Get ready for the new school year 

The summer holidays are in full swing and days are flying past full of activities and fun in the sun. The last thing children are thinking about is school, but before you know it, September will be here and with it the new academic year. Why not take some of the last minute pressure off and plan ahead for the beginning of term?

We have everything you'll need for an organised and easy return to school. Here's our list of ten essentials to help with your preparations:

  • Colourful Australian brand Smiggle and popular store The Works both sell gorgeous stationery which really stands out from the crowd.
  • Peacocks is the place to go for affordable uniform - shirts, skirts, trousers and jumpers are all available in the Back to School range, and some items are currently on a buy one, get one half price offer.
  • School shoes take a lot of punishment with all that playground football and other activities. If they need reheeling or any other repair, the team at Timpsons will sort them out. They can also cut spare keys if your son or daughter is going to be letting themselves in at home for the first time.

Get ready for the new school year

  • It may be that your children's shoes are beyond repair, in which case pop into Deichmann for replacements – there's a buy one, get one half price offer on here too!
  • Make sure they can see the whiteboard properly! Visit SpecSavers for those essential eye tests and, if glasses are needed, choose some fabulous frames your child will love to wear.
  • Whether they love sport or loathe it, they'll still need trainers and PE kit. JD Sports has everything you need for some sporting action.
  • Head over to Claire's Accessories for scrunchies and hairbands to tie long hair back for PE and food tech. They also sell backpacks and personalised bags and pencil cases to ensure possessions don't go astray.
  • Moving up to secondary school? They might benefit from a laptop to help with homework. TD Electronics will have just what you want – and they can also repair your old one.
  • A new school year is often the time for a new mobile. The Carphone Warehouse team can talk you through the options to make sure you end up with the right one for your child.
  • Drop into Waterstones for set books, revision guides and any other reading material, as well as stationery and calendars.

Meanwhile, if you're running out of things to do with the children over the holidays, we can help you out with that too! We're hosting an exciting free series of children's craft workshops in Main Square, near Costa, on August 6th, 8th, 13th, 15th, 20th, 22nd, 27th  and 29th. The workshops are aimed at children between 3 and 10 years old and they can drop into them between 10.30am and 3.30pm. Each workshop will have a different theme from Pirates and Parrots, Sea Life Crafts and Carnival Masks to Mug Decorating and making a Back to School Bag. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

We're open seven days a week, 9am until 5.30pm from Monday to Saturday, and 10am until 4pm on Sunday. We're looking forward to seeing you!

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