School | Back To School, For The First Time Ever

I never got to take Toby to his first ever day at nursery. Jamie and I were away but I remember that all I could think about was how could my tiny 2 and a quarter year old be going off for the afternoon? And do you know what? There were no tears from anyone. Toby and I both know how comfortable he is around new people. He’s really independent, unbelievably sociable (as in he will talk to anyone, I mean anyone… he must get that from his Pop), and incredibly confident. Some might say that’s a bit of a negative but it means that if he goes to a new place, a new class, a new anything… it’s as though he’s at home surrounded by people he’s known his whole life.

This is why I know that when Toby starts school in September he’ll have absolutely no problems going in and staying for the whole day. On his first ever taster session his teacher told me that his first word when he walked into the classroom was ‘woooow’ and I think that says it all. Despite knowing he’ll be just fine we have a mountain of new purchases to make considering it’s the first time I’ve ever had a child who’ll be going ‘back to school’. In reception year, they hardly need everything a year 5/6 pupil will need but it doesn’t mean that the initial costs will be minimal. Here’s how we’ll be doing ‘back to school’ for Toby in September.

Back To School – School Uniform

Toby’s school has a logo on their uniform and, after speaking to other mums whose children attend, it’s meant to be worth the money. In fact, I was quite surprised at how cheap the items were to be honest. I know you ‘can’ get them cheaper, but you are effectively paying for the logo and I think, for the first year at least, I’d really like him to have that.

M&S, Asda and Tesco usually have some great deals in the run up to the school period, as I have found, but I’ve decided to invest in the uniform with the logo for now – well, the jumper and t-shirt at least. I’ll be buying shorts as well as trousers as you can guarantee September will be the hottest month of the year at this rate and I don’t want Toby going back to school all bundled up for Winter, so it’ll be nice to have the options.

Back To School – Jake Shoes

I’ve got to be honest, I’m actually dreading sending Toby somewhere in actual shoes. I have lots of memories of my brothers wearing hole upon hole into their shoes after our parents had spent a small fortune. I just know that Toby’s first ever year at school is going to be a huge learning curve and knowing what shoes will fare over the coming months is something only time will tell.

I recently came across Jake Shoes’* school shoes and was really impressed with the range. They’re a specialist in children’s shoes and stock names like ‘Kickers’ and ‘Geox’ as well as some other well known, but more casual, brands such as ‘Lelli Kelly’ and ‘Converse’.

jake shoes review school shoes kickers reasan strap velcro kids back to school reception

I knew that I didn’t want Toby to have laces as we’re nowhere near teaching him how to do them so that whittled the selection down to velcro which is something he can do. I then considered how wide I thought the shoe would be, or at least how flexible the material was, because Toby has quite wide feet. Style followed after that and we came up with the Jake Shoes are mostly an online store shoe in black.

Kickers are a household name and are known for being well made, hard wearing, classic and comfortable and, despite being a little bit pricier than some other shoes, you know you can almost guarantee they’ll last longer than one term. When they turned up I was seriously impressed as they were literally everything I had looked for. The quality of the leather is second to none and are really comfortable inside. I think they’re very forgiving for width and the leather is nice and soft so hopefully they won’t rub either. I’ll still get Toby to wear them in a bit with socks over the Summer holidays though.

jake shoes review school shoes kickers reasan strap velcro kids back to school reception

They look, and feel, durable and have a great sole on them so you know the bottoms won’t wear down easily or quickly. In true Kickers style one shoe has a red motif and the other a green one which will be really helpful when Toby puts them back on at school himself; he’ll be able to tell the left from the right. Most of all, they are actual proper school shoes for my baby little boy! Now we’ll have to wait and see if they last.

Jake Shoes are mostly an online store but do have two high street stores, one in Manchester and the other in Stockport – neither of which are anywhere near us. When buying through the Jakes Shoes website everything was easily filtered, you could find what you were looking for and the descriptions were very thorough. Delivery was incredibly quick and, I’m sure, if any returns or queries needed to be sorted that they would be super efficient. I’ve gone from not hearing of Jake Shoes before to putting them top of my list when shopping for the boys. They have some great ranges and, from what I can tell, they are true to size. They are truly quality without any compromise.

There’s a chance for you to win £50 to spend on the Jake Shoes website at the bottom!

jake shoes review school shoes kickers reasan strap velcro kids back to school reception

Back To School – A New Coat

One thing we’ll definitely have to get Toby is a new coat. I think we’ve got enough lightweight jackets to see us through the cooler days but he will eventually need a ‘big coat’. Next has always been my ‘go to’ when it comes to coats. While their sizes are a little generous the quality is brilliant and they’ve always seen us through.

