More child starting reception type questions (sorry)

(105 Posts)
Xihha Sat 03-Aug-13 18:58:17

DD starts school in September and I think I'm more nervous than she is (DS starting school was different as he was more independent and I knew the school really well).

Anyway 1) DD's school insists on either Clarks or Startrite shoes, is there much difference in quality? (I've always gone to cheap shoe shops, even when i was little so have no idea)

2) DD needs a pencil case, have I got to name everything inside it and if so how the hell do you label pencils? or can i just label the pencil case and accept she may lose a few pencils?

3) We've been practicing opening lunch boxes, sitting nicely to eat, putting her own shoes on, getting changed by herself and managing tights so she can go to the loo by herself, is there anything else she needs to practice?

4) when I was at school all girls wore vests under their uniforms on days we had PE, I don't think it was ever a rule but very much expected, is this still the case?

5) why do I still feel like I've forgotten something?

NarkyNamechanger Sat 03-Aug-13 19:03:26

I can help with some,

Label pencils by using a Stanley knife or open pair of scissors and scoring off about an inch or so at the end. Then write name with a pen on the exposed wood.

Maybe get her to recognise her own name?

Also that she can recognise her own belongings?

I like Clarks shoes but then they have always lasted a full school year with my DC so I don't see them as expensive. .

spanieleyes Sat 03-Aug-13 19:29:55
Xihha Sat 03-Aug-13 19:36:33

Thank you, Clarks prices don't seem so bad if they last a year, ds gets cheap shoes because he goes through a pair a term, sometimes more!

Xihha Sat 03-Aug-13 19:39:48

ooh i like that set, I might have to wait til later in the term though as uniforms leaving me pretty poor.

ChippingInHopHopHop Sat 03-Aug-13 19:44:12

You can buy 'named' pencils really cheaply, just google smile

Recognising and being able to write her own name is really, really helpful.

Is it a private school? If it's a state school I'd tell them to go whistle re clarkes/startrite shoes unless you want to buy them. They'll only last until she grows out of them - no matter the quality.

But really, stop stressing, it will all be fine!

BikeRunSki Brazil Sat 03-Aug-13 19:45:35

DS starts reception this year too and we have Bern practising pouring water from a jug and will practise doing up his coat.

BadRoly Sat 03-Aug-13 19:47:10

I helped out in reception class last year and can only think to add practising putting on and fastening her coat - which may be tricky to convince her to do in this weather grin

Other thing we've been asked to do (dc4 starts in September too) is encourage them to wipe their own bottom if they do a poo!

melmo26 Sat 03-Aug-13 19:47:47

Hi our oldest starts primary 1 soon too. I don't know if year 1 is the same as primary 1(in Scotland) For her school we need
Pencil, sharpener, eraser, colouring pencils ALLlabelled. Painting apron, gym kit in seperate bag again all labeled gym kit must be black shorts and plain white t-shirt and black gym shoes.
School bag, lunch box with juice bottle( unless having school dinners which are £1.90 a day) pencilcase and warm waterproof jacket which must all be labelled too.

I hope there is nothing I have missed. Lucky the school had a meeting with parents before end of nursery as I would not have thought of half the things they ask her to have smile

Xihha Sat 03-Aug-13 20:08:28

Chipping, yes it is a private school (very generous FIL) thats why half the stress, they are so much stricter on everything than DSs state school!

Ah, I'd forgotten about doing up coats, she has to have a duffel coat so will definitely need the practice. We have finally go bum wiping sorted, we are now working on not using half the roll in the process grin

Melmo, I think their the same age (DDs nearly 5) a meeting would of helped, we got a welcome book but I think they assume parents know more than i do!

chauffeurmummy Sat 03-Aug-13 20:55:56

When my daughter started Reception a couple of years ago her teacher recommended that all the little girls start off in socks rather than tights. She explained that when it was all new the children tended to leave it right until the last minute to go to the toilet and it was much easier for them to manage in a hurry without tights!

chauffeurmummy Sat 03-Aug-13 20:59:20

On the shoes - I definitely favour start rite. Personally I think they look smarter and my daughters pair has always lasted all year!

ChippingInHopHopHop Sat 03-Aug-13 21:08:41

Shoes - they last till they outgrow them... you have no idea how long that will be. There isn't much between those brands, so just get whichever is cheaper/you like best.

So, is your DS staying at his state school, while your DD goes to a private school? How do you think that will pan out? (or does one have additional needs making the other school a much better option?).

There is one thing I have no doubt about - if there's something else she needs, or needs to be able to do - they will tell you grin

trinity0097 Sat 03-Aug-13 21:12:34

Toilet paper will usually be in the dispenser type flat sheets so easier not to take a whole roll in one go!

Xihha Sat 03-Aug-13 21:50:07

So it looks pretty equal between he shoes, I'll let DD pick in that case.

