Getting ready to start primary school

Schools have now broken up for the summer holidays and that means it’s only six weeks until Toby will be starting in Reception. And that means just six weeks to get Toby ready to start primary school. I know lots of children are super excited about starting school – they can’t wait to get their uniform on and go off every day to learn and play and make new friends. Toby though is going to take a little more convincing!

Although he says he is looking forward to starting school, and will be joined by a few of his friends from nursery, he is still quite apprehensive about the whole thing. This seems to be manifesting itself in some pretty out of character behaviour, and this week a couple of bed-wetting incidents too. He was only four a couple of weeks ago so he’s still quite young really and I think it’s going to take quite a lot of adjusting to get ready for school.

Toby looking super smart in his school uniform

Toby seems to be a bit like me in that the more that someone tries to tell him how brilliant something is going to be, the more he will push against it and become determined not to enjoy it. So it’s important we take a softly, softly approach with him.

He has now dropped down to just one day a week at nursery, but even then he complains about having to go. I think that he is mostly just a bit bored at nursery now and that intellectually he is really ready for primary school. It’s the emotional side we need to work on!

We seem to have been talking about school for a long time now, he had his transition sessions at the end of June which he enjoyed, but it’s still quite a long time before he actually starts school. We started talking about how many days he has left at nursery and this gave me the idea to make a countdown chart to Toby can actually see how long there is to go.

Countdown to school chart

We’ve made a countdown calendar, and every day Toby moves his picture along to the next day. As well as showing nursery days (his room is called the Oak Tree room – hence the tree) it also shows the days Daddy works at home, and the weekends when he is at home to play. We’ve added a few one off events too like Gabe’s birthday and Grandma and Grandad coming home from their holiday. We can add more things in as we make plans over the summer. It seems to be working well so far and I think it is helping Toby to be able to see what day it is, and what’s coming up the next day.

I’ve also bought all of Toby’s new school uniform. I wasn’t sure when to get it really but there was a sale on at Marks & Spencer so I got some things there, and then picked up a few bits from Aldi’s school event too. We had to get his school jumpers, tie and PE t-shirt from the official supplier, and we got a book bag too.

Toby in his uniform ready for reception

We are usually all about comfort when it comes to clothes so Toby has never worn formal trousers or a shirt in his life! I was hoping that getting the uniform early would give us a bit of chance to practice over the summer, especially with doing up buttons, but it was a real struggle to get Toby to even try it on for these photographs. I think he just didn’t really understand why I wanted him to put it on when, in his words ‘it’s not school time yet’.

I wanted Toby to try his uniform on now though, firstly to see if it fit, and also to start getting him used to the idea of wearing it. Trying to decide what size to buy was a bit tricky – you don’t want him to grow out of it in a few months, but equally you don’t want it to be enormous! The jumpers are a bit on the big side but I’m sure they’ll shrink a bit when I tumble dry them so they should be fine.

Toby in his full school uniform

Toby is tall for his age but also very skinny so he usually wears age 5-6 clothes. I bought 5-6 slim fit shirts and they seem fine. I also got slim fit trousers which have an adjustable waist. They are OK in the waist but a bit too long really. Thinking about it Toby usually wears joggers or leggings which don’t matter if they’re a bit long because they have a cuff, or jeans that we turned up a bit. I’m going to wait and see if he grows over the next six weeks, and if not I’ll just take the trousers up and at least it means I can let them down again when he does grow.

Uniform ready to be labelled

I also wanted to make sure the uniform fit before I started labelling everything. We were sent some fab labels from My Nametags which can be used on clothes as well as things like water bottles and lunch boxes too. you can choose your own design so I went with purple (still Toby’s favourite colour!) and a dinosaur (which helpfully looks like Arlo from The Good Dinosaur). Toby can read his own name but the colour and the dinosaur will help him recognise his own things quickly too. We also got some labels with our surname on too which I’ve used on all his uniform.

My Nametags ready to label Toby's uniform

Obviously we have yet to put the labels to the test but they are apparently washer, dryer and even dishwasher safe. It was really quick and easy just to stick them onto the care labels of the uniform, and they aren’t stiff like I thought they might be so they shouldn’t cause any irritation. It was certainly easier than sewing on name tapes like I remember my mum doing when I was at school!

My Nametags ready for Gabe to start preschool

Gabe is going to be starting at a new preschool in September too so the lovely people at My Nametags sent him some labels too – we chose a duck for his labels because it’s something I know he can recognise, and say too!

So the uniform is bought and labelled, and put away for now. We might get it out again in a few weeks and see if we can convince Toby to start practising doing up his shirt buttons. In the meantime we’ll keep moving along our countdown chart and trying to mention how much fun school is going to be when it’s time to go. I really hope he settles in well when the time comes. I think the biggest change is going to be having to go every day – we’ve talked about this a bit but I don’t think it will really sink in until it happens.

If you’ve got any top tips for getting your child ready to start primary school then I’d love to hear them – especially if your child wasn’t overly enthusiastic about the idea!

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Getting ready to Start Primary school

** Disclosure – we were sent the featured products free of charge, however all opinions are my own.

18 thoughts on “Getting ready to start primary school

  1. I tell my child whats to expect and we have a chart so we know what time or day we need the pe kit or have a trip to go on

  2. I find laying out their clothes for the next day always helps, my daughter gets v messy so a set for each day for me 🙂

  3. Making sure they can put on and take off their PE kit on quite quickly without any help. We got the Topsy and Tim go to school book which helped as my son loves watching them

  4. When my son started school last year week had a few practice runs a week before, where I helped him get used to,getting up and dressed in his uniform, breakfast eaten and ready to go for a certain time. We also used a type of reward chart at the bottom of the stairs so as he did each thing he’d move his character along and if he got to the end before we needed to leave he was allowed to watch one cartoon. It helped him understand that school mornings meant he has to be a big boy and gave him more independence.

  5. My youngest starts nursery this year so my 2 daughter’s have been so helpful and they have made the play house into a school classroom and play teachers and my son loves it xx

  6. Uniform and shoes folded and together ready to put straight on in the morning and packed lunch made the night before 🙂

  7. I found what really helped my eldest was visiting the school together as a family and being shown around the classroom she would be in, meeting the teacher and the classroom assistants. In the run up to September, we read lots and lots of starting school story books and we made a special occasion of going to buy her school uniform and school shoes.

  8. Prepare as much as you can the night before, nothing worse than rushing in the mornings! I’ve got 4 so i’ve had to get it down to a fine art!

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