch box overnight put there, anything that can be done in advance (ds used to like to have a pot of grated cheese so I'd do that and leave in the fridge, ditto a bag of chopped cucumber and pepper, plus he liked crackers so I'd put them in a little box in his lunch box waiting) and have water bottles there and ready to fill in the morning.

Mornings are always really hectic - anything you can do to streamline them for yourself will make them less stressful! And if your dc is finding it stressful to be getting ready and having to be out of the house at a certain time rather than at their own pace - then you want to be able to concentrate on them rather than finding yourself rushing around!

zipzap Tue 02-Jul-13 22:04:12

Oh and see if there is a second hand shop - great way to get the expensive bits of school uniform cheaply, then you can have 5 jumpers and a couple spare all for the price of a new one (ok it's his first school so you'll probably want to have at least one new one!) and save yourself lots of stress in having to wash stuff in the middle of the week. Ditto go for more cheap and cheerful supermarket generic stuff assuming you're allowed it - given how cheap it is for the stuff for the little ones, you'd probably spend far more in washing powder if you need to put a wash on twice as often!

Also find out if there is a school book bag - get one before school starts if you can.

ShoeWhore Tue 02-Jul-13 22:08:35

Make sure they know that when changing for PE you keep your pants on grin

Oh and if they have a water bottle for school write their name around the top so it's easily picked out of a box of identical bottles.

A bit of judicious wiping can help reduce the uniform laundry pile too.

RussianBlu Tue 02-Jul-13 23:36:02

When chosing shoes/plimsoles please don't go for the type that you have to try and squeeze onto the childs foot for at least 5 minutes and breaking out into a sweat before giving up. Also, laces are not good.

Don't get cross with the teacher if they cant tell you where your childs jumper/hairband/sock/toy that was in the bag in the morning has gone.

No belts on trousers.

name clearly written on front of school bag (teacher cannot always remember exactly who owns what bag) to make home time/letter giving easy.

Don't be the parent who has to speak to the teacher for at least 10 minutes every day.

Lastly, enjoy reception while it lasts... such a nice year.

Rowan1204 Wed 03-Jul-13 00:26:57

Just want to say thanks for this thread! My ds starting in September too.
Some replies really helpful and funny too smile
Oh and i think Russianblu might be a teacher?! smile

zipzap Wed 03-Jul-13 09:48:51

If your child is small then check they can use the loos. Ds2 is v short for his age and when we went for one of the induction afternoons we discovered that he needed me to plonk him on the loo as they were too tall for him to get onto unaided. We then discovered as I let go of him having lifted him up and he carried on falling into the toilet that the seat was too big too. Oops.

There is now an ikea step in the wheelchair friendly loo which he can use as the bars mean that he can use them as handles to stop himself falling through. he just has to remember to use the right cubicle and move the step infront of the loo and then out of the way afterwards.

Once I'd spotted the problem it was easy to talk to the teachers and come up with a solution but it was only fluke that I'd gone into the loos on the induction afternoon - it's easy to assume that as they have infant sized loos that look diddy that they will be small enough for all the kids!

ShowOfHands Wed 03-Jul-13 13:13:08

Make sure they know the procedure for going to the toilet too. So at dd's school, they had to put up their hand and then collect a teddybear and then proceed to the toilet. Lots of accidents at first with children not putting up their hand soon enough, rushing back to get a teddy etc. I had a bit of a problem with dd when she started because she took the 'no questions, no talking during quiet time' too literally and for 45 minutes thought she couldn't ask for the loo. She then had an accident. These little things will crop up over time.

shirleycat1 Wed 03-Jul-13 16:51:40

Bloody hell, there's so much to think about! Thanks for all the really comprehensive advice though.

TeamEdward - where do you get those lunchboxes from?

I've heard people before say lunch boxes with shoulder straps are good. And specific links/recommendations?

Will invest in a Sharpie pen.