DS is going into year 5 and at an outstanding state school, he's happy and is consistently getting way above average levels in his reports, the quality of teaching is excellent and the classes are small, so his education wouldn't improve by changing schools but he has some quite complex emotional issues relating to his father (not DH) which his current school have bent over backwards to support him through so changing schools would be bad for him, I did give him a choice though and his counselor also talked it through with him. He also knows if he changes his mind we can look at it again.

Trinity I wouldn't put it pas DD to find a way grin

Xihha Sat 03-Aug-13 21:51:15

stupid 't' button is playing up

AbbyR1973 Sun 04-Aug-13 01:11:07

Re shoes both Clarks and startrite are of comparable quality in my eyes. I'm surprised that the school make this stipulation in some ways although as a parent I have always insisted they have Clarks or startrite for school/ nursery because they are properly measured and fitted and they spend so much time in them. The quality is high and DS1 had kept his for a year as he hasn't outgrown them. They are also generally sensible shoes smile

Xihha Sun 04-Aug-13 01:54:17

I've already old DD she isn't allowed to grow anymore has her uniforms too expensive to replace wink
I thought it was a bit strange as DSs school are happy as long as the shoes are black and don't flash but DDs school have a really strict list for everything, right down to hair band colour! shock

lottieandmia Sun 04-Aug-13 10:47:05

1. I have found that Startrite last longer than Clarks, particularly when they are little and are hard on their shoes. When dd2 was in reception if I bought Clarks I had to replace them after one term!

2. You can get tiny labels for pencils from websites like Stuck On You

3. The only other thing you need to do is to show her how to put her stuff on her peg and also I would recommend putting something on her book bag which will make it easily identifiable to her.

4. I always put vests on mine, unless it's really super hot.

5. Don't worry - you sound like you have it covered.

OMG, I would be going NUTS at being told I had to buy Clarks shoes. They are RUBBISH and the fittings are awful. I never understand how people rave about them and say 'oooh but they're such great quality' when they just utter pants. We used to buy from Clarks when DD was little and shoes would only last 6 months at the most. We then found a local independent store who are fantastic and shoes from there last at least a year. I've since learned a lot about Clarks and I now feel on a one-woman crusade against them! Their kids shoes are sold with only the smallest amount of growing room but children can have far more growing room than Clarks give, hence their shoes only lasting half a year at most. They are also rather badly made - the leather is apparently cut across the grain (or something like that) which means they are cheaper to produce but make the shoes weaker. My Dd's 2 pair of Clarks sandals fell apart within months but now that we buy from the independent store my children outgrow the shoes way before the shoes wear out.

But it's the fitting that's the worst part for me. I tried an experiment once and took my DD to 3 different Clarks shops and asked for the same shoe in each - she got fitted a completely different size in each shop. In one shop they said she had very narrow feet, in another they said her feet were very wide... the just want to sell you shoes and don't care whether they fit well or not.

Rant over smile

BikeRunSki Brazil Sun 04-Aug-13 13:01:26

Passthetwiglets my sentiments exactly.

Xihha Sun 04-Aug-13 14:06:05

Theres a local shop that stocks Clarks and startrite and has a fantastic reputation for fitting children's shoes properly, it's the shoes falling apart that worries me, coz you know they'll do it on a day where I've got no money.

Thanks Lottie, stickers and some vests added to the list, I've got pink name labels that have a little picture on so their different to everyone elses but might add a keyring as well

Xihha, if you can find an independent store and go for something like Ricosta, Petasil, Aster, Norvic, Richter then you'll save yourself a fortuen in the long run. Not everybody has that sort of money upfront though, I realise.

Personally, I think they are being ridiculous to insist on a particular brand as surely it's what the shoe looks like that counts?! Fien to specify eg. black, flat, etc. but it's madness to specify a brand. And frankly I'd be questioning whether they're on a nice little back-hander...

Not sure if anybody answered about the vests but I'd go purely on the weather on this one. And see how warm the classrooms are - mine have never worn vests under uniform as indoors is always really warm, even in the depths of winter.

Xihha Sun 04-Aug-13 16:01:37

I think it's ridiculous too but as I said they are very strict on everything, I knew that before I applied for a place so can't really complain.

On a related note (finding tights) are burgundy and maroon the same colour or is that just my eyes?

Yes you can't complain but you should certainly query. It sounds inherently dodgy!

I'd say burgundy might be fractionally more red and maroon fractionally more purple but not a great deal in it!

I wonder what the school would do if you arrived in another brand and said "But the Clarks and Startrite didn't fit"?

For example, neither Clarks nor Startrite stocks the size DS1 started school in (13D, very narrow). And all the shoes look absolutely indistinguishable from every other brand on the high street.

ChippingInHopHopHop Mon 05-Aug-13 02:54:53

As long as they are plain school shoes (check out Clarkes & Startrite first to get a good idea) then I'd tell them to whistle over the brand, private school or not. I'd get the best fit, at the best price.

It sounds like DS is at a lovely school - personally, I'd be sending DD there & asking FIL to save his money for her Uni fees grin

Xihha Mon 05-Aug-13 11:54:10

I wish I could, she didn't get a place as its over subscribed and we moved out of the catchment area sad The school dd got offered was horrible!

