school uniform

With 6 years of school uniform now under our belt and 1 year working as a TA in our local primary school, I feel I can talk quite confidently about school lost property. I have been rifling through the lost property bins at school since they started. In Reception, all manner of their clothes and shoes went missing on a very regular basis and as the twins have moved up the school they have continued to forget cardigans on the back of chairs, misplace PE kits when getting changed in class, and one of them even managed to lose one trainer for about six months before it miraculously turned up!

First Day of school year 3

As a TA in Year 4, I was met daily by the lost property bin as it stood outside our classroom. It was overflowing all year around. There were shoes, plimsoles, COATS, ties and an ongoing stream of cardigans and jumpers. I decided to take action, being fully aware as a mother how frustrating it is to continually lose items. On one Open Classroom day just before Easter I asked for the four lost property bins to be brought into the hall and with the help of some of our wonderful students, we laid out all of the items on long tables and invited the parents to come and check for their lost clothes.

We had racks of coats, piles of swimming gear, even a towel! I can’t put a number on the amount of overflowing odd gloves and hats that there were.

school year 4

The most frustrating thing is, a good part of the lost property was NEW.

Fortunately, a fraction of the various garments had been labelled. The names were recognisable and even if we didn’t know the class, our lovely receptionist was able to direct us to the correct owner.

Label your school uniform

school uniform labels

That is the secret to being reunited with your school uniform and not having to go to the shops and pay out lots of money to replace it. Label your school uniform.

You have no idea how much lost property has no name on it!

It is impossible to get a garment back to its correct owner if there is no name inside.

There are many companies out there who produce labelling kits and Korbond has a great TAGIT range. They have iron-on labels for clothes that are washable and tumble dryer safe. They have stick-on labels for shoes that are heat resistant and durable and they have dishwasher safe labels for lunch boxes and water bottles. They also produce a handy laundry marker which has been developed to withstand continuous washing and is perfect for uniform and PE kits.

So, please – on behalf of the lost property bins up and down the country – label your child’s uniform before school starts!

Korbond has a wonderful #backtoschool competition on their Facebook page to win a family ticket for Diggerland UK, pop over and try your luck for a great family day out.

Disclosure: We were sent the TAGIT range for the purpose of this post.

I spoke very briefly of the start of the school year and how the girls were finding Year One and I’m pleased to announce that as each day passes the girls are relaxing more and beginning to enjoy the new school year. This was even more evident on Wednesday when I stood in the school playground at 3.15pm waiting to collect them.

I understand, after conferring with the other school mums, that each child is responsible for their own book bag, this also means putting things in and taking things out. I noticed this after Bessie had her trainers in her bag for three days on the go, I added a quick note in her contact book ‘Please could you check that Bessie removes her trainers from the book bag and puts them in the PE bag? Thank you’

It worked, that very evening the trainers had finally found their way into the PE bag yay!

Being responsible of one’s book bag is a big thing seeing as Mummy has always done it for them in Reception and my Bessie has been one of the last children out of the class at 3.15 most days till now as she gathers all her belongings before exiting but on Wednesday my Bessie was an unheard of third in the queue!

A beaming smile on her face as she found me amongst all the parents she waited her turn hopping from one foot to the other. finally released she ran towards me grinning and squealing “I am Star of the Day today mummy.”

star of the day

‘Well done Bessie, what was that for?’ I asked

‘For writing very well.’

I could feel how proud she was, it was oozing from every square millimetre of her. She showed me her certificate and her sticker on her cardigan and I praised her loudly, hugging her and sharing her delight.

Alice arrived to join us a little downcast as she hadn’t been chosen and I reminded her that lots of other children hadn’t been awarded with a star yet and there was plenty of time to keep trying her best

So please allow me to enjoy a proud mummy moment with you all and share with you a conversation with the girls last night as they were discussing the Star of the Day award.

Bessie: What did I have for breakfast this morning mummy?

Me: We had toast and jam this morning as we had run out of milk remember?

Bessie: I’d like toast and jam tomorrow morning please, then I might get Star of the Day again, Alice you should too then you might get one too.’

Bless her heart, I had to explain it doesn’t quite work like that but I was really touched at her thought process as she tried to figure out why she had been chosen.

In other news, so far so good with the after school activities.

We are on Green level reading books and whizzing through one book each per evening  – about 24 pages.

And last night for the first time I picked up a BIG girl’s book The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and read chapter one to them. They’re used to looking at the pictures whilst I read so this was the first time they had to conjure up the picture in their heads, they loved it and it’ll be on with Chapter 2 tonight.

back to school year 1We are one week in to Year 1 and I had tears Tuesday morning from Twin 1 who didn’t want to go into school.

She did say her throat hurt and in all fairness she was exhausted the night before not moving from the sofa after teatime, so I gave her some Calpol and sent her in.

Is that really bad mum practise?

I could have kept her home, I work from home but I was brought up that unless you were on death’s door, off to school you went. Anyway moral of the story I got called at lunchtime to pick her up and then she really did look poorly, big red eyes and a hot forehead, all symptoms that weren’t clear in the morning.

Cue mum guilt.

I’m lucky that working from home allows me to be on call all the time as we don’t have anyone who can step in for us should there be a call but occasionally I do get invited up to London to attend an event or a press day and this made me realise I need to put an action plan into place. I need to speak to a school mum or neighbour and ask their permission that in the unlikely event that I am in London could they pick my child up from school and keep her until I can get back from London which would most likely be an hour at least.

I’ve heard from school mums of various little ones this week having break downs before school, crying and being taken into school by a teacher, heart breaking for a mum to stand and watch and one thing we’re all having to get used to is no contact with the teacher at all other than the contact book. This makes me feel jittery, these people are with my children all day and I am interested in what they do, how they behave when I’m not there, how they cope with various situations and of course, it’s the start of a new term, I want to know about it.