I'm all about preparation the night before. I'll have a few more things to think about now but I'm sure I'll get into the swing if things soon. I think it'll be easier on my non work days and DC3 is due in January which will add another layer of chaos. We should have some sort of routine by then to completely go out the window!

Thanks again.

PeanutButterOnly Wed 03-Jul-13 21:56:06

zipzap - how tall (my DS (3.11) is around 94cm tall currently and going to school induction next week)

ShowOfHands Thu 04-Jul-13 10:56:57

Most supermarkets, plus places like Wilkos do lunchboxes with straps. DD has a fabric one from The Range. We wipe it out daily and then throw it in the washing machine on a Friday night.

One thing we did find hard to source, oddly enough, was a drinks bottle. At dd's school they expect them to be transparent so they can see you're only giving water. Water bottles nowadays are covered in cartoon characters and/or neon pink. Finding a plain, see through one was a bit of a task it turned out.

DS was born by emcs 4 days before dd started reception. It was occasionally very chaotic. grin You might find that having a routine established helps though. DS quickly got his feeds and naps sorted round the school run.

zipzap Thu 04-Jul-13 11:00:32

PBO I'd definitely check it in that case - ds2 is only just 1m tall now and still struggling with them (and as well as being short he has short legs and a long body iyswim) - height wise he is usually about 1st percentile give or take a smidge depending on if he's having a growth spurt - he was probably about 90cm tall a year ago and his age 3 school trousers are only now just about the right length to give you an idea of his size.

So yes - definitely check it out with your son together before he needs to go by himself and struggles!

zipzap Thu 04-Jul-13 11:05:55

Oh and if anybody's planning on buying uniform from marks and spencers - their 'back to school' promotion of 20% off uniform finishes this week (sorry doesn't say what they count as the end of week!)

And they don't call it the back to school promotion any more as the thing starts before the summer half term and is over before the end of the summer term - but all the staff call it the back to school promotion still!

PeanutButterOnly Fri 05-Jul-13 21:53:31

Thanks zipzap. I think we might have to go and check out the loos! I know he still uses the potty by choice at pre-school!! He has age 3 school trousers all ready to go and they are too long. He's August born and short wink - poor boy!!

zingally Sat 06-Jul-13 16:58:10

Take a snack when you pick them up.

A small carton of juice, or a bottle of squash is a great idea, particularly in the summer months (and those first few weeks back in September when summer often has a last hurrah) when they often haven't had enough to drink during the day and come out dehydrated and grumpy.

I remember my mum would have tall glasses of orange squash waiting in the fridge for us when we'd get home from school on hot days. It was the best!

SsimTee Sat 06-Jul-13 18:39:43

For anybody with daughters: Please stay away from socks that have a little bow/flower etc. on the ankle. You will be forever looking for the right and left sock to match.

nosila12 Mon 08-Jul-13 14:20:52

Some great tips here.

We have three sets of clothes and i do a wash on a Wednesday.
i'd agree about having a snack or something on meeting them at the end of the day. one, they're starving and two it distracts them from running off on the way home.
Don't try to do too many after school activities.
They need to be able to wipe properly after the toilet, and get fully dressed and undressed.
They need to be able to ask the teacher if they need something - that one's from hindsight - they forgot to call my ds's class in for lunch once and none of them said anything.

noramum Mon 08-Jul-13 14:37:34

I agree with Kbear. If you work then keep at least 1 week leave aside for all the events they love to invite the parents to and the children really look forward seeing mum and dad. And try to explain to your child while XX's mum is ALWAYS there while you are going to work. Grrr.

We now have four calendars electronically inter-connected so DH and I know when we are supposed to be where, when DD has what event and how many class parties are in each month. Reception was a nightmare party wise.

Keep lots of small change and your chequebook handy. £0.50 for this, £1 for that and the holiday fund for the school trip.

