With Nia starting secondary school today, I thought I would write my ultimate list of items, that are needed when starting secondary school. Hopefully with a few tips that you might not have thought of.
Stylish but functional is key with a school bag. We opted to go for two bags, which she’s going to change depending on how much she needs to bring with her. Our favourite of the two has got to be this one from Fred Perry- £35
This shoulder bag from Fred Perry is exclusive to JD sports – one main zipped compartment with an inner zipped pocket and a further zipped pocket on the front. It is finished with the famous Fred Perry Laurel logo on the front and an adjustable shoulder strap. Measures approx 38cm x 29cm.
It’s a hard one this one, as we want to get items back if they are lost, and they don’t want to have ‘childish’ label on their clothing. I’d recommend Stamptastic, and you can hide it behind a care label, or even on a seam. It also only takes a few minutes to do everything including a water bottle or lunch box. Job done!
Apparently wearing socks once you get to secondary school, is really not cool. I’m not sure how this works in the height of summer though! So we stocked up on black opaque tights at Primark. They seem surprisingly good quality and value for money, I shall report back!
4. Rain Coat
My daughter school is fairly strict uniform wise, and they can only wear black coats or jackets on top of their blazers, so hunting down one, that was waterproof, but lightweight enough to keep in her bag was tricky. This is the one we went for in the end from Kathmandu, reduced from £29.99 to £19.99. It’s extremely lightweight, there are lots of other choices on that site too.
5. Football Boots
When these arrived , thoughts of my own secondary school rushed through my head, cold and wet hockey matches and cross-country.
From JD sports again – £25 currently in the sale. I wish in my day, they’d have looked as cool as this though. I love the slim fitting style, and the flash of neon at the back of the shoe. I even tried them on, as I was reminiscing, and Nia is the same size shoe (can you believe it) as me. They are made from a synthetic leather upper, and were surprisingly comfortable.
The boots have a central lacing system which is enhanced by a single pro tongue. Designed with optimum comfort in mind, the Tiempo Rio have a shaped ankle and soft cushioned collar. Featuring a moulded sole with multi-directional turf studs to provide excellent grip on firm ground/ natural surfaces with Swoosh branding at the sides.
6. Pencil Case
My favourite place to get a pencil-case, has always been Paperchase. Great quality, and you can usually get all of the pens from there too. We needed a whole list of other items, protractor, compass and calculators too, so we also bought things from Ryman, which seemed to have the fullest range, and was really reasonable price wise.
7. Diary/Pin Board
Organisation is something that we are going to work together on, as homework has always been little and often so far for her, whereas I know its going to increase greatly from now on. I went for a Personalised Planner for her in the end, that she can either bring to school, or keep at home, jotting things down as she does on. More urgent things we’ve decided on making more use of her Pinboard, which we actually bought from HomeSense last year, but there are lots of different styles available online and in store. A friend of mine also recommended a wipe board for this job too.
It’s a security thing more than anything for me. Most children won’t be allowed to use it, or even check its whilst they are at school. I think though if the phone is turned off, and concealed away, they are a good idea to have. Of course there are lots of different types of phones available. Nia actually has my old iPhone.
9. A Drink & Snack
Lunches can be hectic and confusing at the start, also the day tiring. So I’ve stocked up and fruit and breakfast bars, that can be grabbed for her bag in the morning. I’ve also got her a couple of new water bottles, so she keeps hydrated.
10. A Smile
It’s all so daunting, as starting a new school can potentially mean, new friends, getting lost, school buses and being a small fish in a very big pond. So I could give anyone any advice, it would be to try to walk tall, smile and enjoy yourself. A simple smile can make you feel more confident, and may help someone else who is feeling nervous too!