Category Archives: School

Are our schools too strict on personal style?


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Our children are barely in the school gates  before the usual start of school stories appear in the newspapers. Children sent home for the wrong hair colour or style, issues over jewellery and even one complaining their child is not allowed to vape (what the!) in school.

How do you feel about school dictating about what your child does with their hair etc? Are they within their right and preparing them for real life to do so or oppressing personal expression and style?

We asked mums what they thought about this and they have some pretty strong opinions on this:

I’d say schools are right to do so – uniforms and dress codes are set out from the start and school isn’t a place for personal expression and style – they can do that at the weekends. When I worked at a business school for teenagers, our students were always a lot more productive when they dressed appropriately and professionally. Plus they’re representing the school.  Emma Ward

I think that school uniform is a way of building community and reducing distractions so learning can be focused upon. School uniform is set out before you start a school, if you don’t want to comply with the rules then don’t choose that school or home educate. There’s plenty of time to express yourself through your appearance outside school. If you want an extreme haircut have it done as soon as you break for Summer to give it time to wash or grow out by the start of the new school year. Pippa Ainsworth

Whilst am a believer in inexpensive school uniform the issue I have about hair colour is that that is a way for teens to express themselves and colouring their hair is probably the least offensive way of them rebelling..i think my kids school has it about right…its not about total conformity but about wearing their uniform and not being offensive…they focus on behaviour not hair colour …teens need a bit of individuality in order to become thinking adults that don’t follow the mob. Jane Smith

I firmly dislike the increasing rigidity of school uniform rules and the addition of banning certain hair colouring and hair styles makes it even worse. Especially feel this for secondary school age, as this is the time when they are truly discovering and exploring their individuality and forcing them to restrain and cloister this is potentially dangerous to their emotional development.

I personally enjoyed taking the school uniform rules to their absolute limits in order to express my own personality at school and I feel that the ability to do is this is disappearing. I had either very short skirts or really long swaying skirts, often wore a waistcoat over a flowing untucked white shirt and I would always have a colourful bag and/or scarf, because there weren’t any rules about them! My hair was only ever hennaed at school, but I did also have cornrows once. we didn’t have uniform in the sixth form, which was wonderful!

I think the important thing about school is actually learning stuff and developing, and school uniform doesn’t help in any way toward this.

Currently starting to look at secondary schools for Rosemary who has just started Year 5. The local girls grammar put me off immediately when reading its prospectus, because it talked almost entirely about the uniform and decorum and didn’t seem to have any policy about teaching them anything. The local comprehensive (and a further afield grammar, to be fair) on the other hand, while mentioning the uniform briefly, talked about the variety of learning (and extra curricular) experiences on offer and about helping the students to develop and grow their own individuality. That (for me) is way, way, way more important than being able to wear the clothes you’ve been ordered to wear.

(Given the choice – and I know not everyone has that – I would never, ever, ever choose to work somewhere with a uniform, though I will wear clothes appropriate to the situation, while retaining some ability to express my individuality – scarves and bags are still a popular choice for me there!) Tasha Goddard

I believe that kids should be allowed to express their individualism, but within confirms dictated by parents and the school. I encourage the boys to decorate their bags, coats, books etc. Maxi has long hair and always has, even though the school would prefer it not to be below collar length. (We informed then that when they introduced the same for girls then he would get it cut). What bothers me is the shoes etc. If they are all black then what is the issue? There is plenty of time for my children to confirm when they are adults, as children they are just finding themselves and this should be encouraged.  Jen Walshaw

Children go to school to learn. I don’t think the schools should be making such a big deal about children’s appearances. There is enough shallow focus on people’s appearances in the world, without schools adding to it. Rules which are there for a reason, I appreciate. For example, a girl under 16 wearing a skirt which is too short or having too many shirt buttons undone, should not be allowed, as the school has a duty to protect those children. High heels, I can understand those not being allowed as children’s feet are still growing and also because they can cause injuries and hazards. I also understand that children need to learn about conformity and uniforms to ready them for the workplace. But how a child wears their hair? What type of buckle they have on their shoe? That borders on stupid in my opinion. I think children should be allowed to express their individuality.

I went to a very strict secondary school and they had rules they couldn’t back up with reasoning. Therefore I learnt to loathe authority and went to school breaking as many rules as I could – black nail varnish, Green Day hoody instead of school jumper, Eyebrow piercing without a plaster over it, makeup, heels, flares.

If there’s reasoning behind the rules, then those rules should be respected. If there’s no reasoning and the school just want to repress the children’s individuality… then that’s not acceptable in my opinion. Emma Day

Every year the same stories come out … It’s clearly in school policy if you don’t want to follow the school rules find a different school! Sarah Windsor- Hughes

What do you think?

How We Are Going to Stay Organised This School Year


How We Are Going to Stay Organised This

We promise every September to be organised for school and well by the second week it is all out of the window.

