The holidays are slowly drawing to a close, and for most thoughts of organization for the coming scholastic year start to come into mind. Have we got all the right uniform and sizing? Have we finished the reading list and organized all the new necessary books? Have the school run schedules been finalized? Suddenly you realize that holidays have very little shelf life, and that calm warm fuzzy feeling we had on the beach is starting to fade into a distant memory. So to help ease us all into the transition from ‘rest mode’ to ‘super mum’ we are lucky enough to have Tori Cadogan, editor of Tatler Schools, as our special contributor this issue giving us her “Back To School’ Edit focusing on boarding schools.
As the Summer holidays draw to a close, along with many other parents I feel my heart strings tightening at the thought of my children going back to school. Summers are such a blissful time of fun, happiness and lazy days, it’s hard to drag ourselves back into the routine of schools runs, homework and after school clubs. For many of our children September will also bring new adventures as they start their journeys at their next school. Being the new pupil is never easy, but starting boarding for the first time can feel particularly worrisome so here are my top tips to try and make the transition as smooth as possible:
1. Take up every opportunity to familiarise yourself with your future school. If they’re hosting a ‘get to know you’ BBQ, sleep over or familiarisation day make sure your child can attend. At these events gently suggest the children set up an Insta or WhatsApp group so that they can start chatting and form bonds with their future classmates. Sometimes in senior school there can be less communication amongst parents than in prep school, but I’d suggest trying to set up a WhatsApp group for parents so that you can discuss what time everyone is arriving on the first day, who’s packing what and of course, teachers’ gifts.
2. Try and arrange a few play dates during the Summer before your child starts so they have a number of familiar faces to greet them. Connect with friends who have children in older years and ask if they’d kindly keep an eye out for your child as this can really help.
3. The first few weeks are essential for settling in and making new friends – this is definitely not the time to fly in late from holiday! Try and let your child settle without calling them every day. Make sure they know you’re always there for them but let them call you, not the other way round. In truth they will be incredibly busy as schools lay on an enormous amount of activities to help pupils settle in so they may not have time to call and chat. Don’t be offended, just be happy that they’re busy having a great time.
4. Be prepared to feel bereft when they leave. It’s often harder on those left behind than the children setting off. Plan spa days, meet ups with friends and other favourite activities to help you not to dwell on your empty home and aching heart.
5. It’s important to make your child’s area of their dorm as cosy and home-like as possible. Print lots of photos and take along lots of drawing pins and blu tack as every dorm has pin boards. Always buy a mattress topper – John Lewis and the White Company have a great selection. Also take a home duvet and pillow if you’re allowed as they’re so much softer and cosier. Make sure you buy a fab duvet cover to individualise their space – Urban Outfitters are popular, as are White Company. Children maybe allowed to bring a bedside light too – Oliver Bonas has some fun ones.
6. The days of giant trunks are now discouraged (may your backs rejoice), but everyone still has a gorgeous mini trunk for tuck. Wolf and Badger have some fun ones or Tuck Online can personalise them for you.
7. Finally don’t let the prospect of imminent boarding dampen your last few weeks of the holidays – enjoy every second! The vast majority of pupils have a wonderful time at boarding school, settling in quickly, making friends for life and immersing themselves into the exciting activities on offer.
STORCX What is the best present you have ever gotten?
TC My best ever present is my horse Paddy. He’s now a bit of an elderly Irish plod, but he never fails to make me smile and our hacks in the Oxfordshire countryside are the best way I know to clear my head.
Here at STORCX we know the market is so over crowded with gadgets, and gimmicks when it comes to children and prepping for school. So we thought we would assist on our guide for the best buy in our key categories based on tried and tested items, that are best for the environment and best for getting those parental ‘cool points’
STORCX GUIDE TO THE BEST OF CHILDREN’S NECESSITIES FOR SEPT 2019
BEST FOOD BOXES & COOL BAG
Look no further that Stuck On You’s Bentorriffic lunch Boxes. Not only are these snazzy little boxes re-usable as eco friendly, they have 6 compartments, removable seal lids and are dishwasher safe. You can also add the personalized cooler bag which is the perfect was to transport your bento box and keep things fresh. Pick from an array of designs and personalization options.
