At school

There are lots of things to think about and lots of questions you may have about school, uniforms, stationery and even what to bring for your child's packed lunch! This section should help answer those questions you may have.

School equipment

Primary schools provide all the equipment your child needs (except for a P.E kit - see below). They may ask you to provide a water bottle and a book bag.

In secondary school you need to provide pens, pencils etc as well as a P.E kit. Your secondary school will give you a list of equipment to buy.

School uniform

Primary School

Children do not have to wear uniform in primary school but most schools prefer children to wear school colours. You can order uniform with the school logo from the school office. You can buy cheaper uniform without a logo in many children’s clothes shops and big supermarkets. Ask the school what you need to buy.

Secondary School

Children have to wear uniform in secondary schools. The school will tell you what you need. They will tell you which shops sell uniform with the school logo but you can buy school trousers and shirts in many children’s clothing stores and big supermarkets. They will also advise you on the school’s uniform policy regarding clothing and other articles of faith which have religious or cultural significance.

Physical Education Kit

In primary school your child needs:

  • a plain white t-shirt,
  • a plain pair of shorts (usually black or dark blue)
  • a pair of trainers.

In cold weather they can usually wear jogging trousers if they go outside.

Secondary schools often want pupils to wear PE kit in the school colours. The school will give you a list of what your child needs and where to buy it.

Sometimes your child may be able to go swimming with. They will need a swimming costume and a towel. Swimming sessions are usually for both boys and girls. If you are not happy with this, please talk to your school.

Girls can cover their arms and legs for PE and swimming if they wish.

Dress and articles of faith

Children can wear religious clothing and jewellery but health and safety must always be the priority. The school will give you advice.

Food at school


Children up to the age of seven will get a piece of fruit to eat at either morning or afternoon break. Children in the reception class (FS2) will also get a drink of milk. All children will be encouraged to drink plenty of water throughout the day. You may need to give your child a plastic drinks bottle to take to school. Most schools try to encourage healthy eating and do not let children eat crisps, sweets or chocolate.


At lunch time, you can choose to have a school meal or bring some food from home often called a “pack-up” or “packed lunch”.

You will have to pay for school meals and families on benefits may get free school meals. If your child cannot eat certain foods please tell the school. There is always a vegetarian option available as part of the menu.


A healthy packed lunch should contain:

  • Some bread, rice, potatoes or pasta
  • Some meat, fish, egg or beans.
  • A dairy item. This could be cheese or yoghurt.
  • Vegetables, salad or a portion of fruit.
  • A drink of water or juice – not fizzy pop

Some schools do not allow nuts because there may be pupils with allergies. Check with your child’s teacher before putting nuts in lunchboxes.