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.
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The Department for Education provides an online tool to help people find and compare local schools’ performance. For the first time on the Department's website, people can:
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 more equipment including stationary, maths equipment and more, as well as a P.E kit. Your secondary school will give you a list of equipment to buy.
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.
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. Some families may be eligible for financial assistance to buy uniforms. Find out more here
In primary school your child may need:
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. They will need a swimming costume/trunks and a towel. Swimming sessions are usually mixed gender. Please talk to your school if you would like to discuss this.
Girls can cover their arms and legs for PE and swimming if they wish.
Children can wear religious clothing and jewellery but health and safety must always be the priority. The school will give you advice.
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.
Check with your school before putting some items, such as nuts, into your pack ups in case there are pupils with allergies.
Children in primary schools get homework about once a week but older children get homework every day.
Primary schools ask children to read their reading books at home everyday. You can listen to your child read and talk about the book in your home language.
Secondary schools give pupils homework diaries. They write their homework tasks in these diaries. There are many ways you can help your child with homework. For instance, by discussing what they are learning in your own language.