For labeling - label detachable hoods. DD found her hood more useful for the doll in the playarea then on her head "But mummy, she needed a blanket".

myBOYSareBONKERS Mon 08-Jul-13 21:57:23

Reception help list:

The summer before my August born boy went to school we started practising on preparation. I have (over the years) gathered other parents ideas from here and added to my list so if you see your suggestion, please don’t be offended – I just thought it was a great tip!!

Velcro shoes – unless they can do laces up with no help and very quickly

Make sure you contact your school to find out how to obtain the uniform. Sometimes it has to be ordered via the school and when they close at the end of July its means you won’t have a uniform for September!!

Find out which days P.E is on and on those days don’t button up the polo shirt – with a jumper on over the top it won’t be noticed anyway!

If they have to wear proper shirts with lots of buttons that are really too difficult to do up quickly - unpick the buttons, sew them on the "hole" side where they would end up if they were properly done up. Then get velcro and sew that onto the shirt - so when its put together it looks just like a proper done up shirt.

Or just do that to some of the buttons, so they get to practice them still (or just wear the Velcro shirt on PE days!!)

Personal care – ensure can wash hands, sort clothing out. My son couldn’t wipe his own bottom and so I ensured he got into a “routine” of doing one before bed so I knew he wouldn’t run into difficulties at school.

Put half a smiley face in each shoe so that when they are placed together the correct way round they form one big happy face – helps to get the shoes on the correct feet.

Practice with a lunchbox and different wrappings. I realised that I just hand my son a plate of food (as does nursery) and so he never had to undo anything!. He found a zipped lunch box easier than a velcro one. He found cling film to fidderly and so I get cheap food bags and put his sandwiches in them and wrap them over. He then puts all his left over’s in the bag so the lunch box comes back in a decent state!

Don’t get a drinks bottle with a rubber sports top - they chew it off!! (although that may just be my boys!) Either use sports cap bottled water bottles and then replace them every week or buy a decent metal one with a hard plastic sports cap - they go through the dishwasher as does a hard bodied lunch box.

Put a slit in the top of packets so they tear open easily or open them and fold them over and seal with a sticker (children can ALWAYS get a sticker off things!).

Fromage frais makes less mess than runny yogurt. Don’t forget to pack a spoon.

Sport top on bottles easier than screw tops or cartons (it all comes home in the lunch box so think of less spillage)

Label everything unless you don’t want it back. I got some really good stickers printed with just our surname on so all the family could use them for different things. They are dishwasher proof too. Some schools may have already signed up to the sticker company as it is a way of raising funds.
Marks and Spencers do socks that have the size in them and space to write a name – great if you have more than one child (but with different sized feet) in the same coloured socks (or is it just me who finds figuring out which socks belong to which family member a challenge!!).

Small icepack for the summer.

Some foods are not allowed in lunches so check with the school.

Before my (very young and clumsy)son had school dinners I brought a tray plate (from Boots) that the food gets put directly on, as that is what they use in school so he could practice carrying it to the table without dropping it. (was terrified he would drop it at school and everyone would laugh).

If they are a very small or slow eater don’t give them too much otherwise they will spend their whole lunch break eating and not outside playing. Some schools insist they eat everything. Just take a snack for on the way home if they are hungry.

Elasticated skirts and trousers to make it easier to get on/off.

If there is a 'school' coat, and it's not compulsory DON'T BUY ONE. If 30 children all have an identical coat it's a nightmare to sort them out.

Show your child how to hang their coat on a peg, using the loop. Otherwise the coat will live on a muddy cloakroom floor.

Tie something distinctive on your child's bookbag and PE bag, so they can recognise their own among many identical ones - a keyring or something is ideal

Practise putting clothes back on when they are inside out and back-to-front (ie as they'll be after they have taken them off for PE). My DS could dress himself so it never occurred to me that his clothes were always presented in a nice "sanitised" manner

Some children found the sheer noise and busy environment very stressful when they first start school and I wasn't prepared for that with my son who found lunchtimes in the hall with a hundred or so other children all chattering, clanking cutlery, scraping chairs and clinking plates really intimidating and scary.

