With September fast approaching the MumsVet team have put together a series of top tips for how to prepare for your child's first year at school.

School uniforms

  1. Tesco, Morrisons, M&S, George (pretty much all the major supermarkets) offer school uniforms all year round, so unless the school has a specifically tricky uniform, don't stress about buying months beforehand. If you have to have embroidery some schools are set up with these anyway and they usually only take a couple of weeks to order online. 
  2.  Sewing names into clothing or iron labels are fine, as is a sharpie pen with legible handwriting. Whatever is easiest for you.
  3. Book your appointment with clarks for shoe fitting and if your child is fussy book early and at a big store so there is plenty of styles to choose from
  4. Patent, shiny shoes are REALLY easy. They stay clean, they don't seem to scuff as much as normal leather and kids LOVE them
  5. Any flashing bits in shoes normally have an inbuilt 'off' setting
  6. Personally, I wouldn't spend a fortune on pumps - they wear them for about half an hour a week, top
  7. Make sure you are on the text list in the school office to avoid missing those pesky non-uniform days, wear something spotty days, world book days. It's really embarrassing for you and the kids when you forget, I've done the emergency red t-shirt drive before

Taking items to school

  1. If you care about it (i.e. the 'won't sleep without it' teddy) don't send it into school, you won't get it back! Instead start breaking in a 'school snuggler' so that when it gets lost in the school toy box (and it will) you can still sleep at night
  2. Most schools will let them take a comforter (name it) in for the first few weeks
  3. Buy cheap (ish) drinks bottles - they will get lost, leak and die

Toilet worries

  1. If toilet training isn't quite there yet - don't stress. Most schools are accepting of this being the case with some children and they nearly all have an accident at some point. Put some clean undies and a couple of plastic bags in the games bags and let the teacher know
  2. Your child won't be the only one with toilet problems, in every group of 30 kids 2 or 3 will have issues right up to the age of 7... and that's considered normal developmental distribution so in a class of 30 your kid definitely won't be the only one

The school run

  1. The school gates can be scary but you won't be the only new parent (or grandparent). Follow the lead of the ones who look like they know what they are doing

After school

  1. The school day is better termed the school half-day. You won't get nearly as much done as you planned, life planning is much more straight forward when you think of it as a half day
  2. They are knackered after school. Feed to deal with the hangry and buckle in for the ride

Anything else

  1. Get used to not really knowing anything about what they did from when you drop them off to when you pick them up. Unless it's particularly amazing (or bad) you probably won't find out... no news is good news
  2. If there is a cake sale you don't need to stress if you're not Merry Berry, the local supermarket is! Quantity not quality is generally required.
  3. Settling in days start the July before you start school. Try to get your child there as they do help give them confidence. Although remember it's not the end of the world if they don't make it
  4. They learn to read using 'phonics'. The mouth contorsions you will use are amazing. M is not pronounced 'm-u' any more, it's 'm' (don't open your mouth, just make a noise!), it's the same with 'N', not 'n-u'. The 'u' sound is bad in phonics, very bad...
  5. Your child is about to grow up a lot in a very short space of time as they learn lots of new things from older children. They may be flying high and loving it, but no matter how independent and grown up they seem they still need you as much, if not more
  6. The autumn term is a trial of perseverance for all. The rest never feel as long.