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Starting school tips?

(28 Posts)
Tailtwister Sun 30-Jun-13 15:54:29

DS1 starts school this Aug and organising his uniform has got me thinking about organisational tips.

Does anyone have any tips for running smooth school week? How many shirts do you need (I have 6), what makes things move smoothly in the morning? How do you make sure all is covered over the weekend (washing, ironing etc), do you have a system to ensure you don't fall behind?

DS1 has already attended the nursery for a year, so we're used to doing the school run. However, P1 will be more complicated as far as uniform, snacks etc, not to mention fitting in homework!

mameulah Tue 09-Jul-13 16:13:06


Our local authority stopped free fruit a couple of years ago. Even then it was only for three days of the week. I would still send a snack because sometimes (or if you are me, regulary) the teacher forgets and ends up getting it after break.

mameulah Tue 09-Jul-13 16:10:12

Well noble if you're sure, here are a few more...

Pencil cases - not the kind that you have to individual place each item in a piece of elastic.

Does your child know what they are having for lunch? They often have to stand in a line according to what kind of lunch they are having. ie, hot school, cold school, home packed lunch or going home. If they are having hot they should know what choices there are so when it is their turn at the hatch they don't hold the queue up thinking about it. Start practising now. Decide what they are having for lunch or dinner and they have to remember.

Usually you have to buy dinner tickets before the bell. Make sure your child has them BEFORE they arrive in class, and WITH their name on. It can also be helpful to write what kind of lunch and, if they are having a hot lunch, on the back of the ticket.

Don't tell the teacher who takes the classes in in the morning important information about your child. At the beginning of the year it is very likely s/he is not sure of exactly who your child is yet. Even throughout the year it is UNBELIEVABLY annoying that people pass on dentist appointment/holiday/homework/sickness messages. Write them down! Please. By the time the teacher gets a chance to s/he will have met fifty children who will all have also had something to say.

Does your child have a wee loop on the neck of their coat so it easily hangs up on a crushed peg? Hoods are rubbish and the coats fall off. If your child's coat is regularly on the floor it is likely that someone at some point will give them a row for it.

If you go on holiday during term time. Fine. But don't complain if two weeks later they didn't make a certain picture or can't do a certain task.

Be very respectful of classroom assistant type people.

You shouldn't have to go into the cloakroom to help your child get changed. Unless there is a specific reason your child should be able to do this independently.

If your child comes home covered in paint it is your child that needs reminded to put his/her apron on. Not the teacher.

Don't send anything precious to school. If you have an amazing artefact that would be awesome for a school project and it would be a disaster if something happened to it then arrange a time when you can go in and show the class.

If you go in then don't interrupt or contradict the teacher and DON'T discipline the other children.

If another child has an accident, toilet, small cut or whatever. Even if this child is your best friend's child and has been in your house for sleepovers ever since your children were born, you CANNOT assist.

Will keep thinking......if this isn't helpful I am happy to be told to stop.

HerbertGistcool Tue 09-Jul-13 11:07:02

We have 3 sets of uniform and do a wash Tuesday and Friday nights.

NarkyNamechanger Tue 09-Jul-13 10:40:47

Buy extra kit bags and pack everything on a weekend.

Mine have pe, swimming and judo (club) and we wash and repack straight away ready or that day.

noblegiraffe Tue 09-Jul-13 10:33:38

thanks mameulah

I'd rather read it on here than be told off by the class teacher!

mameulah Tue 09-Jul-13 10:16:37

Thanks MrsHende I was worried that people would think I was a bossy cow.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Tue 09-Jul-13 09:55:31

Re snacks, is there usually fruit on offer? Have been told it is provided for during the day (council scheme) so would a child be able to pick up a piece of fruit for their break time snack?

We already have a family calendar so I will be filling all dates in on that. Great thread.

MrsHende Tue 09-Jul-13 09:44:04

I'm bumping this so EVERYONE reads mameulah's list!

mameulah Tue 09-Jul-13 09:41:51

Someone mentioned a pencil case. Yes, take ONE pencil case. And make sure it isn't absolutely bulging, and that your child can open and close it.