I think I'll leave pushing the uniform boundaries until shes been there a while, I don't want to make her different from everyone on her 1st day.

Loveleopardprint Mon 05-Aug-13 12:07:19

It might be worth practising changing into her PE kit and back again. Some children find this very difficult and get stressed. Also I used to put a spare pair of pants in a little bag in her Pe bag when my dd was younger. Now we have to put sanitary towels in! hmm

Quenelle Mon 05-Aug-13 12:20:46

Is there a technique to taking one's own tshirt off that I can teach DS? He just can't get the hang of it.

He learned to put his coat on using the hood on the head technique that I read about on here. I'm hoping Mumsnetters have another clever solution for us.

MiaowTheCat Mon 05-Aug-13 12:50:25

I'd call burgundy and maroon the same colour (granted I've been mocked by a class of kids on numerous occasions for wandering in in odd socks though so take my advice loosely) - my hideous old school uniform was that colour and I'm sure got referred to pretty much interchangeably as both options over the years. I don't think generally they do uniform in such subtleties as "slightly more red" really.

Pencil cases for reception?! Are the staff masochists?! The hours that are going to be lost with "she's got my Peppa Pig pencil"

Voodika Mon 05-Aug-13 12:54:39

When my daughter started school I put a spare pair of pants (white ones) in her PE bag. Luckily she didn't need them because when I took them out at the end of term they were a pair of mine! grin

I think the most helpful things you can do are to name absolutely everything, don't let your daughter know if you are anxious and try and meet up with a couple of children who will be in her class beforehand.

A big part of the reception year is to teach children the basics of being in school. They will play a lot and have more adults so she should have a lovely time. Relax and good luck!

alwaysontop Mon 05-Aug-13 14:35:52

As a teacher I'd say you're doing everything right to help your daughter be as independent as possible but don't worry! In Reception teachers will always help children do up their coats, get changed, find their lost shoes/ socks etc. Just label all clothes, even shoes inside with biro etc etc
All I'd say is try not to communicate your anxiety to your daughter, and be reeeeally nice to the teacher! Don't tell them on the second day the reading book is too easy. It takes a while to get the hang of each child and the teacher will be doing everything they can to make sure every child is happy and settled. have fun!

BrokenSunglasses Mon 05-Aug-13 15:03:34

I work in reception, and one of the things I find helps children when they first start is if they have some idea of how to look after their own things. It helps when they have had a little practice at putting books in a book bag themselves, or have had to find their own hat out of their school bag without help.

Looking back to when mine started, they were probably useless at being responsible for their own belongings, but I was always there to help them or do it for them, and it had never occurred to me that doing those simple things would be good to teach them!

Also teach them how to turn their clothes the right way round if they are inside out.

Really don't worry too much though. Reception teachers and TAs know the children are only little and will need help with things, especially when they first start.

Euphemia France Mon 05-Aug-13 16:27:35

Melmo shock

At my school we tell the P1 parents not to send in a pencil case! We provide all they need, and I'm not letting P1s loose on pencil sharpeners or rubbers for a good long while! smile

Euphemia France Mon 05-Aug-13 16:28:44

Quenelle arms out of sleeves first, then over the head?

elk4baby Mon 05-Aug-13 17:01:41

Re: kids shoes - I'd add a vote for Ecco. They last for ages and in my experience are absolutely bullet-proof (they don't leak, the soles flex without ever cracking, and the leather's good quality). If you search around, you can often find 'last year's models' with good discounts.

pookamoo Mon 05-Aug-13 17:47:31

Have a look at www.shoesforkids.co.uk if you really want to buy Clarks or Startrite. They have them on there with great discounts.

SoWorriedPleaseHelp Mon 05-Aug-13 19:41:24

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.

Xihha Mon 05-Aug-13 19:57:31

Thank you SoWorried, thats a brilliant list.

DD has thick, curly waist length hair, so have already got her used to letting me check it and tie it up but I hadn't thought of hair spray as a prevention measure.

girliefriend Mon 05-Aug-13 19:59:30

I wouldn't be happy about 'having' to buy a certain brand of shoes!!

What will they do if your dd turns up in a different brand? Send her home? And who will be checking? Will they have shoe police?!!

I have found clarks girls school shoes to be rubbish and they have always fallen to bits after a term, so last term I got dd some cheaper school shoes from Asda and they have fared so much better!!

ThisIsMummyPig Mon 05-Aug-13 21:33:59

1) I recommend Clinkards, as they sell both clarks and startright, so you get a better choice. Also our local John Lewis asks Brownie and Rainbow packs to go down so they can practise shoe fitting in the run up to the school holidays.

2) our school doesn't do pencil cases. However, I still have pencils with my name on a little scrap of paper, and fully sellotaped over. We also did the cutting notches thing in as well.

3) Taps were always a struggle for DD1. Apart from that arse wiping comes top. Also DD1 learnt to do her coat with a zip, and then I bought her new one which she never learnt to do all year.

