Back to school

Make the transition back to term time a smooth one

The school holidays are over, parents rejoice while children and teachers all over the UK audibly sigh in defeat.

Whether you spent the time at home with your little monsters, or had to arrange extra childcare, the summer holidays can leave parents more exhausted than refreshed.

So, how can you make the transition back to term time a smooth one? We've spoken to veteran primary school teacher, Helen King, and an army of Diamond parents, who have given us their top tips on preparing the kids for the classroom. They also told us about a number of school run disasters which made us chuckle.

3 teacher's tips from Mrs King:

"What can be done to ensure a smooth transition from holiday to school mode? The answer is relatively simple - in fact it only consists of one word - routine. Children thrive on the reassurance of knowing what lies ahead and what happens next. Hopefully these 3 tips will help.

  1. Talk positively about the new term emphasising the things you know your child will enjoy; use the school's website to get information about school life and extra-curricular activities
  2. Make sure your child has plenty to talk about when they return to school; use publications like The Primary Times to find out what's going on in and around your area
  3. Involve your child in the preparation for school the night before; encourage them to help with making the packed lunch and putting their clothes out ready. Remind them they'll be seeing all their school friends soon - they'll be excited in no time."

Parent tips:

Diamond's parents suggested some novel ways to get the kids ready for school again, including: inflation-busting pocket money, taking them to school in their PJs if they refuse to get dressed and telling their teacher about morning tantrums. We've picked 3 which won't get you strange looks from other parents.

  1. Arrange to meet the parents of your children's friends in the car park before school, that way they can walk in with their friends holding hands. They probably won't look back.
  2. Make getting dressed a race in the morning - whether it's against their siblings or you, children enjoy the challenge and it also means they can be sat waiting for you rather than the other way around.
  3. Get everything ready the night before to avoid manic mornings. Sometimes, no matter how well prepared you are, it'll still be a mad rush. Having uniforms and lunches ready to go will speed things up a bit.


Sometimes, morning run disasters are unavoidable, here are 3 stories Diamond staff shared to help you feel better.

  1. "I packed a packet of Quavers for my stepdaughter's lunch not knowing crisps were banned. She was very popular at lunch that day but I got a telling off from the teacher in Welsh - I don't speak Welsh!"
  2. "A 'last day of the Christmas break' disaster rather than first day of the school term but I don't advise people try shopping for school uniforms on New Year's Eve. I had to do it as an emergency once and it was a total disaster. Traffic was so heavy it was unbelievable, and we didn't get what we needed. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail and all that!"
  3. "I've taken my 5-year-old daughter to school 3 times on different inset days, forgotten school trips and had to go back to dress her again on non-school uniform days. I will invest in a cork board to hold letters and dates on the kitchen wall!"

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