Tag Archives: School

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

The small boy, who these days is not so small, starts Year 2 in just under a fortnight (where has the time gone etc etc). He needs new school uniform, but the thought of spending hours of our precious summer together trawling through various shops buying various bits of uniform and kit fills me with horror. Better to buy it all, or almost all in the same place at the same time. Last week we popped to Debenhams and did just that. 

If I was fancy I’d talk about our Debenhams School Uniform “haul”, but I’m old-fashioned for that. Instead we just went shopping and bought a big bag of school uniform. Hopefully enough to see him through until his next growth spurt. Debenhams School Uniforms are currently 20% off in store and online, something we took full advantage of.

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

This will be his fourth “school year” (School Nursery, Reception, Year 1 etc) so this is not our first time at the school uniform rodeo. We know what he likes and what he doesn’t like.

We bought a new warm padded school coat (£18), 6 pristine white polo shirts (£5.60 for a pack of two), 2 pairs of slim fit trousers (£8.80), 2 pairs of flat fronted trousers (£9) and 10 new pairs of grey socks (£4 per pack of 5 pairs). All we need are a couple of jumpers with the school logo on and we are ready for the start of the year. Our shopping trip cost us just under £63, that’s including the 20% off!

I was really pleased to find some nice slim fit trousers. I always think the flat fronted ones make him look like a junior accountant, so we bought some slim fit to try out. Like most children, he is very hard on the knees of his trousers. If he’s not falling over and grazing his knees, he’s crawling along being a ninja superhero or something. 

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

He’s six and whilst he’s grasped the rudimentaries of getting himself dressed. If he’s rushing he can still get frustrated with fiddly buttons on trousers, especially if he’s getting himself changed for PE or nipping to the loo. We like to adjust the waistband on his trousers so they’re loose enough to just pull them up in a rush if he needs to, but not loose enough to fall down, obviously. Both the flat front and slim fit styles we chose have adjustable waistbands. Phew.

He is also very hard on the white polo shirts he has to wear for school. I’m enjoying them now in their pristine white state before term starts. His polo shirts get washed to death. We like to buy enough so he has a clean one each day and a couple of spares waiting to be brought into circulation once he starts destroying them.

We have tended to buy cheap supermarket polo shirts which often shrink in the wash a bit. I’m hopeful these will stand up to regular washing a bit better than their supermarket counterparts. They do feel like they’re a cut above in terms of quality and doesn’t he look smart (and clean)!

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

As for his new coat, it’s light to carry and nicely padded for the winter months. With an easy zip up the front and zipped pockets so his treasures won’t fall out. He’s thrilled with it and at £18 we have no complaints either. 

We have high hopes that our “haul” of Debenhams school uniform will last the year; or until he grows out of it. I am impressed with the price and quality. Everything seems well designed with sturdy stitching and made from good quality material. Even the socks are thicker, stretchier and more comfortable than the cheap supermarket ones I’ve made him wear. 

If I have one regret, it’s not buying more polo shirts, another couple of packets couldn’t hurt, could it?

Debenhams currently have 20% off school uniform online and in-store now. Visit their website to have a look at their range.

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

Note: This post is in collaboration with Debenhams as part of their Back to School Campaign. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Trutex School Uniform

If I utter the words “school uniform” and “boys” in the company of the parents of boys a collective sign of despair goes around. The small boy (aged 5) came home on his last day before February half term with a hole in the knee of his trousers, the sole hanging comically off his new (bought at Christmas) school shoes, a white polo shirt that was now grey and covered in felt tip and a too-small school jumper. All of his uniform was beyond saving, so it all went in the bin. 

We were sent a few new items from Trutex for him to put to the test. His school uniform is a smart and quite forgiving navy with black or grey trousers. Trutex sent us…

  • a navy crew neck sweatshirt
  • a pair of junior sturdy fit trousers
  • a navy polar fleece

Trutex School Uniform

As you can see he looks pretty happy with his new uniform. He certainly looked very smart and he loved his new school fleece. 

The trousers we chose were sturdy fit with an elasticated back, he’s still at the age where he’s pulling trousers on like jogging bottoms, so these seemed the best option. He’s a tall boy for his age and has just had a growth spurt, so these should hopefully see him through to the summer and hopefully beyond. The fabric is thick and good quality, and the seams have been well stitched, they seem like they’d be able to withstand the rough and tumble of the playground.

The crew neck jumper is cosy with good stitching, and at size 5/6 long enough for my long boy to still have room to grow into. It fits well and is easy for him to pull on and off by himself.