4) vests - I did a thread on this last year, because my mother was horrified I had sent DD1 in without a vest on. The consensus was that thin kids wear vests all year, most kids only wear them in winter, but I was definitely a pervert for asking.

5) if only I could remember what I'd forgotten...

Sahmof3 Mon 05-Aug-13 21:54:36

Startrite shoes are much better quality and will easily last the year and look good for the duration. I won't buy Clarks anymore, they just aren't made to the high standard they used to be and I've had to return a number of pairs that had fallen apart after a couple of months. Never had any problems with Startrite.

Xihha Mon 05-Aug-13 21:56:03

4) vests - I did a thread on this last year, because my mother was horrified I had sent DD1 in without a vest on. The consensus was that thin kids wear vests all year, most kids only wear them in winter, but I was definitely a pervert for asking.

grin so glad i didn't start a thread just about the vests now

mayaswell Mon 05-Aug-13 22:04:35

soworried wow, you've done your homework, excellent post!

The key thing is to get them to think for themselves about how they take care of themselves. They do get help, but they're working towards independence.

Label, label, label and simplify every process you can.

Pixiepie Mon 05-Aug-13 22:06:44

Well i would buck the trend and wear a different brand! Utter nonsense. In Scotland school uniform is not compulsory in ANY school!!! It is down to just a school policy and therefore more of a school request. There is NO way that not wearing a uniform [ here at least] could be justification for refusing to teach a child or to discipline them in anyway. Im not sure what the current situation is in England but if its similar then there is no way you should be enforced to buy a specific brand private school or not!

Pixiepie Mon 05-Aug-13 22:11:15

I have bought my dd asda shoes and they are absolutely brilliant. They are leather and cost me £10. She has wide feet and they fit her great as she has room at the toes. My ds is starting Primary 1 and i also got his shoes from asda. A lovely leather trainer shoe. I am so pleased with both. I dont buy clarks. They never have my childrens sizes. I took my two year old to get a pair of first shoes when she was a year and they told me they had nothing in her size!!!! I ended up buying her mothercare shoes. I personally think clarks are all hype!

jennifersofia Mon 05-Aug-13 22:45:19

Please label everything. Everything. I know it is a chore, but it really helps adults trying to sort out 25 children's things, and it helps you save money as things don't get lost so easily, and it helps your child not worry when they loose things and can't find them again.
Please send them in with a warm enough coat, or hat if it is cold, and a sunhat if it is hot. It is a shame if a child doesn't want to play because they are too cold because they are still wearing a summer dress in November.
Please try and be brave yourself, and give your child a big hug, reassure them that you will be there at the end of the day, and then go. Hanging around does not help them settle in.

Xihha Mon 05-Aug-13 22:45:44

Pixiepie, I'm not sure its the same in England, i know kids who have been sent home for breaking uniform policies (that is after ignoring warnings though) and I managed to get internal suspension for 2 weeks in year 10 for consistently breaking the uniform rules, although it probably wouldn't of been 2 weeks if i hadn't been being a pain grin

Her school paperwork says that it is considered a breach of school rules to attend in any item other than regulation uniform, and will result in loss of house points (which i guess would be a big deal if you are 4)

BikeRunSki Brazil Mon 05-Aug-13 23:51:20

Do I need to label my Reception child's socks ?

Shoes do last till they outgrow them, that is true but I'll add a however.

Proper leather shoes do seem to expand on their feet so last longer. That's how you get a whole year from a pair of properly fitted, quality shoes unless your child has a big spurt.

Up until recently - now 13 and 12, my boys grew about one whole shoe size per year. i.e. they started P1 in a 1 and ended up at a 6 and a half going into P7. A couple of years ago, just before we were going on holiday, I bought a couple of pairs of leather type shoe/trainers in a Clarks sale - they had leather insoles as well. 2 and a half years later, they still said they fitted hmm despite the fact they had grown two sizes since then. I checked them myself and they seemed to still have room. When in town one day, I got the fitter to check them and she couldn't believe what size they were. Anyway, they definitely fitted nicely at the start and they still fitted. The leather had just expanded enough to make them still comfy. They are binned now as in the last few months they have gone up 2 sizes!!

I wouldn't bother labelling socks as they don't seem to take them off - ours do PE in their all-day socks, for example - and it's a PITA to do.

johnworf Tue 06-Aug-13 09:18:07

Put something around their reading folder handle so they can stop it immediately; a key ring, a ribbon, a sticker.

I put a spare pair of knickers/socks/tights in her bag as quite a few new reception kids have accidents in their first weeks. Not sure why but teachers say it's common. Mine had accidents for a month of starting.

Even if your child has been with a child minder or in a nursery full time, they will be exhausted for the first term or so. Everything is new and they're learning different things. Don't book any after school activities and let them have some down time after school.

