What To Expect When Your Child Starts School

I find my first child has been my trial run for everything. We gave her a dummy. Her younger brothers did not have a dummy-that kind of thing.

Nothing can prepare you for the mine field that is the school gates though so, I like to think I have learnt something from her and will apply it in my favour with the other two.

As with most things on my blog, I like to share so here are some things you might not expect about having a child start school.

1. Your child will come home at least once with someone else’s clothes on. You may be lucky with a jumper but I have seen kids wearing the wrong shoes and they are so consumed playing, they haven’t even noticed.

2. The lost property area will be like your second home as you rummage through it on a weekly daily basis looking for ties and jumpers. Label everything twice.

3. Become aware of how many children are in the class. If there are 30 children, you will probably be invited to 30 parties because in reception, parents tend to invite everyone.

4. When you do invite the 30 children to a party, hardly anyone will RSVP but there is always one parent in your Facebook/Whatsapp group who will call people out-sometimes by name for not replying, so make sure you get the popcorn for that one.

5. Forget child friendships, parent cliques will form. Parents will judge which parents are suitable for their own offspring to be friends with. I’d say after Christmas of reception year, those cliques will be difficult to infiltrate but there will always be some parents not in the cliques so fear not.

6. Try not to take things personally. Children argue and fall out. As long as limbs are still intact, let them fight their own battles.

7. Your children will develop a school smell-a bit like dried food and rubber gym pumps.

8. You will need ALL the change. There is always call for spare change for snack money, trip money, tuck shop money or raffle tickets. I keep a little school pot near the door.

9. You will need either a good calendar or a diary. For play dates, parties, non-uniform days, basically their whole social life which will be much better than yours.

10. You will get a text to say someone in the class has head lice. Whether your child has them or not, you will itch for the rest of the day and you will monkey pick your child to see if they are infested.

11. The start of school means germs. All the germs and little ones will succumb to every bug going.

12. You will be asked if their friends can come for tea that night in front of the child and sometimes the parent. Choose your replies well.


  1. Fab post Emma.
    I understand all of the above. I have to say I have never been a clique-y primary school gate person before we moved, I couldn’t be bothered to be honest and when we came to Wales I have taken the boys to school early for trips but apart from very few other times they leave from and return to the front door by bus so that suits me down to the ground! Now from September the same will thankfully happen with both being at senior school. The lice thing is SOOO true. I do NOT miss endless soft play centre parties – one year when both were in reception class I had to go to two of them, on my birthday and that was in September when they had not been there that long! I have had a 5-column calendar since they were born and would NOT be without it. Sandra Boynton is THE best one ever.x

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