7 Ways to Be Ready For Back To School
2 months ago
Just like that, summer’s almost over and it’s time for back to school! What can be an exciting time - especially for those who are new starters - can also be very stressful once the reality hits of how much there is to prepare. Well don’t worry, we’ve compiled a checklist of the 7 key things to remember to help you get ready for the first week back at school. From getting your school uniform sorted to making that first bus journey to school, we hope this checklist will make the back to school transition much easier and stress-free.
You’ve probably got this sorted by now - but make sure you’ve got everything! Check that what you’ve bought is in line with the school’s dress code and see if there are any extra purchases you could make such as a school jumper for the cold winter season or perhaps a pair of trousers as well as a skirt. Make sure you’ve got their P.E kit sorted along with suitable shoes, and if they partake in any extracurricular activities such as swimming or hockey; is there any other bits you need to buy? Get the kids prepared for later this year when it gets chilly in the autumn and wintertime, and ensure that they’ve got a warm coat and extras like a hat, scarf and gloves.
We recommended labelling all of your child’s clothes to avoid anything getting mixed up or lost, it’s cheap to buy iron-on labels and they’ll do the job just perfectly.
2. School Supplies
Celebrate the new school year by getting some fresh school supplies that will help your child’s work look neat and fun! You can find stationery supplies like pens and pencils in plenty of shops at very good prices, along with highlighters and felt tips that will encourage the kids to get creative with their work. Make sure your child’s got a big enough bag for school and one that will support not only their belongings but also their shoulders, there are plenty of bags available out there with padding on the back and shoulders. Other useful bits to grab are a USB stick for those wanting to complete any work at home, a water bottle so they can stay hydrated throughout the day, a planner (if not provided by their school) so they can plan and stay on top of their work, and lastly a lunch box; this is great for the younger ones to keep them organised for lunchtime.
3. Term Dates and Contact Information
Term time can be very hectic and hard to keep on top of at times, so as your child starts school it’s a good idea to get your child’s school’s calendar (you can usually easily find these on the school website or they may have been sent out to you) and ensure that any key dates are noted down and planned for - you don’t want to be missing events like sports day! Also, make sure that you have all of the relevant contact information for your child’s school so that you know who to ring and on what number should your child have to call in sick or just in general if there’s ever a problem.
4. Vaccinations and Appointments
As you send your child back to school where they’re going to be in contact with many other kids, ensure that they’re up to date with any vaccinations they may still need so that they stay healthy throughout the school year. It’s also a good idea to get any check-ups out of the way whether it be at the dentist or opticians at the start so that they don’t run into any problems during the school year.
5. Establishing a Routine
At the end of a long, fun-filled summer, bedtime routines can end up slightly out of sync after the kids have been going to sleep late at night and then waking up late in the morning! Rather than reverting back to their old bedtime quickly and hoping for the best, the safest option is to start getting them back into a routine now. This way, come the first week back at school, they won’t find it as hard getting up in the morning and they’ll have plenty of energy to get them through the school day!
6. Planning for School Lunches
If your child is taking a packed lunch to school then a good idea is to start planning what kind of things they’ll enjoy, saving the stress of rushing around trying to make them something in the morning. This way you can also make sure they’re eating some healthy options as opposed to just junk food! Discuss with your child what they’d like to take for their lunch each week and then prepare for it before the week starts. Packed lunches will have never been so easy!
7. Getting to School
Now that everyone’s prepared for back to school; the time has come to actually go there! For those starting high school and getting the bus on their own - a lot of whom will be doing so on their own for the first time - we understand that it can be very daunting. There’s no need to worry, though, as travelling with Blackpool Transport couldn’t be safer or easier!
First, you’ll need to see which bus your child should get to school. Their school might already have transport information available indicating which services serve the school or the area, and you might already have an idea of local bus routes, but either way be sure to check our bus journey planner or download the app on the App Store or Google Play. Just type in your location and the school and it will show you the quickest and easiest way to get there.
Once you’ve decided which bus service to use, start looking further into the timetables and plan which which bus times are suitable and will get your child to school in good time (please ensure that they leave plenty of time to get to school because although we try and accurately follow the timetables, traffic conditions - especially during peak times - are out of our control.)
Tickets and Fares
Now your child knows which bus to catch to school, it’s time to decide which ticket option is right for them. As they’ll most likely be using the bus 5 days a week - and maybe even on weekends when they become more comfortable using our buses - the best bet is for them to purchase either a weekly or monthly saver ticket. The 7-day child ticket starts from £8.00 on our app (or £8.50 everywhere else) and the 30-day child ticket starts from £28.00 on our app (or £29.50 everywhere else). These can either be purchased on the Blackpool Transport app, at a PayPoint outlet, at the Blackpool Transport Customer Centre or on the vehicle (please note that the 30-day saver ticket can’t be purchased on the vehicle.)
Should your child wish to purchase a saver ticket on the vehicle, all they have to do is ask the driver or conductor for the ticket they want and then pay the amount. The driver will give them their ticket and then all they have to do from there is keep the ticket safe and show it to the bus driver or tram conductor each time they board one of our services.
If your child is only going to be using one of our services a couple of times during the week or even just as a one-off then they may just choose to purchase a one-way single fare or a 24-hour ticket which starts at £2.70. All your child has to do is let the bus driver or tram conductor know which stop they wish to get off at and then pay the fare or ask for a 24-hour ticket - the 24-hour ticket can also be purchased on the Blackpool Transport app!
Please know that when a ticket is purchased on the app for the first time, your child’s account will have to be verified before they can use the ticket. You’ll need to pop into the Blackpool Transport Customer Centre and bringing proof of age - verification only has to be done once and after that, your child is then free to purchase and use tickets.
Getting On and Off the Bus
Once your child understands their ticket options, it’s time to actually board one of our buses! This part’s easy - when they get to the bus stop (which we advise they get to at least 5 minutes before the time stated on the timetable) and see the bus coming, they should stick their arm out (being careful of any oncoming traffic) so that the bus driver will see clearly and stop for them. Once on the bus, your child should then either show their ticket or pay for their fare and then go and take a seat. Should that particular bus be busy, room to stand is available. If your child needs to stand on the bus then they should do so by standing in a safe place - not past the driver’s cab - and holding on firmly. Please ensure that your child understands that they should give up their seat to a priority user such as those who are elderly, disabled or with a buggy if there are no seats available for them when they board the bus.
If your child needs to get the tram at some point in their journey then they shouldn’t worry as it’s very similar to catching the bus. They should, again, get to the tram stop in plenty of time and once they see the tram oncoming they should stand on the platform in clear view so that the tram driver knows to stop for them. Once they’re on the tram they should take a seat, once again following the practice of standing in a safe place and giving up seats to priority users should the tram be full. The conductor will come to your child to check their ticket or collect their fare. Once the bus or tram is nearing the stop your child wishes to get off at to get to school, they should press the stop button and wait until the vehicle has come to a stop before standing up to alight the bus. Knowing which stop to get off at might be quite nerve-wracking at first for your child, but it couldn’t be easier as most of our services are now equipped with stop announcements which will notify your child of the next stop.
It is advisable to take your child on a few practice runs of catching the bus or tram just so they can become familiar with getting on and off the vehicle as well as getting to know the bus route. Doing this a few days before they go alone will help to reduce those nerves as they’ll have ticked off one thing they were probably worrying about!
It goes without saying that the first day of school can be a scary time for new starters, but we hope that these tips will help to calm the first week nerves and make the start of this new experience for them much smoother and less daunting.