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Back to School

September marks the start of our academic school year. For very young children it may be that their routine is changing as their older siblings and/or friends are starting school so they are not going to see them during term-time in the same way. Older children may be starting nursery or school for the very first time, others moving up a year or even transitioning to the next stage but in the same school.

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Children may have left their old school and now having had their summer break be starting a totally new school, or have reached adulthood and even starting college. For many it's the start of a new or different routine in their life and of those around them.

Perhaps the grown-ups' daily routines are also changing with changes at home and work, new jobs, going part-time, switching to full-time - so who does the school-run may be different. How children get to school may have changed, or are they starting a breakfast club or have after-school clubs or activities? Some children have moved house so everything has changed and is different to the routines they had before.

Whichever of these are happening to your family, it's the start of a new routine for everyone that includes new faces and new places and new routines. Life never remains the same as we get older - we are continuously transitioning from one stage to the next.

For some people extra help is needed to explain and introduce new faces and new routines, and this is where our Special Stories app comes in. It's being used around the world in lots of ways, at home as well as in school, to help children and adults through school transitioning, home-school communication, and assisting with homework and topic work, as well as creating stories of special occasions and memories.

Last year Maya started the next chapter of her life when she started mainstream primary school and you can read more about this from our blog last year. This September is her moving-up up to the next class along with her peers.

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For William, September 2017 has been a big change. He's started a new school. Having had 9 years at his last school, which was all the way through Nursery, Reception, Key Stage 1 and then Key Stage 2 he has now started Key Stage 3 at our local mainstream comprehensive school.

We bought his new uniform before the summer holidays and he had transition days last term with his peers as well as summer school, so plenty of opportunity to meet new teachers and friends and settle in. Just before school started we dropped off his old uniform to his primary school and said our goodbyes again. We bought new school shoes, pens and stationery and all the things needed to start school. Buying a new uniform and passing on his old uniform is all part of transitioning from one school to the next. The following day it was waking up bright and early, on with a brand new uniform, and off to school with all the kit. A new routine as term started and the summer holiday ended.

Having used Special Stories there were lots of stories about his new school that he'd helped create, and read for us all to get familiar with new teachers and his new routine before it all started. We've used Special Stories since 2011 and have many stories of what he's done over the years inside and outside school - time on holiday, weekends with friends and family, and all the special occasions we've had. It's been good to look back on where he's been and the progress he has made.

The day was silent without him, and we all wondered what he had been doing and how he had got on. When he came home smiling from ear to ear, we looked at his iPad together and talked about his day. We hope your new term is off to a great start too!