Back to School

Holidays are all very well, but before long, it’s time to go back to school. Or for first-timers – time to start a new school!

Crazy as it may seem, it’s best to plan for the new term from the very start of the holidays – especially if your child has homework to do over that time. Planning and preparation are key, and will help to alleviate any last minute stress.

Homework & learning

Suggest that they tackle homework assignments and projects well in advance, and explain the importance of not leaving work until the last minute.

Help them to schedule any homework or revision over the week/s they are off, or encourage them to use some time to catch up in areas of weakness, or get ahead in some subjects. Education Quizzes can help!

Help to keep your child’s mind active during the school holiday to prepare them for schoolwork again. Family days out to libraries, museums or art galleries are enjoyable and educational.

However, do make sure they get a proper break!


Encourage playdates in the holidays so your child can spend time with the children they’ll be at school with. It will help them if they have already formed some friendships.

Younger children first starting school may have spent time at nursery away from you, which will help to ease them into the process.

Talk to your child about how to socialise, if they struggle, explaining about sharing and being kind and polite to other children.


Your child is growing, so review the state of their shoes and uniform. For new schools, make sure you check the prospectus or uniform list from the school.

Uniform shopping can be a real chore. It’s often the last thing a child wants to do, and shops grow busier as the new term approaches. So shop for necessities well in advance. Unless your child is growing so fast that six weeks makes a big difference to the size they need!


Ensure that your child has everything they need, like stationery, text books and maths equipment. They will probably need access to a computer, printer and Internet, too.

There are some tips on budgeting and getting prepared from Action for Children.


Ensure they get plenty of sleep and have healthy meals that will give them energy and help concentration.

A week or so before school starts, try to establish a routine of your child going to bed early (with no distractions such as phones, TV or video games) and waking up early every morning, so that it is not so much of a shock to the system!

If your child is young and has been used to having a nap, wean them off this gradually, to prepare them for the longer school day.


Ask your child what they’re looking forward to, or are excited about, such as seeing friends, new subjects, new sports activities or making new friends.

Encourage them to visualise a great first day and talk you step by step through a positive, happy day at school.

Go on the school website, or look at the prospectus, and encourage them to feel enthusiastic about starting school.

Share your own fond memories of school, or look at old photos, for a reassuring, sharing experience.

If anything is making them feel anxious about starting school, talk to your child and get them to explain to you so you can talk it through. Encourage them to talk to you if they have any worries. Over 16,000 children don’t go to school due to bullying (NSPCC), so nip any concerns in the bud through reassurance, information and support.

Discuss potential solutions for any problems, so they feel prepared.

Even if you didn’t have a good experience of school yourself, be positive and don’t convey your own apprehensions.

Maintain communication with their teachers if there are any problems.

Have a look at the PACEY factsheet ('s essentials/PFS05-Transitions-and-settling-in.pdf) for guidance to help you and your youngsters or pre-schoolers to be school-ready.

Timings and ‘Test Runs’

Do a ‘dress rehearsal’: to practise getting up, washed, breakfasted and changed into school uniform.

Do a trial run of the journey to help with timing.

It’s a good idea to set the clocks a few minutes forward, so you are always ahead of schedule.

Plan a bathroom rota for the family so that everyone gets equal time and there won’t be a rush every morning.

Establish regular homework and dinner times, as the normal routine.


Help your child to take responsibility and learn that organisation and planning is essential. Encourage your child to pack their own bag the night before and to set out their clothes.

Print out a copy of your child’s school timetable if you have it, so they know which books to take, and when they'll need their PE kit.

Make a note on the calendar of important events.

If the school doesn’t give them a homework diary, provide one.

Ensure they have a quiet, organised space for completing homework with dictionary, paper, storage and other materials.

Emergency Supplies

Planning for emergencies, ensure that your child has some change or a GoHenry children’s cashcard in case they need money to catch a bus or make a phone call.

It might be useful for an older child to have a mobile phone – if the school allows this.

Give them a list of contact numbers and discuss what they should do in an emergency situation.

And finally…

Support your child and reassure them. It’s almost inevitable that they will feel apprehensive, especially if it’s a new school, new teacher or new work to do. More tips on back to school.

Explain that you expect them to try their best. They don’t need to be the best – just do the best they can.

Encourage them to be open and to come to you if they are troubled. Or if they’re not – just to tell you about their day!

  1. Children may be set homework to be completed during the school holidays. How much homework does the government recommend be set for pupils aged between 14 and 16?
    The government removed its recommendations in 2012. Before then the guidelines stated that children aged 5 - 7 should have 1 hour of homework per week, 7 - 11-year-olds should have 30 minutes per day, 11 - 14-year-olds 45 to 90 minutes and for those aged 14 to 16, up to 2.5 hours per day .
    If your child is set homework for the holidays then encourage them to schedule it over the course of their time off so as to avoid any last minute rush
  2. It's usually a good idea to purchase school uniform early. Which of the following is NOT a reason why?
    There are many advantages to getting the uniform early but the prices don't change much - unless you buy out of season (in the winter, say). The trouble with that option is that children's sizes can change considerably over the following months!
  3. Internet access is almost certainly a necessity for children's education today. According to data gathered in 2013, how many children did not have access to the internet at home?
    With many schools setting homework online, this can be a problem for poorer households. Most schools will allow access to their computers at lunch or after school or, alternatively, local libraries are an option - though with many libraries closing due to cutbacks, use of free computers may be very restricted
  4. When your child first starts school, their separation from you can be upsetting. What is the best way to say goodbye?
    The less fuss made, the better - but don't sneak off, as this may leave them feeling abandoned
  5. According to research from PACEY (Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years), what percentage of parents were worried for their child on their first day of school?
    48% were more anxious than their child! Their main concerns were their child making friends, settling into a routine and bullying. It is quite natural to be concerned for our children but it's worth remembering that most of our worries never actually materialise
  6. There are several things children need to be comfortable with before they start school for the first time. According to PACEY, which is the most important?
    PACEY list 15 'steps' to build pre-schoolers' confidence. To see the list in full, click here
  7. Bullying is always a concern. In a survey of 1,865 school children, what percentage were worried about going back to school because of bullying?
    Make sure your child knows what to do if they are bullied or if they witness any bullying. Any incidents should be reported to the school at once
  8. As many as 5% of children develop a fear of school after the holidays. What is this condition called?
    'School Phobia' was first identified in 1941 but has since been renamed School Refusal. It is an anxiety disorder which usually develops after a prolonged period away from school - either through illness or after school holidays. Physical symptoms, such as nausea and headaches, are not uncommon. If your child seems reluctant to go back to school you may have to investigate this possibility.
    School Refusal can be treated successfully 80% of the time with cognitive behavioral therapy
  9. School uniforms can be a great expense. In 2013 the Citizens Advice Bureau found that the average price of a school uniform was what?
    Two thirds of parents forked out more than £70 per child for a new school uniform and 19% had to pay over £150 per uniform. And this is not the only expense - equipment and the price of school trips all add up. If your family's budget is tight, the only advice I can give you is to try to save up throughout the year as there is very little outside help available
  10. To ease their transition when going back to school, experts suggest no late nights during the last how many days of the holidays?
    Late nights and lie-ins do children no favours! Experts believe that it takees a week for children to adjust to early starts so the sooner you get them used to them, the better - and that means no staying up to watch the late night film on TV!


Author: Linda Innes

© 2014 Education Quizzes

TJS - Web Design Lincolnshire

Welcome to Education Quizzes
Login to your account