Not much you can do (unless you have a massive home and a hundred children to invite round) but by going to busy places with him beforehand and telling him that school might get noisy sometimes but it's nothing to be worried about he will at least be able to remember your words when faced with increased hustle and bustle.

My son was sometimes a bit nervous about going in and “being alone” all day without me, so I filled his pocket with “kisses” and told him to reach in for one if he felt a bit sad. He still asks for them if going somewhere new (eg Beavers for the first time)

Teach your child to stuff their hat/scarf/gloves into the sleeve of their coat when they hang their coat up - stops them from getting lost and reminds dc to put them back on when they go out to play as they automatically find them when they put their coat back on!

A top tip I was given was that school shirts come in packs of three so you buy 2 packs, that gives you 6 shirts, one for every day of the week, plus 1 you put aside for the school Christmas show, prize giving or whatever.

If you are a working parent, as soon as you find out your allocated school you MUST sort childcare. Childminders and after school clubs get booked up very quickly. The school office may have a list of childcare establishments.
I sewed back the bottom bit of the material away from the zip on my DS's coat when he started Reception (to make it easier to do up).

If they wear proper shirts (as opposed to polo shirts), don't bother with long sleeved ones - the cuffs will get so grubby you'll only get one day's wear out of them. Short sleeves are better!

School uniform does go missing – be it misplaced or stolen. If you don’t need to get logo’d uniform then don’t as this is what tends to go easily. Also make your uniform more distinctive so when the children leave school you will be able to spot a piece of your Childs clothing on another child. Eg put a small key ring on the zipper of the school coat/jacket. (Will make it easier to pull up as well. )
Write in permanent ink inside the collar or sleeve – any where it can be easily seen and can not be cut out (like labels). Sew a small colour co-ordinated flower/star/circle (whatever is appropriate) on the collar – again is small but distinctive.
Phase out any after-lunch naps - they don't get this at school and it will be much harder for those who are still used to this.

Buy a nit comb and tie long hair back.
Find out where the lost box is - you will be a regular.

If any allergies check epi pens write in dates they need to be replaced and have a treat box at school for when children hand out cakes on their birthdays.
Checking the school bag for letters, party invites etc daily and dealing with stuff as soon as possible such as writing the dates down and getting stuff organised for it.
Keep unsuitable xmas and birthday presents for the various donations that the school ask for throughout the year (i.e summer and xmas fetes).

I also think it's good to ask the child themselves if there is anything they are worrying about - with DS he wanted to know the "routine" was so he could mentally tick it off during the day, so I found this out and let him know. He was also worried that no one would play with him so I suggested friend making strategies e.g. saying "My name is X, what's your name, do you want to play with me?"

Don't compare your child to others, don't be drawn into gossip about teachers/ta's/other children, and take most playground gossip with a large pinch of salt. Similarly, complaints from your child that they are bored/friendless/doing nothing at school should be taken with a degree of suspicion.

Our school has a lot of events parents can come and Reception children expect you to be there. If your school publishes a diary you could check and see what happens so far this year. I need at least one full week holiday to attend various events like end of term services, class assemblies, plays, parent meetings etc.

Don't label anyone's child as the naughty one, as yours may be the naughty one the following term.

For girls - have hair in a style that can be tied back for nit avoidance. Spray with de-tangler with tea tree oil in, tightly plait and spray her hair with hairspray. It was a tip I read in a magazine.

Make sure that they know when changing for PE NOT to remove pants and socks.
Not everyone has a cheque book nowadays but you may need one. Our school does not give out receipts for things so it is better to pay by chq as this can be traced as prove of payment.

Similarly alot of schools are making use of email and online payments for things so ensure you sign up for those.

Remember that although this is your first time to experience Reception – it will not be your teachers. Listen to what they have to say as they would of dealt with MANY children over the years – all with different abilities, personalities and flawes. If they are concerned about anything – then don’t get defensive – work with the school to overcome the problem.

badfaketan Mon 08-Jul-13 22:30:24

Great list bonkers thank you.August born boy too so particularly useful!