Trutex School Uniform

The polar fleece jacket is his favourite new thing, ultra cosy and it fits him really well. He likes the zippy pockets where he can keep his treasures safe and sound. And it fits snugly under his waterproof jacket, so when it’s wet he can still be warm. As we move into spring and towards summer he will wear this jacket more and more, it’s very roomy without looking ginormous, so I’m confident that it’ll last him a good long while, and fleece washed beautifully too, so if he gets it mucky it’s no problem.

Our new Trutex School Uniform items appear to be very good quality, and importantly they operate an ethical trading policy, ensuring that their school uniform items are made ethically, so no child labour, no long working hours, no sweatshops are involved. I try not to think too hard sometimes about the realities of how some of our clothes are produced, but knowing that these are ethically traded does make me feel very positively about them.

Keeping a five year old boy looking reasonably smart and respectable in his school uniform can feel like an uphill battle, buying better quality, hard-wearing, easy care uniform makes a big difference. We’re very happy with this Trutex school uniform, it’s nice to see him looking both smart and adorable!

Visit the Trutex website to find your nearest stockist of Trutex school uniform.

Note: We were sent these items of Trutex school uniform for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Milestones: His first day of school

Today was one of those milestone days in my son’s life. Today he trotted off to join his Reception class and start his school days properly. Last year he was lucky enough to get a place in the school nursery, but there was no guarantee of an actual school place, so he’s already been going to the school part time for a year now. He knows some of the ropes, most of the staff and has been settled and happy there, which is all a parent could ask for.

Despite the fact he was already fairly established within the school, there were a few “first day of school” anxieties, mainly from me and his dad. He was just looking forward to seeing all of his friends again and being with his new teacher who he’d met a few times last term.

We’d had a busy summer and we’d spent lots of quality time together and cemented a new kind of friendship between us. I’ve seen him through other people’s eyes and realised what a kind, funny and well-mannered little lad he is. It’s so easy to get bogged down in petty squabbles about where he’d thrown his underpants and forget about all the really good things about him.

This morning arrived too soon. Collectively the three of us tumbled down the stairs towards the front door, perpetually running slightly late, frantically pulling on shoes and coats. Checking and double checking the contents of our bags. Cartwheeling out of the door and galloping off to the school gates. Late, always late.

But today we paused, because it was our son’s first day at school. First proper day at school. We took the obligatory photo of him in his new, clean uniform stood in front of the house, we didn’t expect him to smile, we didn’t really expect him to pose. But what we got tells us everything we needed to know about his feelings about his first day at school. I think he’s happy, don’t you?

first day of school

first day of school

And if you’re wondering how he got on, he emerged at home time with a huge smile on his face and can’t wait to go back tomorrow. Long may that continue!

Growing up fast – The end of Nursery

This week the small boy finishes nursery, he’s starting to not be quite so small and he’s growing up fast. Heartbreakingly fast. I know it’s all a massive cliché, but where did my baby go? Those precious few months where he was all cuddles and he smelt of milk and love have passed in the blink of an eye. I fall more in love with him every day, despite the various challenges of raising a four year old who is as stubborn and wilful as his parents.

growing up fast

In September 2014 he put on his too-big jumper and toddled off to school nursery. We didn’t know if he’d be lucky enough to get one of the 28 places available in a our local and much sought after primary school at that point, but we felt by sending him we were doing the best for him, and we were right.

growing up fastHe quickly made friends, partly because he knew several of the other children from various playgroups and from church, partly because he’s an easy going, friendly and caring little chap. He settled in fairly easily and his teachers quickly discovered that he has his own stubborn little personality. Whilst dealing with a stubborn person can be frustrating, I am of the opinion that stubborn is good, stubborn is what has got me through the last few years despite considerable physical hardship and pain, so stubborn will see him right, eventually.

It’s not all been plain sailing, one of the boys took against him at one point and for a week or so in the autumn he’d come home and we’d have to check him for injuries, this other child had scratched his face so badly it’s left a permanent scar. The school dealt with it well, which is all you can hope for really and there’s been no further trouble.

Despite this he has always gone to school cheerfully, he wakes up raring to go and spend the day there with his friends and his teachers. He adores them all and I spent a few days volunteering and helping out, so I know what a lovely, warm, welcoming place it is.

In April we were delighted to discover that he’d got a place at the school, so this coming September he’ll be starting in Reception. He’ll mostly have the same group of friends with him, but he won’t have the same teachers, which I think will make him sad for a little while.