Someone else said put a key ring on gym bags so they are easier to identify. Same goes for reading bags, cover them with sticks, or a glittery piece of sellotape down the side.

And those shoes that have toys in the souls are very distracting for the children when they are taking part in story time.

mameulah Tue 09-Jul-13 09:39:48

Just remembered, if you feel emotional and teary on your child's first day then please don't let them know. It winds everyone up.

mameulah Tue 09-Jul-13 09:37:01

I am a teacher too.

NAME EVERYTHING!!! And make sure they know what THEIR stuff looks like. Some lots of children don't seem to recognise their things.

Great to see that people here are buying duplicates of regularly used items but I think it would sometimes help the kids more if replacements were not so readily available. If you have not ever been that fussed about a pair of missing gym shoes during primary school you can't suddenly expect your child to look after them when they are sixteen. imo And you should see the lost property in p7/secondary school. (Expensive coats/I pods/pads/phones - and not even in a really posh school.)

If you are sending money to school PLEASE send it in a NAMED envelope.

Make sure you send permission slips back ASAP!!!

Send your child to school with ONE pencil case.

Don't ask the teacher to look for lost property 'it is the white t shirt from ASDA'.

Make sure your child can get their outdoor clothes on independently and quite quickly.

When it is winter make sure they know to put their gloves on last.

Get them used to putting their own things away.

One snack is enough. I have seen HEAPS of children come to school with four or five things to eat in their playtime. By the time they get out to play they have about ten minutes.

When preparing their snack don't put it in a Tupperware pot. A plastic bag is far better because it doesn't need to be looked after and taken home.

If your child has a cold and a very runny nose send them to school with a box of tissues for the class. You don't have to do this but the teacher will give you heaps of Brownie points.

Don't ask the teacher to hand out party invitations.

Don't let your child take noisy toys to school.

Have a system for their library book. Keep it in a certain place so you know where it is.

If you are invited in to help at school absolutely DO NOT EVER pass comment or make a judgement about another child.

This is an awesome idea for a thread. I hope HEAPS of people read it. I am aware that some of these ideas may sound bossy but if you regularly spend your day with 25, 5 year olds I am sure you can imagine that good organisation skills make all the difference.

Oh and lastly, you can totally tell if the child has done their homework/reading or not.

And if you don't have time to do homework or reading just write a note in your child's book.

noblegiraffe Thu 04-Jul-13 19:46:42

Do they need a pencil case? I've just realised that I've not seen it mentioned anywhere!

MrsHende Thu 04-Jul-13 19:43:43

As a primary one teacher can I make a plea, please name everything!!!! That way we can help!

FairyTrain Thu 04-Jul-13 19:40:01

Hair brush, spray and clasps in every bathroom and in sitting room. Toothbrushes and toothpaste in downstairs loo (as well as upstairs)
Packed lunces the night before.
Uniform laid out night before.
Chart with who is doing drop off & pick up each day
Our school has just launched an app of the term's amazing!

winkygirl Mon 01-Jul-13 22:06:39

Yes I ditto having a pot of money in the house - mine is £1 coins ready for all the dress as you please for charity days...disco trip etc etc

SarahMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 01-Jul-13 10:53:25

Hey everyone, sticking my head around the door to say we've a page on starting primary school, with tips on how to get yourself and your child ready, over here, in case it's useful..

I personally second laying out uniform the night before and giving up on ironing wink

Sunnymeg Mon 01-Jul-13 09:35:30

If you receive a list of the children in your child's class, keep it and use to check names for Christmas Cards, party invitations, that sort of thing.

LaundryLegoLunch Mon 01-Jul-13 09:08:00

Make arrangements with another couple of mums that you'll always check you all know about things like non uniform day, show and tell rotas. Some schools are better than others at communication and reminders but kids hate to stand out as the only one who isn't dressed up/forgot their badge collection etc.

The minute you get any newsletter read it, put every date of any event in your phone/diary/calendar and set reminders the night before.