OpheliaBumps Tue 09-Jul-13 12:24:18

bonkers thank you, that's a great help (more August borns here too, mine are twins).

Love the pocket full of kisses, think my boy will appreciate that one too!

busychad Sat 10-Aug-13 15:49:24

My daughter is starting school this September and I already have one child in the same school

Things I'm going to do differently.

Give her a pe bag that is different to the school one - as when there are 30 on hooks it'll help her find her own.

Drink's bottle that can hold lots of water - with this heat they'll need it. Like the idea of having the name at the top !

I'm going to get a lunch box that you can put lots of different foods in - there is a great one in lakeland. My daughter is very fussy, so hoping by having lots of goodies - she'll eat better.

ninaprettyballerina Mon 12-Aug-13 21:21:54

A friend of mine says she basically leaves the pe kit on the peg all term and it only comes home if she sniffs something not nice! Is this a common practice?

Xihha Tue 13-Aug-13 22:17:04

Nina, sounds about right to me, DS's school encouraged parents not to go into the classroom after the first few weeks and brought the children out to the playground to their parents so PE kits only got washed at half term and if a teacher or TA noticed it needed a wash and brought it out to you.

RiversideMum Sun 18-Aug-13 20:46:50

Children love to peel off the iron-on labels so I'd recommend sewing or laundry marker.

enjolraslove Sun 18-Aug-13 22:03:24

I've got a silly question- when labelling how far do you go? I mean should I do vests/tights? I don't mind if we lose a couple of these but equally don't want to be slack!

sparrowfart23 Thu 22-Aug-13 18:00:24

enjolraslove I did vests, tights and socks, but not pants, as the school said to label everything bar underwear. I figure if any child could lose their pants at school, it would be mine, so I may just put her initials in those too.

MrsJamin Fri 23-Aug-13 07:29:29

Lets see. Make loads of effort with other mums and dads to get to know them- it makes for a much happier community and you never know when you may need to call some favours or arrange playdates- much easier to arrange if you have already chatted with a parent. Realise you are not going to know a lot about what happens during the school day- most of the time DS1 (just going into Y1) will say they either did nothing, or he can't remember. Be determined that they read every night at home- DS1's reading is really coming on but you have to commit to doing it at home. DS1 is a lot happier doing this in the morning if you can make time. Have a calendar on your phone - like google calendar- and put in all school events as soon as you know them so you're not caught out. Buy a lot of uniform, so you don't need to worry about mid-week washing. Enjoy, I loved it when DS1 went to school!

Sunnymeg Sun 25-Aug-13 18:36:40

If driving and then parking at school, do not park taking up lots of room and then move when your friend arrives. Keeping parking space for another mother is a total no no. Also, if there is a school bus check where it stops to let the children off and make sure you don't obstruct it.

This sounds a bit odd, but make sure your child can recognise their name. I used to write DS's first name on the collar welt of his polo and PE shirts, so he could see it easily. For reception he had his name in big letters on everything to make it easy to spot.

See if you can pal up with a reception mum who has older children at the school. This is very useful for finding out how stuff works, and what you need to do. A lot of primary schools assume you know how it works even if you have no idea yourself.


caci Mon 02-Sep-13 22:11:51

thank you so much! I knew most of this but reading them over and over reduces my anxiety smile

Bumblequeen Tue 03-Sep-13 18:40:32

Wow so much information!

I thought of placing a spare skirt and underwear in dd's school bag. Part of me wondered if she would take it for granted that she had a change of clothes. Rather save her unnecessary embarrassment as accidents do happen!

Brilliant tips regarding carrying wipes and writing names on sleeves in permanent marker.

Regarding playdates- Is this a way of ensuring your dd's have a network of friends? Dd never had playdates at pre school but had a string of friends and was invited to many birthday parties.

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