Secondary school stationery checklist
At primary school, your child was probably provided with all the stationery supplies and books they needed. But once they move to secondary school, they'll be expected to have their own set of stationery and bring it to lessons with them.
Your child's new school will provide you with a list of the uniform and equipment they need for starting Year 7, and if you're lucky, that will include their stationery requirements. But if not, our checklist will help you ensure they're well equipped for their first day and beyond.
If you're still unsure what to buy and can't get hold of anyone from the school, try asking a friend with an older child who goes to the same school: they're usually the most reliable source of information!
Pens, pencils etc
- Generously sized pencil case
- Blue or black rollerball pens/biros: buy in bulk and have at least two in your pencil case at a time
- Handwriting pen or fountain pen (with extra cartridges if needed)
- Highlighters: ideally four different colours
- HB pencils: buy in bulk
- Pencil sharpener
- 30cm ruler (folding ones take less space and are less likely to snap)
- Ink eraser or correction fluid
- 2B pencils
- 4B pencils
- Set of colouring pencils
- Glue stick
- 360-degree protractor
- Set square
- Scientific calculator (some schools want kids to have a specific model, so check before you buy)
English/modern and foreign language supplies
- English dictionary
- English thesaurus
- Dictionary for each foreign language studied
NB: you may want to wait until term starts to buy these. Schools often have a preferred edition of dictionary and thesaurus, and some have them for sale at discount prices.
- Memory stick
General stationery supplies
- A4 ring binder or lever arch file
- A4 subject divider cards
- A4 punched pockets
- Hole punch
- Spiral bound jotter
- Clear sticky back plastic for covering exercise books (stock up on this as you're likely to go through a number of rolls!)
Exercise books and other books such as homework diaries are usually provided so it's best to wait until term starts before buying your child their own.
More starting secondary advice for parents and children
BBC Bitesize has a range of starting secondary school resources offering support and information about all aspects of secondary school life, from a typical day in Year 7 to tips on navigating a huge secondary school.