I’ll probably wait until it’s a bit closer to the colder weather as he may have grown by then and, who knows, there may even be a bit of a sale on!

Back To School – PE Kit

One thing I hadn’t really thought of was sports wear but I guess that these costs will be much less than actual school uniform. I’ve decided to purchase t-shirts with the school logo on for Toby’s P.E kit but we have a couple of pairs of black shorts here that he’ll get some wear out of yet so at least we don’t have to buy any of those.

The only other thing I think we’ll need is some kind of plimsoll, any idea where you get those from these days? I thought they’d been done with plimsolls now, but apparently not! When I eventually track them down they’ll be slip on ones or easy velcro ones similar to his shoes. I’m sure P.E will be one of Toby’s favourite lessons given his need to burn as much energy as possible along with his physical capabilities.

Back To School – Paw Patrol School Bag

I used to be one of those mums who swore her children would never wear or have anything that was character based. Fast forward almost 4 years and here we are with a rather lovely Sambro Paw Patrol backpack that I know is Toby’s pride and joy.

back to school reception first day paw patrol backpack wipe clean

This bag is super spacious and while I know that reception children don’t necessarily need anything other than their book bag, it’s always handy to pop a lunchbox in, or their PE kit. The adjustable straps mean that Toby can transport it to and from school himself – hopefully we’ll be scootering, biking or walking to school as we won’t live very far away – and he can have this on his back without it getting in the way.

The face of it is Paw Patrol themed with the rest of the bag in blue or red; the front is also wipe clean. There’s only one zip pocket which runs across the top of the bag and you’ll find you can fit in some rather lovely stationery to get them off to a good start; ours is filled with a Paw Patrol notebook, pencil case and a five piece stationery set. It says it’s suitable from 36 months but Teddy would happily walk around with this and he’s two!

back to school reception first day paw patrol backpack wipe clean

I think that’s about it for his reception year. There may be more things that’ll need buying throughout the year but these are definitely the only things we need to be thinking about right now. What did you buy for your little ones for their reception year?

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Terms And Conditions

  • This competition will open on 3rd August and will close on 20th August at 11.59pm
  • One winner will be selected at random.
  • One winner will receive £50 to spend online at Jake Shoes
  • UK residents only
  • No cash alternative will be offered
  • The winners will be announced on Raising the Rings social media outlets, not the blog and will be contacted by email
  • The winner will have 28 days to respond to their winner’s email.

*These products were sent to me in return for a review. All views and opinions are my own.



  1. kayleigh dudley
    August 19, 2017 / 8:54 pm

    my not so little 4yr old starts school in september how the hell did i get him this far? haha its sch a huge milestone, but hes really excited.

  2. Deborah Mackenzie
    August 19, 2017 / 7:17 pm

    such a lot of shoes to choose from

  3. August 9, 2017 / 12:17 am

    I can’t believe I’ve got three to buy uniform for now! I need to do a bit of an inventory and work out who needs what for the new year!

  4. August 8, 2017 / 9:24 pm

    I thought I was organised… but you’ve just made me realise how much more I still have to do!!!!! *scared face emoji* x

  5. August 8, 2017 / 12:21 pm

    I need to get the kids ready for school in Sept. Not bought anything yet but they are still in pre school. The shoes look great.

  6. August 8, 2017 / 10:43 am

    The shoes look fab for school, really comfortable. I agree with you I think without laces are best and also easier for them to take on and off themselves. That is so lovely how confident he is. So much less of a worry for you which is always lovely. Archie is like that and I always feel confident he is having a great time at preschool. xx

  7. August 7, 2017 / 8:21 pm

    How exciting! Kickers will always remind me of going back to school after the summer!

  8. August 7, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    What exciting times! My eldest is just about to start college, but I remember his first day of nursery well. How time flies!

  9. August 7, 2017 / 10:20 am

    I absolutely love those Kickers, Freddie had these as his first pair of school shoes. They lasted him the whole year! Well worth the money.

  10. Shoes that last would be super, my daughter went through 4 pairs in her Reception year, 3 she outgrew in just a term and one cheap pair only lasted a month- wonder if they do kicker in her size!

  11. August 5, 2017 / 6:30 pm

    New shoes and a new backpack are probably the things my kids are the most excited about! Megan can’t wait to have her first pair of school shoes, she’s ridiculously excited!

  12. August 4, 2017 / 9:00 pm

    Toby sounds like a total sweetheart <3
    I'm lucky in that my mum takes my three school uniform shopping. A win for me, all I have to do is hand over the money! :)

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