My DD went through 6 pairs of shoes in the reception year. Ok, this is probably more a boy thing. All the toes were scuffed down to the body of the shoe. In the end I bought patent leather shoes which are more hardwearing (who knew?) ASDA shoes are good too and are reasonable price (sadly didn't last for her though).

johnworf Tue 06-Aug-13 09:21:26

Also worth checking that your reception child will be doing PE. I bought all the PE kit last year and the teacher said they didn't bother doing it until Year 1 as they usually spent most of the lesson either getting undressed or getting dressed! Most can't do their own socks or buttons so it was a waste of time.

Pixiepie Tue 06-Aug-13 09:36:59

Xihha, I am a primary school teacher and there is no way that this would happen where i teach. Infact, children often come in without their uniform. Sometimes its queried but there is no way that it would be ever acceptable to send a child home. I think that is awful...its most often not the childs fault. Personally speaking dont get me wrong, im in full agreement of school uniform but not for punishing a child over it or at the expense of their education. We do have a different education system here and i know that school uniform is not compulsory in scotland but it may be policy but not to the extent that a child would be sent home or suffer in anyway.

oscarwilde Tue 06-Aug-13 10:36:07

Xihha - it might be worth checking the uniform list for wording re the shoes. Unless they say "Shoes MUST be Startrite or Clarks" then I would suggest that it is the school trying to set a minimum standard for shoe quality a low one if the comments about Clarks here are all accurate
If funds will run to it, I would recommend Ecco too. They seem to be immensely hardwearing and watertight. A good shoe fitter will give you most of a years growing room and by then they'll be into lighter summer type shoes anyway.

I've got a child starting in a few weeks too and this list has been immensely helpful - thanks tons to SoWorried

The only thing I would add to the list is a pair of wellies/boots and liner socks for when it's cold for the walk to school. Will save the school shoes and your child from spending the day in wet feet. We've got a particularly weather exposed walk to school so I've bought the non compulsory £5 school rain cagoule which is far too thin to use as a winter coat but totally waterproof so it can be zipped over the top of a down type coat for the torrential mornings. It comes down below her knees at the moment so it should avoid the need for waterproof leggings grin

EasyToEatTiger Tue 06-Aug-13 11:10:10

We started with the basics. A school uniform can be picked up anywhere from Tesco to Harrods, depending on how much money you want to spend. There may be a school top with the school's name on it which you may be able to get 2nd hand, directly from the school or from a school outfitters. The same with the school bag. In my experience, most of the schools the dcs have been to, don't worry much about shoes, as long as they are suitable and comfy. You will need a PE kit and plymsols or trainers, and maybe a tracksuit bums. A lunchbox with a name, a nit comb, and they're off!

It is important to have properly fitted shoes. You only have one pair of feet and all things well, they have to last a lifetime. Some shoes can cause huge problems later on.

Wingdingdong Tue 06-Aug-13 11:10:17

So glad that there's no uniform at DD's school. At first I thought it would be a pain, but as she turned 4 last week and is 2nd centile, there is no chance in hell we'd ever find prescribed uniform items to fit, let alone school shoes - do they make them in a size 6 junior?!

Thanks for all the tips. I have just realised how much I don't know, despite having attended the incoming YR meeting and despite having been a governor at the school since before even getting pregnant with DD. Will now compile a list of Qs to ask friends with older DCs. Pencil case? Hadn't even thought about that!

Btw I third Ecco quality. Both DC have them and they have always been outgrown rather than worn out, even at the very slow rate my DD grows.

LarryMcNue Tue 06-Aug-13 12:51:32

can anyone recommend name lable thingys for clothes?

or indeed just tell me what they're called so i can google them grin

lottieandmia Tue 06-Aug-13 12:58:34

You can't beat Cash's name tapes in my opinion - I use them on clothes that will be passed down. Obviously they take more time to sew in rather than iron on but they look nice and mean the clothes can be used for my younger dd. Stuck On You does some good iron on labels and also sticky labels and shoe labels - they don't come off. At the moment they also have free delivery. hth

slev Tue 06-Aug-13 13:04:08

Our school uses Ooh La Label. But as they only arrived in the post yesterday, can't tell you if they're any good or not! But on the plus side you can put a picture on them as well which I suppose would be useful if your child can't recognise their name.

And Wingdingdong we're having having exactly that problem. DS is 3 and is starting Kindergarten and is a midget but still needs a uniform - we had most of the school shop in hysterics at the weekend as he tried on the smallest size in everything and it just swamped him. Not sure what we'll do to be honest as it's a private school so everything is very much regulation uniform with crests etc. so no option to get anything elsewhere - his blazer comes down to his knees. On the plus side, I won't have to buy any more uniform for quite some time....!

NanaNina Tue 06-Aug-13 13:53:01

This thread seems to be mostly about the shoes! One teacher alwaysontop gave the best piece of advice and I'm not sure if anyone took it on, but in case you haven't it's this: You may well be anxious about your child starting school for the first time, but you must not allow that anxiety to be passed on to the child, so a bit of play acting might be useful. Also don't believe your child when she/he says "I have no one to play with" because most of them say that in the first few weeks!

