Senior school starter 2014

Our back to school this year has been a little bit different. Firstly there is the fact that my eldest son has now left primary school and is just about to start seniors and secondly there is the fact that we are soon to be moving to Australia and life will be a bit upside down for a while!!

But before that happens, September marches towards us and its time to start thinking back to school. I am keen on using second hand shops at schools and often a school will have a really good facility for picking up some spares. As my son is going to seniors it is a whole other uniform. The kind that means you have to go to one of those ‘special’ uniform shops that stocks all the various sports kits and lab coats and aprons that are required by the school. I have always wondered at whether it would be better to have the american style of non uniform as a secondary school uniform complete kit out probably costs in the region of £200 per child. My son’s school has three separate sports kits!! Im sure we didnt have more than one when we were at school!! I cant work out why the shorts that he wears for football can’t work for athletics??

But then if kids wear their own clothes then you have to buy more of them..maybe? I dont know. I do love the kids all kitted out smartly in their uniforms but its can be pretty steep and surely for some it is a real struggle.

So we ventured into a uniform shop last week. I was keen to not leave it till the end of the summer. Over the years we have noticed a few of the uniform stockist in the city having lengthy queues of bored kids and annoyed parents trying to squeeze in all their purchases into that last bank holiday weekend before the kids go back to school. So i was keen to not have that experience… So i dragged my very uninterested son into the local uniform outfitters, armed with a list of things to get and also some sage advice from other mums who already have boys at the school. Its good to get a heads up especially when it comes to stuff that might get rarely used and so isnt worth us spending out on.

Blazer first. The school has houses and so we have to go for a certain colour badge. Easy to do, the staff know the school well and so son was forced into one that i thought was fine. Yeah. looks good i said to him. Ah you need to have the jumper underneath i was told by shop assistant. So wool jumper and blazer (is this because schools cannot afford heating anymore?) Onto the numerous sports kits. Rugby. Football and athletics….the athletics kit looks like something from chariots of fire and my son actually cracked a smile while i giggled at him trying to get into it in the pint sized changing room! Then black and white shorts, tie, DT apron (did i want white or beige? Does anyone choose ANYTHING in beige!!), a few name bands and the rugby top. I can’t imagine my son playing rugby!!

It was all pretty painless and i think as we were there in the first week of august there were only a couple of other people in the shop.

As we walked out of the shop back to the car. My OH and the other kids were waiting inside the car, my son turned to me and asked me if going shopping for uniform had put me off going shopping for anything else. He was secretly hoping i think. But we had to go onwards and shop for shoes!!!

I try and get the kids shoes from good quality shops. With our school shoe bill being quite high I try and make sure that the kids can get at least a few terms out of their shoes. My son is now a scary size 5. Just one size more and I can wear his shoes! He is having such a growth spurt at the moment! He generally still goes for slip ons, its all about ease with him. But my girls like the more traditional T bar type shoes. Although my eldest daughter is keen on the ‘slip on’ type ballet pump. Which is great but she has a super narrow foot and so many of the shoes she tries on in generic sizes and widths are just too wide for her and fall off her feet. So we always find ourselves heading to Clarks as they do cater for such a range of width fittings.

The rest of our day was a family outing to Clarks, being measured on the cool little machines they use now and then a mammoth trying on session! Phew it is enough to test even the most ardent shopper! Shoes shopping done and then it was time for a treat in the form of a Krispy Kreme Donut for everyone. 🙂

It looks like we are getting all set for September!



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  1. Suzanne Whitton
    September 23, 2014 / 9:45 pm

    Goodness, look how crazily grown up your boy looks! I hope he gets on brilliantly at Secondary School – such a big step. x x

  2. Kim Rix Photography
    November 3, 2014 / 2:11 pm

    Beautiful portrait. Good looking boy you’ve got there!

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