M&S have just launched a beautiful new timeline called Decades of School (#myschoolyears), showcasing how school uniforms have changed over the years. It’s fascinating to see how things have evolved – M&S has been providing school uniforms for children for over a century! They asked me to talk a little about how my children’s back to school journey has changed to that of my own.
My little girl is starting school in September so this is all so new to me. I go from worrying that she’ll be okay, to excited about how much she’ll love it. From looking forward to the time I’ll get to myself to feeling sad about the time I’ll lose with her. She’s all big and so little at the same time. All grown up, but still so tiny.
We’ve been exploring her new school and meeting her teachers and learning about the things they’ll do. I don’t want to sound old (I’m about to) but I had no idea how much the whole school process has changed since, well, since my day (is it just me that finds it hard to say that without a northern accent?!). When I was a child, a school was a place you went to to learn – and that’s it. School was for building an education, without much of the ‘fluffy stuff’. My playground was a concrete lake – with a snake and a hop scotch painted on for good measure – and my classroom consisted of tables, chairs and a black board. Don’t get me wrong, it was great – it did the job and I was really happy at school. I loved my school!
But Amelie’s school (a state school) is so vibrant, there’s so much going on. Her playground has play stuff in it, there’s wildlife, vegetables, quiet areas and fun areas. Her classroom is open and fun, with free play and independence really paramount. It didn’t really feel like a school to me at all actually. I know it will change and the fun stuff will gradually disappear as she gets older, but for right now, it’s perfect.
M&S sent us this beautiful school uniform, and Amelie was beyond thrilled when it arrived. Opening it was like Christmas for her and there have been many (many, many) hours of playing dress up in it. I’m savouring these moments, I know soon her uniform will eventually become something she can’t wait to get out of when school finishes.
This dress is her favourite – because its twirly, obviously. She loves anything twirly. She did manage to spin herself in a daze into the tree though. She is also totally in love with the Hello Kitty blouse I picked for her – it has a subtle little silver kitty embroidered on the pocket, such a lovely little detail. She loves Hello Kitty, and I think it’s so nice that she can have something familiar on her uniform when she walks through the big unfamiliar school gates.
One thing I love is how little school uniforms have changed since I was a child. Everything about everything else is so different. But the little green dress she has is the same style, almost exactly, as the one I wore at school. It makes me feel so nostalgic. I loved wearing my school uniform. I loved learning to put on a tie and I remember feeling so grown up, smart and part of a club when I wore it. When I got a bit older I used to wear the skinny side of the tie, to be cool innit. If you were really cool you unpicked some of the threads in it to create your own off-beat pattern. I wasn’t brave enough for that. I used to roll my skirt up at the waistband and tuck my socks and shoelaces into my shoes because those things were the height of uncool.
We’re in love with this entire uniform from M&S – the fabric is soft and comfy, none of it is restricting and it won’t crinkle. Their uniforms are surprisingly good value for money and you know what you’re getting with Marks & Spencer – fantastic quality that’s been thoughtfully designed with both parents and children in mind.
She is so excited about it all, but really nervous too. She sees school as something she does when she’s big, so she’s not worried about it, because she’ll be be big by September. She thinks one morning she’ll wake up and just be big. Pooff. School is such a huge thing – such a massive chunk of our lives. I hope she loves it. I think she will.
Thank you to M&S for this beautiful uniform. All thoughts and opinions are my own.