What To Do Next When You Receive Your Primary School Admission Place

The day you receive confirmation of your child's school place is slightly surreal. It is still moths before they start, but it almost feels like the countdown is on until their school career starts. If they don't currently go to nursery or childcare it might feel like you are running out of time together. The primary school admission results are coming out and first time round this left me wondering what do I do next? If you have a child starting school for the first time in September, this post is for you.

Children sitting at a school colouring in after finding out which primary school they have been given a space at
You have received your primary school place, what is next?

What do you need to do once you have got your primary school place?

You have worked out which primary school you want to go to, applied, waited and finally got the result. If you have got the school of your choice then great, but there are always people disappointed. This post talks through how one parent overturned a decision when they were unhappy with the school place they were given.

If you are ok with the school you receive a place for what happens next?

Wait for the school to get in touch.

Our school invites Reception-to-be parents to an information evening in June. This evening gives all the essential information including: what school uniform to buy, who the teachers will be, which class they will be in and more.

Our school also invite all the new starters to a welcome session one morning before the school breaks up for summer. At ours children are left for the morning and then parents join them at lunch for a teddy bears picnic before heading home.

Obviously it’s unclear what is going to be happening this year due to Covid still lingering, but I would expect a similar approach. Either way the school will write to you and let you know.

Our school also has a liaison officer who visits parents and the new starter to talk through what will happen and any concerns. This is a brilliant opportunity to talk about any thing you want the school to be aware of, for instance with my eldest we talked to her about the shared parenting approach we take with my ex husband.

Meeting Other Parents

It’s always easier if you know a few other families before you start, even if it’s just so you get a reassuring smile at the school gate.

Most schools have either official or unofficial Facebook groups so have a search to see if you can find one.

Another approach is to ask in a local Facebook group who else will be going to the school and see if people want to start a new Facebook group for that year's starters or a WhatsApp group. Often these groups arrange a few meet ups over the summer so children are familiar with other children before they start.

Don’t worry if this isn’t possible, most children make friends quickly enough once they start at school.

Buying School Uniform

The school will tell you what uniform is expected. Some schools require items with the school logo on which need to be bought from specific shops, but most State schools have a more relaxed approach and you will find students wearing a variety of styles. Whatever they give you in the guidance it might be useful to visit the school around pick up time to see what children tend to actually wear (assuming the schools go back before the summer).

Our school specify the colour of trousers, skirts, tops and jumpers/ cardigans, but we are allowed to get them from anywhere. I mostly get our school uniform from the supermarket, especially cardigans and t-shirts which we get through at an alarming rate. Many supermarkets and M&S will have discounts on clothes/ school uniform in the early summer so getting it early can save money.

Most schools have a second hand uniform stall or shop which can be great to get logo'd items or items in difficult colours. You can call the school to ask if they have one, but they will probably only be open in term time.

All uniform and shoes will need to be labelled. I really recommend buying stick on labels from places like My Name Tags or Easy To Name because they are so fast and easy, I have used both companies in the past and find the labels stay on really well.

Shoes you will probably want to wait until shortly before school starts because feet can suddenly change size (not too late though or choice can be limited and queues long).

Other than school uniform (including PE clothes), a school bag and a water bottle you probably wont need to buy anything else, but again the school will let you know so it's worth waiting to hear from them or calling to ask if you can't wait.

Preparing Children

One of the things parents worry about most is getting children ready to start school. I previously reviewed Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s latest book The Starting School Book which talks in some detail about this. The key point is that you don’t need to worry about teaching your children to read, write or do maths before you start (although if your child shows an interest here are some great preschool learning aid resources from small businesses).

Even in small schools the children have less one on one attention than at home so teaching your child to be more independent will help. It is good if they can: go to the toilet (and wipe), get dressed and eat lunch on their own. Maybe practice putting school shoes on and off and doing up their coat. Teachers and lunch assistants will be there to help if needed though. 

I hope this post helps to prepare you for what happens after your receive your primary school place, if you have any more questions just let me know.

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