My grand-daughter is at a private school and the uniform list is endless (and they have decided to change the school colours, so new jumpers, shirts, fleeces, blazers and sports clothes will have to be bought) They do say that they don't expect parents to buy the new uniforms until the old ones are too small, but I can imagine that everyone will have the new uniform colours. There are some very wealthy families and my son and DIL are both primary school teachers and are making a big sacrifice for their only child to get this education. Yes I know teachers in the state system should have faith in the system. My DGR went to state primary but my DIL took an absolute dislike of the local comp, which seemed fine to me, but of course it wasn't up to me.

There was a school trip to France earlier in the year (for 5 days) and the letter read "please note this is not a holiday. It is part of the French curriculum and all girls are expected to attend. Price £585.00!!! Guess who paid that! I hate the notion of private education but my DGD is thriving and loves the school and is having all sorts of opportunities she wouldn't have had at the state school. It's just that all kids should have the same opportunities.

Xihha Tue 06-Aug-13 14:06:07

Oscar the wording on the school rules is 'black school shoes as exclusively supplied by (shop name), please tell the assistant you are from (school name) and they will be happy to advise you on permitted shoes alternatively see the list under (school name) on the shops website.'

Wingdingdong, When DS started school they didn't need pencil cases and all of my friends with school age kids have been surprised that she needs one, so unless its mentioned in the list the school gave you then you probably don't need to worry about it.

slev, Are the uniform shop not able to get anything tiny in specially? I know the uniform shop we have to use only keep the popular sizes in but can get smaller stuff if needs be... although with the price of our blazers I'm quite temped to get DD one that's huge so i don't have to do this again next year!

Xihha Tue 06-Aug-13 14:27:40

NanaNina, It does seem to be mostly about the shoes doesn't it? DDs very excited and I've been very careful not to let her see I'm anxious.

The uniform list is endless for her too, and her school changed their uniform last year so there's nothing in the second hand shop.

slev Tue 06-Aug-13 15:45:37

Xihha these were the tiny sizes! Unfortunately he's just really little - even though he's 3 he's gone to nursery today in size 12-18m shorts! Usually he wears age 2-3 clothes so everything just came up really big. Except the hats - he must have an abnormally large head. I'm making him sound like a freak - he's really very cute.

And on the subject of shoes, we have one style that we can choose from (well, there are more, but only one that comes in a size 6). To say the uniform list is prescriptive would be putting it mildly... I dread to think how much those cost - that's next weekend's job!

PlateSpinningAtAllTimes Tue 06-Aug-13 17:42:52

I'm a teacher and my DS is starting school in Sept. Great tips so far, thanks! My tip would be labelling everything, but many people have already said that! The 'mystery' items that always knock around the classroom for ages tend to be vests, odd gloves and odd trainers. So make sure you label those!

I was just planning on using a sharpie to label- do I need to buy proper labels?

Also agree with the poster who said to bear in mind that it takes a few weeks for the teacher to get to know each child, not jumping down their throat about too easy book etc.

BikeRunSki Brazil Tue 06-Aug-13 17:56:02

This thread is great. DS is starting receltion 4 weeks today! I do know about name tapes though, as nursery has always insisted on properly label chkclothes. I have always used woven name tapes, as they look smart and don' t fade. I have tried a few cheaper o.ed, but Cash' s are the best by far. They don' t fray or stretch when you sew them, are strong enough to unpick and reuse.

Lioninthesun Tue 06-Aug-13 20:10:00

Got about halfway through the thread and thought I should drop by and say that most private schools will have a second hand uniform shop so that if she is outgrowing her uniform/blazer too fast you might want to have a look at that as well? It might feel a bit odd asking, but if you can sell her old one there and get a new one for half the price, you are winning smile

Lioninthesun Tue 06-Aug-13 20:11:38

Oh and for anything hard to sew name labels onto, these are great and last 30 washes (thinking aprons or shoes for example) www.amazon.co.uk/Personalised-Stickers-STIKINS%C2%AE-Childrens-Labelling/dp/B008JZR9K2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375816240&sr=8-1&keywords=sticky+name+labels

Dc3 is starting in September too and I can't believe how much I've forgotten in the five years since dd started so this thread has been great.

I remembered I have to teach ds2 to tie his tie but I've completely forgotten about buttons. He can do them but it takes ages!

DS1 can cope with buttons he can see, but really struggles with undoing his very top button except in the mirror. It has taken ages to persuade him that he doesn't have to have his top polo shirt button done up!!

Ooh I didn't think about the ones he can't see either. I may just teach him that if he ties his tie well enough then no one will notice. grin

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 06-Aug-13 22:59:14

I wonder if the shoe thing is to stop kids turning up in lelli kellies or ballerina style.

Dd started school in asda shoes as they were the only ones that fitted her very small wide foot with incredibly high instep. Clarks were not deep enough and star trite (which she always had subsequently) didn't start small enough in black.

