Back to the classroom in what must be one of weirdest years | Kelly Brown

Questions about inset days or if lunch boxes are allowed ... something tells me it’s almost time for the school bell to ring!

Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 1:32 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd September 2020, 1:34 pm
Schools ready to welcome youngsters back into the classroom (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Over the next week or so children in England and Wales will follow their counterparts in Scotland and Northern Ireland by returning to the classroom, many for the first time since March, writes Kelly Brown.

So, for a lot of parents, it has been that last dash to the shops to buy new school shoes, tops or jumpers in what can only be described as one of the weirdest back to schools ever!

Now luckily – or not depending on who you ask! – my two children had already gone back to school toward the end of the last academic year, which I think forced me to be more organised than I intended to be this year.

New uniforms (including shoes) were brought just before they broke up for the summer holidays as both of them, rather inconveniently, decided to have a growth spurt at the same time. Must be something I feed them!

I timed my son’s last trip to the barber to avoid the need to rush a visit this week. And I’ve carefully studied the map telling me which school gate I need to use. and when. in one of the most bizarre memos the poor school has ever had to send out.

And, as they are not allowed to bring in bags or lunch boxes for the moment, there is nothing else I can do ... I think!

So I’ve been merrily feeling super organised and awaiting for what is weirdly the favourite part of the back to school routine ... waiting for the first person to ask when the children actually go back to school.

And, Eureka, it has happened! Posts have finally been put on the parents’ Facebook page, asking when they go back, amazement expressed at the discovery that there are inset days at the beginning of the school year.

It is something that still amazes me as school holidays and inset days are always the first thing on my calendar, mostly because it means that I don’t have to plan what holiday club, friend or relative is looking after them while I’m at work.

But this year’s parents’ group questions have taken even more of a twist as parents discover their little ones left their PE kits at school six months ago, have lost the email with the name of their children’s new class teacher, or are debating the merits of packing lunches in clean plastic bags each day rather than lunch boxes.

2020 is a strange year indeed!