In 5 weeks – 35 days to be exact, not that I’m counting – I will officially become a school mum.

Despite Olivia having had the pleasure of primary school for 2 years now, I haven’t put myself into this category before. While William was still at pre-school I could fool myself into thinking my children were still small.

There’s no getting away from it now though. Yes, my children are still small, but they’re growing all the time. They’re learning new things every day and from September, our lives will revolve around term dates like never before.

It means double the uniform to buy, double the shoes to get, double the bags to sort out… just about double everything really. The back to school checklist keeps on getting longer and longer.

It’s a lot to remember and organise. Of course, children also have their own ideas about the things that they need or want for school. I asked Olivia and William what they would put onto their back to school checklist. Here’s what they said…


  • A purple water bottle
  • New school shoes
  • Funky food-shaped erasers
  • School trousers (apparently skirts are nice, but tights are not)
  • A cat spectacle case to keep her glasses in
  • Grapes (don’t ask me!)


  • A water bottle featuring the characters of the new Disney film, Inside Out (despite the fact we haven’t even seen the film yet)
  • Trainers to wear all day (erm, I don’t think this will be allowed at school)
  • His favourite toy cat to take to school
  • Blue clothes so that he can dress like his favourite X-Men character, Cyclops (boy is he going to be disappointed by the green uniform!)
  • A special book bag with a dog on the front
  • A bag of cranberries (another one of those ‘don’t ask’ moments!)

It’s nice to get an insight into what my children consider to be school necessities, although I’m a little worried for William after hearing how he wants to wear trainers and blue jogging bottoms every day. I think primary school is going to be a real adjustment for him. Thankfully, I’ve arranged to have some time at home to be there for him and support him while he gets used to it all.

What would be on your child’s back to school list?


This post was commissioned by John Lewis.