6 September 2016

What you need to know about having a child in reception

I can't quite believe it but today is Little 2's first day at Infant school, it doesn't seem that long that she was starting pre-school and here we are waving her off to Reception. Little 1 is going into year 2, her final year in infants before moving up to junior school next year, sob.

The must have first day photo

Little 1's first day-2 years ago!

Having been through it 2 years ago with Little 1, I have compiled a list of 10 things that you really need to know about having a child in reception.

Label everything
It goes without saying that the need to label your childs school clothes is a must. Have you remembered to label everything else? the drinks bottle, little pots that will go in the lunchbox, the shoes etc? I labelled everything with Little 1 except socks, she did once come home in someone else's socks when she had gone in wearing tights, apparently her friend was cold after pe so she leant her friend the tights and had her socks! There is always something else to label, don't forget on non uniform day to write on your childs jumper/cardigan label their name with biro or you might not get it back, it will come off after a few washes anyway.

Those whites
Those crisp white shirts and school socks will not stay white for long, in the first few weeks of school stain remover will become your best friend. Those lovely white frilly socks and low fronted girls schools do not bode well together on wet days, mud splattered socks anyone. I do also wonder what is actually in the school gravy and green paint (always the green), these two things alone NEVER come out no matter what and several t-shirts have seen the rubbish bin after coming into contact with those a few times, thank goodness we are back to pinafore season, on those beauties you can't see the stains!!

They have done NOTHING all day
Your child may have spent 6 hours at school but when you ask them what they have done they simply can not remember and 'nothing' is the answer. If you are lucky they might tell you what they had for lunch but be reassured, the day Billy eats a worm or Sally throws up on the carpet you will know about it before you even get to say 'Hello'.

The Recycling!
Despite the fact that they have done nothing all day, they will bring home a bookbag full of 'lovely artwork', the tower of London, a sticking picture, an egg box crocodile and a whole tree worth of colouring and that is just on the first week. Your kitchen and mantle piece will be covered and you will begin to gift these treasures to the grandparents, friends, and the postman. It will soon become apparent that, although you love these gifts of love and the hardwork that goes into them, you can not possibly keep them all. Be warned only dispose of these items during school hours on recycling day or you face the risk of never being forgiven for throwing out 'that' picture.

The teacher knows EVERYTHING
For the past four years you have been the centre of their universe, taught them right from wrong, shared everything you know and then suddenly you are redundant. The class teacher is now the one who knows absolutely EVERYTHING and you, ha you will never be right again, how can you possibly know as much as their teacher.

Along with the lack of knowledge you now possess, you will also lose all power over your little cherub. There is something about being at big school that affects Reception children, they suddenly develop an attitude. It really is like having a mini teenager for that first term as they learn to find their place and develop their independence. I can assure you that by Christmas the conversation among parents in the playground will leave you relieved that it is not just your child testing boundaries, they are all at it.

Things you haven't taught them
Now that your child is at school you will be spending a lot of time apart so be prepared for what might come home that they have picked up at school. The playground rhymes and new pop songs are great but the questions about the reality of Father Christmas and odd swear words are not. Then there are the tough questions after a busy day at school, did you know that 6 year olds are now taught a-level grammar? When Little 1 asked a question about an unaccountable noun, I am afraid I had to ask Dr Google that one.

The parties
Reception year is all about the parties. Nearly every weekend for your child's first year at school they will be invited to a birthday party and they just have to go. You will get sick of the sight of a bouncy castle and disco music will make you cringe but the kids love them, right.

They will be utterly starving
When your child gets in from school they will be utterly starving and will eat you out of house and home then proceed to eat their entire dinner and ask for supper too. Little 1 is always hungry and eats tons after school yet she must be turning it into brain power because there isn't a lot to her.

They need time to rewind and recharge
It goes without saying that after a busy day sat still, listening and writing, your child will need time to relax and unwind. If you don't give them this time and that ever important after school snack be prepared for some huge emotional explosions and boy are they whoppers. Give them some time after school before bombarding them with questions about their day and they will be much more approachable and might even remember some of it too.

Good luck to you if you have a child starting in Reception this year.


  1. All great advice Sarah. The Teacher knowing everything and me not knowing anything use to drive me mad with Poppy, not sure i'm ready for that again. Love the photos and glad Little 2 is enjoying it xx

  2. Love this, thank you! My son had his intro session today, met his new classmates, etc and is so excited - we may have had tears when it was time to leave and head back to nursery. I'm so excited, happy and bloody nervous for him! This was a lovely, humorous read :)

  3. This made me smile. It’s all so true xx


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