The senior school she is going to has sent a list of acceptable shoes with pictures but they can be any brand as long as they are well fitting (Vocational dance school so foot care important) and in one of the approved styles.

johnworf Tue 06-Aug-13 23:18:56

For name labels I use these. I put them on everything; drinks bottle, bags, clothing, coats, hats, scarves, lunchbox, reading folder, shoes etc.

No sewing or ironing, simply stick them in. They last through washing and tumble drying and the dish washer.

perfectstorm Tue 06-Aug-13 23:23:56

I don't think Clarks are as good as Startrite, tbh. I say that because when you get those first, really soft baby walking shoes, they're so flexible you can more or less turn them inside out, and really examine the manufacture. Startrite was a lot more detailed and supportive. Clarks wasn't as carefully made. That's been backed up by a friend who works at Russell and Bromley and says the support of a Startrite shoe is really, really good. She wouldn't put her own kids in Geox or Kickers or anything now, which are more expensive, because they're not as good for small feet.

Having said that, another friend is an American, and a doctor, and she says people there don't bother with custom fitted shoes. She asked a paediatrician when I was worrying about whether I should always splash out on Startrite, and she looked blank and said, "I get my baby's shoes from Walmart. Why not?" So I do rather wonder if it isn't a giant con, tbh! If it were Proper Science that Kids Need Amazing Shoes, then surely it would be internationally known about?

I still buy Startrite. Because I am gullible where my kids' welfare is concerned.

Xihha Tue 06-Aug-13 23:24:43

could be Pictures, DSs school has loads of rules about what they can't have (patent leather, flashing lights, toys in the heel, high heels, open toes etc.) so maybe DDs just went lets just tell them what the can have to start with and save banning new things each time theres a new craze.

notanyanymore Tue 06-Aug-13 23:24:57

Re shoes, startrite are better if your dad has slim fitting feet, Clarke's if she's a wide fit. If she's pretty average I'd go for startrite personally, unless you prefer the styles in Clarke's

perfectstorm Tue 06-Aug-13 23:29:04

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.

If there is an official MN tip thread for school starters, that should so be in it. Utter genius. DS gets that right almost all the time, but when very excited... what a great idea, thank you!

lottieandmia Wed 07-Aug-13 00:25:36

Well the things about shoes of course is that most children will spend plenty of time outside of school wearing shoes that are not Startrite. So maybe it is a massive marketing thing.

Loveleopardprint Wed 07-Aug-13 09:07:50

I second "Stikin" labels. I have been using them for three years and had no problems. I also use a laundry market pen from Mothercare which is usually on the cash desks in the shops.

If I was to start a campaign, it would be to stop manufacturers making the insides of gym shoes black so it is a pita to write their name in.

Thankfully i'm at high school stage now so the gym shoe days are well past, but it used to iritate me no end.

and here I will stick up for Clarks because the quality of their proper fitted gym shoes is 2nd to none.

mameulah Wed 07-Aug-13 09:28:22

Just thought of a tip that I use for the whole family but it's relevant here.

Make sure breakfast and teeth are done before they get dressed! Nothing brings on a melt down quicker that having to get dressed a second time because there's toothpaste or milk down their uniform.

Periwinkle007 Wed 07-Aug-13 16:20:21

regarding shoes I suspect what they actually mean is proper shoes not flimsy fashion shoes. when I was at a private school the requirement was t-bar sandals...

my eldest gets on better with start rite - they fit her feet better, quality is good but even so after wearing them every day she had worn through the inside sole by May. Clarks have a couple of different ranges of school shoes, the ones which are £20+ are not the same quality as the ones which are about £34. The cheaper ones are thinner and have thinner soles so yes quite possibly will fall apart quickly. my girls (until the start rite school shoes) have always had clarks without any problems BUT we buy them from an independent children's shoe shop near us as I don't trust the clarks fittings after one bad experience a few years ago when we got home and couldn't even get the shoe on her foot.

westcoastnortherner Wed 07-Aug-13 17:12:56

Try and see if there is a clarks outlet store near to you, their School shoes at Cheshire Oaks worked out to be between 1/2 and a 1/3 cheaper than the regular shop and they will fit.

hifi Wed 07-Aug-13 17:31:52

they will be knackered until xmas, im not doing any after school activities until after then.

feel free to take them out for half days if they are really tired.

Don't feel as though you have to accept every playdate.

Don't have a sneaky peek at play time, you will invariably find them standing alone looking like bill no mates.

hifi Wed 07-Aug-13 17:33:33

Do volunteer to help in class, gives you a good idea of what the other kids are like.

Xihha Wed 07-Aug-13 18:12:32

well that's shoes sorted, DD has decided she loves these although we are getting them from an independent children's shoe shop so they will be fitted properly. Her absolute hero (my 9 year old sister) has a similar looking pair and therefore in DDs eyes they must be the coolest shoes on earth grin little sister has now promised to tell DD how cool she thinks tidying your room is.

Sadly DD has now announced she doesn't like the way i tie her hair up and could i please find a new style for school, but not something boring like all the other girls have, so i now have the challenge of finding interesting things to do with very fluffy waist length hair, whilst still keeping it tidy all day and out of her way.