Some children are really good and relaying to their parents what has happened at school, my twins aren’t. I ask them how their day was and the reply ‘Good.’

I try to find out what they’ve been doing but if I push too hard they both clamp up and say ‘Can’t remember.’ in a real teenage way, like ‘lay off mum!’

We’re taking up a few after school activities too. Last year we did gymnastics and the girls loved it, we also did swimming which they adore too so we’ve continued those until such a time they tell me they don’t want to any more and to the mix we’ve added two new school activities, Dance and Drama.

Yes this may be too much but I’m hoping it will be more play than hard work and I’m hoping they will enjoy these new experiences and gain courage from them because that is what it’s all about. The minute they tell me they don’t want to do it anymore we’ll stop.

We had our first homework on Friday evening, 1 A4 page of sums. Count the animals in the boxes and write the number. Both of the twins forget which way round 2, 3, 5 and 7 go even though we did practise over the summer. 6’s and 9’s also need a little thinking over but slowly slowly they’ll get there. The other exercise was number lines, fill in the missing numbers like this

1 2 3 _ _ 6 _ _ _ 10

maths whomework

The girls found them easy and parents were encouraged to add extra challenges and mark the work ourselves all to be handed in by Wednesday. I added 5 simple sums as we’ve been practising over the summer (ie 1 + 3 =  ) they are easy for the girls, they use their fingers to count and they are very happy to get their ticks and smiley faces plus a Very Good written at the bottom.

I’m looking forward to getting our reading books sent home too, we need to get back into a reading routine.

How’s your back to school going?

Tesco school uniformI just had the most amazing online experience, instead of dragging the girls around shop after shop trying on uniform, shoes and exhausting them whilst searching for the essentials we’ll be needing over the next few months I popped on to the Tesco Clothing website and bought the bulk of their uniform for just over £50.

Tesco have spent a lot of time reviewing their school uniform offer to parents and making sure that their products tick all of the boxes that uniform has to.

Value for money

Prices have been kept to an absolute minimum and this is evident the moment you start selecting the garments of your choice. Cardigans in all typical school colours from £3 and black leather shoes from £8, plimsoles with easy velcro fastenings, perfect for youngsters who struggle with laces and buckles.

Quality

I have looked at the uniform in the more expensive stores on our high street and compared it with what’s on offer at Tesco and in all fairness I can’t really see any huge difference, the fabrics used are more or less identical, the cut is similar – allowing for growing children and the finished product off the shelf doesn’t show any marked difference

tesco school uniform

Improved features

I love the adjustable waistbands, all of my children have been skinny and often the clothes for their age size are too big in the waist, by having the handy elastic with buttons on the inside means I can get the right length trousers or skirt and adjust the waistband throughout the year as they grow.

tesco school uniform

The permanent pleats are a great idea too, saving much time in the ironing department, also I find with too much ironing the fabric starts to ‘shine’ these handy permanent pleats cut down on your ironing pile and still look smart at the same time. It also means if you’re in a rush to turn uniform around you can skip the ironing and use as it comes off the line!

tesco school shoes

Another great feature to look out for is their Teflon fabric protector assuring materials last longer, this I’ll have to get back to you around Christmas time. I did notice uniform I bought last year which looked perfect in September started to look pretty washed out by the time we got to December so personally I’m hoping the Teflon fabric protector will do the job for me.

These shoes are gorgeous aren’t they? I’ll take photos at half term to let you know how they survive … or not :)

tesco school shoes

What we bought

2 x scallop trim green cardigans – £3.00 ea
2 x jersey pinafore dresses – £6.00 ea
2 x packs of white knee high socks – £4.00
2 x white short sleeved shirt – £3.00
2 x Butterfly plimsoles – £3.50
1 x leather shoes – £12.50
1 x Bow shoes – £8.00
1 x pack of knickers – £2.50
1 pack of ankle socks – £4.00
oh and a fabulous black biker jacket for me! – £28.00

Tesco biker jacket

Room Copenhagen lunch boxesWhen Room copenhagen got in touch to ask me if I’d like to review their kids lunch boxes I knew it was going to be a yes.

The lunchbox is one of the child’s most important pieces of equipment and chosen properly will last all year long, therefore it has to be visually pleasing to the child in question. On this note Room Copenhagen have come up trumps with lots of really funky cool designs to choose from.

We went for the LEGO boxes and they were an immediate hit, there are different sized boxes allowing you to pack fruit separately or snacks away from the main meal in the large box.

At first the girls struggled to open their boxes as they were used to a different click, clack button style but once they realised the top slips off the bottom they were away.

The drink bottle has a screw head to drink from, my only concern is the head is not then attached to the bottle and therefore in a busy lunch room could get lost. Also the bottle has an un-screwable bottom allowing a quick empty over a sink and refill which is great for quick cleaning but we spotted this when Alice twisted it by mistake and got herself wet! Luckily for us we only had water in it which soon dried but worth taking note of for smaller children. A good squeeze tight should avoid other accidents.

room copenhagen lunch boxes

Without a doubt the LEGO boxes are a huge hit with the kids and they are bound to create conversation, in case you’re wondering sadly they do not stack on top of each other like LEGO but they do all fit comfortably together in the girls’ lunch bags.

I’ll have to wait until they are back to school in September to see if all the various boxes return home each day, being used to one box that holds everything this will present a new challenge but I’m sure the style of these boxes wins over last year’s ‘boring ones’. I’ll also have to name tops and bottoms  with name stickers to make sure all can return home.

room copenhagen lunch boxes

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