BEST WATER BOTTLES
The wonderful little gem that is Etsy offers the perfect personalized water bottle option. Available in array of colors for girls or boys and with a choice of fun fonts to write their name They hold up to 500ml or either cold drink, which will stay cold for up to 12 hours or a nice hot drink, which will stay hot for up to 8.
BEST FOR LABELS AND STICKERS
The outstanding winner for years and years and that never disappoints is the magic of Tinyme. Tinyme offers the most fun and fantastic labels, from stick in name lables, to iron on clothing labels from round to square to small to large and with a wide range of fun motifs for boys and girls this has to be the go to site for all your labeling needs!
BEST SCHOOL SHOES
Picking a school shoe is always a rather dull task given we have to stick close to the uniform code and we want them to be comfortable and easy to take on and off. To go slightly outside the fold we love Papouelli’s Charlie shoe for boys & The Millie Shoes for girls. The Millie is new in patent this year and offers a chic option for staying within the code but with a little extra something special. It has a cute little buckle, and gives lots of support to a narrow foot.
BEST PENCIL CASES
We are back raving about Stuck on You super sleek an efficient ‘Back to School Kit”.https://www.stuckonyou.uk/school-kit This super cool case includes a range of stationery items which are individually printed with your child’s full name. Everything fits neatly into a quality canvas pencil case that you can personalise with a fun, original design. Having your child’s name printed on their school supplies not only looks stylish but also means they are less likely to go missing.
You cannot escape the Micro scooter range as the running favorite. Tried and tested there really is no other ruling scooter that shines quite as bright! The maxi micro deluxe foldable scooter is our all time fave. This is a one-click folding maestro that makes carrying and storing a breeze. Lightweight – for popping on the shoulder between rides (using their smart carry strap). Compact – for sliding in the boot. Slick mechanism – for seamless folding and opening on the go.
Egg Helmets are by far the coolest and safest helmets on the market. Your child can have so much fun and let their personality shine by customizing the colour, fun attachment, and skin – the will be zipping into school with a smile in their face!
AUGUST GIFTING IDEAS
After such a long summer break and switch off, we often feel the start of a new school year is in fact a fresh start for all of us and the best time to get organized, so there is no better time to gift items that help someone acheive this. For her, our favorite is the Smythson mid year diary, where you can choose from a selection of colors and sizes and a wide range of personalization options. A new work handbag never disappoints, we love the……… MARESCA. For him lif your feeling extravagant, ook no further than our personal favourite, the Prada Saffiano Cuir Leather briefcase in black or for something more simple you cannot go wrong with a Montblanc Pen, we adore the Montblanc Meisterstück Gold Classique Ballpoint Pen & Sleeve.
We are thrilled to announce STORCX has been nominated for the second year running for The Good Web Guide Awards 2019, in the categories for Best Start Up, Most Useful & Luxury. This is a huge accolade for us to have and this year we are determined to win! Please can we ask for your support, just click on the link! http://www.thegoodwebguide.co.uk/votefor/storcx
STORCX AUGUST EVENTS
All through August, The Royal Albert Hall, Knightsbridge SW7, London
Enjoy the summer season of the proms, a daily orchestral classical music concert.
Prudential Ride London
3rd & 4th August Central London
Developed by the Mayor of London and his agencies in 2013, Prudential Ride London is the world’s greatest festival of cycling. It provides a fantastic platform to help fulfil The Mayor and TfL’s goal of encouraging more people to cycle more safely, more often.
August, London South Bank, WC1
Make the most of the glorious weather by visiting The Pop-Up Underbelly Festival at London Southbank, bringing you world class entertainment right in the heart of London. Packed to the brim with all new Family Fest, Underbelly Lates, Podcast Live, and the best live circus, cabaret, comedy and music.
Notting Hill Carnival
24-26th August, Notting Hill London, W11
Notting Hill Carnival is Europe’s biggest street festival. The celebrations happen every August bank holiday weekend. See the colourful carnival parade passing through the streets of west London celebrating Caribbean culture, artistic talents and creativity; enhancement of community spirit and innovative platforms embracing cultural diversity.
Remember Keep Life Simple – #storcxit xx