Uniform planning for primary school

Primary school places are announced on 18th April this year. Whether it’s time for your first-born to head off to Reception or you’re a seasoned pro at it, now’s the time to start to prepare them for September.

Here’s our guide to easing them into it and what school uniform you’ll need.


Settling nerves

The first day at primary school can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for parents and children but there are things you can do to get prepared for the big event. CBeebies has some great tips to help.

Once you’ve got confirmation of which school your child will be going to, start to talk to them regularly about it. You can tell them the name of the school, and once you get closer to the big day, tell them the name of their teacher and even go for a walk to show them where they’ll be going in the new school year.

Getting a new school uniform can be a nice way to introduce school life to your child. Going shopping together to buy their uniform, school shoes and accessories like lunchboxes and water bottles can be a fun experience for them.

When they try their uniform on, get them to practise fastening and unfastening buttons and zips when they are in school; it’ll be easier when they need to go to the toilet or get changed for PE.


What do I need to buy?

First off, always check your school’s uniform policy for specific requirements. This can usually be found on the school’s website or starter pack.

Before starting to shop for school uniform, we recommend making a list based on the uniform guidelines produced by your child’s school. Make sure you take a note of what items are compulsory and which are optional.

It’s best to split the uniform needs into categories, then you can sort what you can buy now and what you can buy nearer the time.


How many of each item should I buy?

This depends on how often you’ll be washing the garment, how dirty it might get, and your budget. Little kids are much more likely to get their clothes dirty regularly, while teenagers mainly need to be reminded to put their uniform in the wash.


Daily uniform

These will be your most used items, and will endure the most wear and tear, so it’s best to have some spares.

  • 5 x school polos/tops – these bear the brunt of the school day and will most likely get food and dirt down them
  • 5 x school jumpers/cardigans – kids often take these off when they get too hot, or use them for goalposts in the playground, so it’s always best to have spares as they may end up in lost property!
  • 2 x ties – if your primary school has ties, keep a spare
  • 3 x trousers or skirts – a good rule of thumb is one to wash, one to wear and one in the drawer.


Outdoor wear

  • 1 x warm winter coat – investing in a good quality coat will see your child keep warm throughout the winter. You can buy a waterproof one or add a rain mac too for warm wet days
  • Woolly hat, scarf and gloves – it’s important to keep kids’ extremities warm in winter when they’re playing outside during breaks
  • 1 x pair of shoes – a sturdy pair of school shoes should see your children through the school year.


PE Kit

PE lessons in primary schools usually only take place once or twice a week so you should be fine with just one of each of the following: PE top, shorts/skort, joggers/leggings, and two pairs of PE socks. Add on a pair of trainers (check with your school about what’s acceptable) and an item of swimwear. Keep everything in a designated PE bag.



Here’s where your children can inject a little more of their own personality into their uniform. Make sure they have a re-useable water bottle and school book bag (a rucksack is best for little ones) and if they’re taking a packed lunch, treat them to a nice new lunch box of their choice.

Finally, don’t forget your name tape! If clothing ends up in lost property, you’ll need to be able to identify what belongs to your children. It’s even worth marking shoes as they can get mixed up too.