He has come on in huge leaps and bounds this year, at the start he was a bit behind his peers in terms of his language development, but since he had grommets put in both ears he’s raced ahead and caught up. I’m so proud of my boy and his growing confidence. Last week he stood up in assembly and spoke confidently in front of the whole school, my eye did a little wee.

growing up fast

He is my pride and joy, the apple of his father’s eye and beyond a shadow of a doubt the very best thing to ever happen to me. This Friday will mark the end of an era, come September he’ll be a schoolboy and there full time. I will miss our afternoons together, but if the last academic year has been anything to go by, he’ll love being there and he’ll carry on loving learning too.

Small boy goes to big school

Today we dressed the boy up in all of his uniform finery and walked him to big school. We recognised and chatted to a few parents in the playground, took him in, showed him where everything was, watched him settle in and we said goodbye.

He’s a good lad. An independent soul. I asked him if he wanted me to stay and he did, but only for a few minutes while he familiarised himself with his surroundings. He played with the train set, he tried on a few things from the dressing up box, then finally settled down at the computer with two boys he already knew. He ignored me for a bit, so I decided it was time to go. It wasn’t difficult. No one cried, he didn’t cling to my leg, he just got on with it.

“Bye Benj!” I called, he gave me a cursory wave goodbye and went back to banging the keyboard with his fist. So I left and went to the coffee shop round the corner, my phone in my hand just in case. I met my friend there, a woman in the same boat as me. I drank coffee, my phone didn’t ring, I still had hours before I picked him up again, so I went home. I didn’t really know what to do with myself, so I just hung around the house looking at the clock.

The hour came for me to pick him up. I queued up outside his classroom, my face pressed against the glass as I watched him picking his nose and sitting quietly with the rest of the class. He caught me looking and flashed me one of his 1000 watt smiles, then went back to exploring his facial orifices with his fingers and listening to his teacher.

He was first to escape, seemed pleased to see me, gave my legs a quick hug and we went outside. I asked about his morning, apparently he’d played with the trains. I think experienced CIA operatives would struggle to get any additional details out of him. We went to our local toy shop and added to his train collection (you’re sensing a train theme here aren’t you?), then off to meet his Nan for lunch and tell her about his morning. Nope she didn’t get any more out of him than I did, but she said about a million times how grown up he looked, then got all misty eyed.

And tomorrow we’ll do it all again. The small boy goes to big school now. And so it begins.

First day of school

PS – this picture was taken on his first morning, it’s the best we could do, he had a roll around on the floor tantrum just after this was taken, he’s rarely a reluctant model, but it made me smile, a lot. I put the picture on Facebook alongside the smiling pictures of the children of my friends, someone commented that it was their favourite first day of school picture ever. It made me chuckle.

Back to School: Your School Uniform

It’s with incredibly mixed feelings that in just under a fortnight we’re sending our small boy off to join the nursery in “big school”. We’ve been busy over the summer buying all the things he needs, school uniform, water bottles, book bags, the lot, but it’s well documented that I’m not a happy shopper, so I’ve turned to the internet to see if I can save myself the stress of being in an actual shop; the internet did good, I found YourSchoolUniform.com

As he will be in nursery he doesn’t need the fully badged uniform just yet, so we can get away with just a plain jumper and a plain coat, but YourSchoolUniform are able to supply uniform with the logos on, you just need to check if your school is listed. The website was really easy to use and free delivery options are available. Like most parents, typically we chose to buy clothes that he will grow into, so he’s sporting the baggy look in the pictures.

School uniform

We went for a dark blue sweatshirt made from cotton and acrylic, it’s really soft and comfortable and he’s very proud and excited to wear it. The sweatshirt is made by Hubaco and has been designed exclusively for YourSchoolUniform to ensure it’ll stand up to the rigours of school life. We also chose a matching fleece jacket in dark blue, which I think he looks great in, you can’t really go wrong with a fleece, they wash so well, hold their shape and it will keep him warm while he’s running about outside.

The uniform we’ve got from YourSchoolUniform looks to be good quality, the stitching is good and strong and I’m hopeful that it will last, I think it will endure the rigorous testing that only a small boy can give it.

For me I’m happy that while he’s in school I know he’ll be warm and comfortable. I think he looks really smart and whilst I do have incredibly mixed feelings, I can’t wait to see him lining up with his friends on his first day, looking smart and adorable in his uniform.

Note: we were sent a sweatshirt and fleece free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.