8 Back to School Essentials and To-Dos


It's that time of the year again – the days are getting shorter, and there's a faint smell of autumn in the air. It's not long now until the kids head back to school to start a new school year. It's a cliché, I know, but the summer has whizzed by. I hardly feel like we've had a decent summer. It's been cool, wet, and we haven't had the paddling pool out once. I don't know if I'm ready for autumn and winter just yet!

But one thing is for sure, I'll need to get my son ready for school! And to do so, I've put a handy list of top to-dos and reminders together. Share any of your go-to tips in the comments too!


Make sure you order any new uniform you need well in advance. Our primary school has a logo polo shirt and jumper, which I need to pre-order. They often sell out, so it's good to get in quick. I find that now we are heading into year 4, my son doesn't grow out of clothes as fast as before. A few of his year 3 polos will work fine for a month or two. The supermarkets all do their own school uniform ranges too – I find you can't go wrong with essentials like shorts and trousers.

Hair Cuts

If your child needs a haircut, then it's best to get it booked in sooner than later. We have a hairdresser that comes to our house. I text her, book a time and date, and she comes and sorts their hair. I hate taking the boys to the barbers, uncertain how long the queue will be. If you feel the same, perhaps put a shout out on your local community Facebook page for mobile hairdressers and barbers.

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New Shoes

Personally, I don't understand why people go crazy with new shoes at the start of term. Shoes are available to buy any time of the year, and the thought of queuing in Clarks for hours terrifies me. My son had new shoes at the end of term 6, and they will be fine for a good few weeks into the new school year. I also steer clear of the pricey options. In my experience, they don't last any longer than supermarket brands, and they certainly aren't scuff-proof. One of my favourite places for school shoes is Deichmann. They have a huge range at really great prices.

Back Packs and Bags

If your child is just starting school, find out if they actually need a backpack. Our school provides new starters with book bags. And if they are in KS1, they get their lunches free too, so you shouldn't need to shell out on lunch boxes either.

Child writing alphabet at school

Pencil Cases

Again, something to check with the school before buying a load of kit that won't get used. The first time my son needed a pencil case was in year 3, and that was mainly due to Covid restrictions with sharing.

Label Everything

Now that you have everything you need for a fresh start be sure to label it all. There's nothing worse than packing the kids off in September, only to pick them up and find they've lost their new coat that you just spent a small fortune on. I find the stick-on waterproof labels work really well. My Name Tags and Stickins are just a few brands I've used and would recommend.

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Check Your Dates

Make sure you check your school dates. Often schools in the same area have varying start and end of term dates, with inset days tagged on either side. Be sure to double-check start date, half term dates and any insets.

Wrap Around Care

If you work, you'll know that school hours do not synch up with typical working hours. If you need wrap-around care, explore your options sooner than later to book any breakfast and after school clubs places. Even though I work freelance and can do drop off and pick up most days, there are a few times I need to call on after school club.

Abacus at school

Are you all set for back to school? Looking forward to getting the kids back, or wish we had a few more weeks of summer?

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