InsertUsernameHere Mon 01-Jul-13 08:56:01

One tip I got from a mum that we did was have a spare pair of pants and tissues in a nappy bag descretely in a pocket of DS bag. Meant if he ever got in to trouble in the toilet department he could sort himself out. He's never had to use it - but felt reassured by it.
Second the big calendar - we also put on it who's picking up and dropping off and where (school or after school) to remind us (it changes we to week) and to remind us to tell DS which is surprisingly easy to forget to do
Amount of uniform depends on how mucky DC gets. In the first year we never got more than a day out of any item, now we get two days out of some stuff.

27cats Sun 30-Jun-13 22:10:25

A tray or 'pigeon hole' type arrangement is useful, especially as the DC get older and there are more letters, slips needing signing, etc. Looking in bags as soon as home, maybe when the lunchboxes come out, helps last minute panics. smile

GiveMumABreak Sun 30-Jun-13 21:41:45

I find an extra PE kit handy.
School shoes, uniform, book bag, lunch bag etc always kept in the same place.
Dh job = polishing school shoes on Sunday evenings
Big calendar up in kitchen with all school dates, extra mural activities, birthday parties, play dates recorded (also a record of when school meals are paid up until, guitar lessons etc)
Keep a pot of money (change) around for snack money.
Water bottles washed out and refilled in fridge night before
My Ds has a pack of tissues, extra hair bobbles, lip balm in her school bag.
And.....A bit off subject if school but:
Always keep a stock of a few kids birthday presents, cards and wrapping paper (nothing worse than last minute rush around before a party!)
Jumpers go astray in warm weather - label everything and stay on top of what's coming home from school (if her jumper isn't with her on Monday after school, it's easier to send her straight back in for a look than wait until Tuesday when cleaners have moved things to lost property etc)

As you meet new mums and Ds makes new friends keep all mums contact details (often RSVPs on invitations) in a notebook - you never know when u may need to send 'vicky, Abigail's mum' a text!

Tailtwister Sun 30-Jun-13 21:18:37

These are all great tips, thank you!

There are quite a few things I hadn't even considered and I'll definitely be implementing. It makes such a difference to me to feel as prepared as I can.

Please, keep them coming.

TeaOneSugar Sun 30-Jun-13 18:37:41

Mostly covered already.

I'd second

= 2/3 water bottles, they go missing and then re appear days later.
= Plenty of uniform
= Wash it all Friday night and get it ready over the weekend.
= Lunch made the night before
= Bags kept in the same place.
= Know where you can buy plimsolls easily for when they go missing and make sure they come home regularly to check for fit.
= If possible don't go for the same book/PE bag as everyone else but if you must they need some decoration or they've impossible to find.
= Write his name in everything, a laundry pen is essential, don't forgot coats, hats and PE kit. Life's too short to sow labels.

My few to add are;

= Check his book bag daily and ask if he's been given any notes/newsletters, so you get maximum notice when they need to take things in/dress up etc.
= If there's a text message system get your number down (and your DPs) its really helpful especially on snow days.
= When he gets party invitations, put his friends parents numbers in your phone, they will come in handy sometime, even if it's just to chase them for our DSs party replies or arrange for friends to come for tea after school.

cece Sun 30-Jun-13 17:36:37

Yes to hooks for hanging bags on when they come in the door.

Yes also to having a set place for shoes to be placed so they can be located in the morning.

Also clean out lunch box as soon as you get in the door.

cece Sun 30-Jun-13 17:35:19

Get clothes out ready the night before and leave in a neat pile ready to dress once breakfast has been eaten.

Ditto for all bags.

Make sandwiches the night before and put in fridge overnight for packed lunches.

Set the clock 5-10 mins fast so you leave on time.

Attach a keyring to book bag so it can be found easily amongst the other 29 identical book bags in the book bag box

Label all clothes and shoes clearly.

Have set nights when homework is done.

Washing at weekend - I do one dark, one coloured and one white wash each weekend to cover all aspects of uniform. I don't iron any of it. Shake and fold...

DD has 3 polo shirts and 1 jumper, 1 pair of trousers and 1 skirt but she doesn't get dirty. DS1 on the other hand has clean everything everyday so has 5 of everything.

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