The essential Back to School/ Starting School Checklist

With back to school upon us, I thought I would share my checklist.  If I have forgotten anything, for goodness sake – please let me know!


  1. Uniform.  It sounds obvious but the night before Dalton started school I thought would be the perfect time to ‘just check’ that the brand new school uniform I had bought 3 weeks earlier would fit! The trousers didn’t and I can barely sew for toffee! Queue evening of panic and botched trousers on day one!
  2. PE Kit – See above but also don’t forget to pack it! Gotta love that first day chaos to find the other black plimsole!
  3. Water Bottle – Every child at every school will need one of these. It needs to be clearly named in large letters, and particularly for the younger ones have a clear and unique design (bear in mind that almost every little girl in the class will like Tinkerbelle!) that your child will recognise as being their own. You cannot beat these available in boys and girls designs.Personalised water botDishwasher safe and they last for years – Dalton still have his one from starting pre-school 2 years ago.
  4. Name EVERYTHING! Because they will lose EVERYTHING! I confess that I use a Sharpie permanent marker (See point1!) but you may be cleverer than me and sew on pre-ordered labels. The joy about the Sharpie is it also works on shoes/ lunch-boxes/ coats/ books/ bags and anything else you can find!
  5. Book bag. Usually children will have a book bag when they start school and move onto a satchel or rucksack when they are older. But do see what works for your little one and what your school allows. Dalton is really fussy about fruit but I know he will eat apples, so despite a piece of fruit being provided for every child at school, I always send him with an apple also which simply doesn’t fit that well in a book bag! So this is the first year he is getting a satchel instead. And he is very excited about it!
  6. Pre-agree meal choices – with the introduction of free hot dinners for many school children, this is super important. Dalton will eat a Jacket Potato for lunch every day given the choice. Not the worst lunch I agree but not exactly a varied diet either! So we agree his meal choices in advance and he gets a Jacket Potato once a week (twice if mummy is feeling generous!)
  7. Talk to your little one! It doesn’t matter whether they are starting school or going back, there are still exciting things and changes ahead. For both of you! So be sure to start as you mean to go on and open up the lines of communication.

For more starting school tips, there is a lovely little site called which has some good ideas.  And Good luck – we’re with you all the way!

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