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Back to school: your seven-day countdown

Back to school
The summer’s almost over and in a week’s time, you’ll need to be up, dressed and out of the house by 8.30am – help! Lucy Dimbylow asked the most organised people on the planet – mums of school-age children – to create the ultimate to-do list for the last week of the holidays, with no last-minute panics in sight.

Seven days to go…

‘Get their feet measured for new shoes on a weekday rather than at the weekend, when the shoe shops are rammed. It’s worth phoning in advance to see if the shop offers school shoe fitting appointments, too, to avoid having to queue for hours with bored kids.’
Helen, mum to Kirsty, nine, and Rebecca, six

‘If you’re reusing last year’s uniform, get your children to try it all on so you’ve got time to buy more if anything has been outgrown or looks tatty – and don’t forget to check their PE kit and plimsolls too.’
Anna, mum to Sapphire, 10, and Jade, eight

Six days to go…

‘Start labelling your children’s uniform so you don’t have to do it all in one night. If you’ve got more than one child, use different coloured name labels for each so you (and they) can easily recognise their stuff in the ironing pile.’
Gill, mum to Theo and Sebastian, five

‘Cram in a bit of extra reading and number work during the last week of the holidays to get your children back into the habit.’
Michelle, mum to James, eight, and Matthew, five

Five days to go…

‘When you’re in the supermarket, stock up on any lunchbox items that are on special offer like crisps, drinks, cereal bars and packs of dried fruit, to see you through the first few weeks of term.’
Fiona, mum to Thea, five, and Alana, two

‘Try to fit in haircuts to beat the last-minute rush.’
Elaine, mum to Katie, 10, and Emma, seven

Four days to go…

‘If your children are out of their usual bedtime routine, start getting back into it during the last week of the holidays, and gradually bring their getting-up time forward by setting an alarm each day so it’s not too much of a shock at the start of term.’
Tracey, mum to Libby, eight, and Noah, six

Three days to go…

‘Do an online shop so you don’t have to drag the children round the supermarket to buy lunchbox essentials.’
Helen, mum to Kirsty and Rebecca

‘Check that you can find your child’s school coat, school bag, PE bag, lunchbox and drinks bottle – if you can’t, you’ve still got time to dash out and buy emergency replacements.’
Sarah, mum to Joshua, five

Two days to go…

‘I always wash and iron a set of both summer and winter uniform so we’re prepared whatever the weather on the first day of term.’
Julie, mum to Daniel, 12, and Rosie, seven

One day to go…

‘Make packed lunches the night before: one less thing to do on the first busy morning of term.’
Elaine, mum to Katie and Emma

‘I will lay the children’s uniform out in their bedrooms before they go to sleep, right down to their underwear and shoes, so we don’t have any fuss about not being able to find things in the morning.’
Evelyn, mum to Aiden, five, Troy, three, and Caleb, one

‘Make sure you do something really fun on the last day of the holidays. Don’t just sit at home playing computer games, as you can guarantee that no matter where you’ve been and what you’ve done over the summer, your children will write about playing on the computer as their holiday news!’
Gill, mum to Theo and Sebastian

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