PlateSpinning my mum wrote names in with pen for all of us and no one ever commented, but make sure you check its not faded every so often, im only buying labels coz my writing is embarrassingly bad.

Contrary to others views, I don't know where all these "tired after a full day at school" kids are.

In my experience 4/5 year olds have endless energy. My two had after school stuff nearly every day in addition to bursting at the seams to get out playing as soon as they got home. They were in bed 7.30/8ish and out for the count for a straight 12 hours and ate like horses the rest of the time. They probably ate as much at that age as they do now at 13 and 12.

The rest of my street seem to be the same, unless the children were ill, then they were out running about or away to their football/swimming etc.

As for giving them a half day if they are tired shock

I saw something the other day with loads of great hair styles for girls but can't remember where. sad

Google has thrown this up which looks quite good:

www.princesshairstyles.com/

Quenelle Wed 07-Aug-13 19:00:44

Euphemia looks like that will work with a bit of practice. Thank you.

actiongirl1978 Wed 07-Aug-13 19:14:23

OP, my daughter is at her second private prep school (we moved OS after her first 2 yrs) and in both schools the 'list' is in fact considered 'flexible' for the little ones.

For example there is a school coat at her current school but they acknowledge that three yr olds outgrow coats faster than 8 yr olds and so they are not complusory until she reaches the class where she turns 7.

At her old school, it was acceptable to substitute the crested navy tracksuit with any navy tracksuit.

In my experience, most schools are very friendly and they won't mark you down as an awkward parent if you ask questions like 'is the shoe requirement a guideline or is it compulsory'?

Try calling the school secretary (our school office opens all summer) and just ask the question, it could save you a lot of worry and expense.

Oh and don't assume that everyone else at private school is well off and can throw money around. The most thriving second hand shops are usually at private schools!!

Good luck with the first day!

Quenelle - we used:

cross arms and grip bottom of t-shirt and pull up and open out arms as you pull it over your head - always ends up inside out though.

Quenelle Wed 07-Aug-13 20:41:55

That was the first method I tried slendergirl. DS couldn't get the hang of it at all. He may have inherited my coordination skills...

He said earlier that he managed to take it off for swimming today, using the arms out first method. He often gets on better when left to try things on his own.

That's good then Quenelle - as long as he got there in the end smile

My brothers favoured the arms back over the shoulders and tug forward method but that seems really awkward to me.

Sconset Wed 07-Aug-13 21:20:44

My DC's school specify make and model of shoes, but there are a few that buy differently, and no-one says anything. You wouldn't get away with it for jumpers, tracksuits etc though.

I would go against what soworried said- if there's a school coat on her list, you buy the school coat, no questions!
Pre-preps/Preps are not the same as state maintained schools, that have no right to insist on a specified uniform. If you sign-up to the school, you have to sign-up to the uniform and rules too!

I hope you have a superb option for Y7 onwards for your DS, otherwise you are going to have a lot of pain later! hmm Particularly as they have different fathers/grandparents.

Xihha Wed 07-Aug-13 22:35:31

DS has some very good options for y7 up, he has his heart set on a selective school near us but there are also some other good options if he doesn't get in.

I don't think there will be an issue to be honest, DS doesn't want to go to the prep, its not like DD is being offered opportunities he hasn't because he's been offered more than she has and has made a choice, complete with a presentation as to why im a horrible mother for trying to push him into a private school (and a few suggestions on what FIL should give him money for instead)

Xihha Wed 07-Aug-13 23:05:40

Thanks Slendergirl, theres some amazing hair styles on there, I think i like this one will see if it meets with DDs approval.

Yes. that's lovely smile Wish I could remember where I saw that other link. I have boys you see, so I just glances and thought "how lovely" and moved on. I see quite a lot of girls with a pleat done just at the side of where a fringe would start and carried across the front and down to the other side. That looks lovely too.

Back when I was young in the early seventies i had a fringe and then two small pleats done from just behind the fringe but only using the top layer of hair and these would be taken to the back and loosely and tied together - meant you could have your hair down but it was away from your face and didn't fall into your eyes when leaning over a desk.

So many people don't really bother nowadays and just ponytail it back or use a hair band. I am sounding really ancient now!

Think this one is a lovely one and they say it is very quick for a school day:
www.princesshairstyles.com/2011/09/fishtail-braid-woven-pigtails.html

Xihha Thu 08-Aug-13 00:38:58

smile the 2 plaits pulled back and the rest loose is how i do her hair when she's wearing a pretty dress, she looks adorable, I like those 2 too. How the hell did they get the kids to stay still for some of those styles though?

FadedSapphire Thu 08-Aug-13 12:46:33

Shocking if they are insisting on a particular brand of shoe and legally unenforceable I would think.
Find it hard to get passed that dictatorial point on this thread. School should wind its neck in.
Usually Tesco shoes here but found some nice [wide fitting] BHS ones this week for my older boy.
Younger will have soft Tesco ones [Reception].

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