This year we mean it and this is how:

The Night Before

We started doing this last year and really helped. It’s so simple get it all ready the night before! Lay out clothes, older children can do this themselves. Make pack lunches before bed. Check shoes, bags and coats are in the right place.

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place

Set up school areas, where all the school things go. We have hooks just for school bags and coats and shoes go underneath. As it gets colder we have a basket with hats and gloves so they can grab and go.  We also have a hair basket with detangling spray, hair bands and a brush.

When they get home from school coats, bags, shoes etc go into the school area. Lunch boxes and water bottles go in the kitchen.

Check Book Bags Daily

Once the children have out their bags away I check through for any letters (and rubbish). I try to deal with everything straight away. Letters that need signing and/or money get filled in and out straight back ready for the next day. Any special dates get put on the calendar so I don’t forget anything. Schools are notorious for giving you a days’ notice for a dress up day etc so make sure you check those bags!

Get a Calendar

And use it! Buy or print off our free 2015 calendar and stick on the wall or fridge and use it. There will be countless charity days, dress up days and other events you will need to remember. We have one on my fridge and I check it daily for anything coming up.

Weekly Schedule

Weekly School Schedule

Last year we produced a weekly school schedule and it has been invaluable. It works really well with the main monthly calendar.  It has a column for homework, school clubs, lunch, P.E, school trips and any other events. We print a new one on a Sunday ready for the week ahead. It’s so handy to glance at the week and see what’s going. It also helps with getting ready the night before. You can quickly see if you need P.E kit, pack lunch or if they need to take cardboard boxes in! We have a mix of packed lunches and school meals and I would never remember without this.

Meal Plan

You know we love a meal plan, its goes out of the window in the summer but we back at it next week. Its saves so much time and effort if you know what you will be cooking each day. We check it each night (can you see a theme) and then get anything out of the freezer than needs defrosting and make a list of any ingredients that we may need.

 Its great waking up in the morning and having a plan in mind for the day, even if it doesn’t all go right!

How do you stay organised?

Follow Wendy’s board Back to school on Pinterest.

#WinningWednesday Linky – Win A Vosene Back To School Back Pack


Win A Vosene Back To School Back Pack

With the kids going back to school soon it’s time to think about stocking up on the essentials. Vosene Kids 3in1 Conditioning Shampoo and Conditioning Defence Spray work together to clean, condition and detangle your child’s hair, as well as containing natural ingredients to help prevent head lice. Say hello to happy hair for them and a less stressful morning for you!

We have one Vosene Kids Back to School Back Pack to give away including – Vosene Kids 3in1 Conditioning Shampoo and Defence Spray, Ruck Sack, Pencil Case and £10 Tesco Voucher.

Vosene Kids 3in1 Conditioning Shampoo (RRP £2.54, 250ml) and Vosene Kids Conditioning Defence Spray (RRP £2.54, 150ml) are found in the children’s shampoo aisles in high street supermarkets and chemists. For more information and advice on keeping kids hair healthy visit www.vosene.co.uk/nitwatch.

To enter follow the instructions in the widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you have a giveaway ending in August or September leave a link in the linky below and we will share it every #winningwednesday with on our social media accounts and pin on Pinterest.

Free Printable Weekly School Schedule


The children are back at school soon and before you know it your days will be filled with homework, lunches and after school clubs. It can be hard to keep up with it all so we have designed this weekly school schedule for you.

Print it off weekly or if you have a laminater just one copy that you can wipe off each week. There is space for homework, PE, lunches (my daughter is having a mixture of hot dinners and pack lunches),  after school clubs, trips and any other school events.

We really hope this is helpful and keeps you organised!

Weekly School Schedule

Download here

Back To School Essentials


It’s not long now until the children are back at school. Have you got everything you need? Don’t worry Kids One Stop Shop have you covered!

Here are some of the back to school essentials we can help you with:

Back To School Essentials

Top Row

Personalised School Name Label Bag Luggage Suitcase Tag £3.50

StickEasy’s Name Tags for Children’s Clothing School Uniform £8.95

Express Sew on Woven Name Tapes Labels School Uniforms £7

Printed Iron On Name Tapes Clothes Labels Tags School Uniform £8.95

Second Row

Little Grippers Stay Up School Socks £4

Personalised Lunchbox (with allergy warning)£15

Personalised Book Bag £7.50

Kids Plastic Waterbottle £8.50

Third Row

Yumbox Lunchbox in Pomme Green £24.95

Beatrix New York Big Pack £45

Beatrix New York Lunch Box £29.50

Personalised Hi Viz Safety Vest £5

Bottom Row

‘My School Days’ Memory Book £28

Red lunchbox with cartoon £14.99

Shoe Label Covers £1

Dinosaur Personalised PE Bag £8