Stay on top of the back-to-school chaos with our helpful guide

Resources for parents

Back to school time can be stressful for both children and their parents alike. That's why we have put together this guide to help you through and give you more information on resources offered by Surrey for children going back to school.

Family Information Service

The Family Information Service has a great list of resources to help you and your children get prepared for the new schools year:

Check out the Community Connector newsletter as this month focused on back to school support, advice and guidance for parents.

Back to school anxiety

Going back to school after a long summer off can make your child feel anxious, maybe they are starting a new school, new year or just fear the change that a new term can bring. It's important to watch out for signs of anxiousness in your children and work with them to make the transition back to school as easy as possible.

For more information on dealing with back to school anxiety read the young minds blog web page.

A good night's sleep

Getting a good night's sleep can boost your child's concentration in the classroom and increase their energy levels throughout the day. Getting back into a bedtime routine can be hard after the summer holidays but here are some tips to help.

  • Limit screens in the bedroom an hour before bed
  • Avoid food and drink containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea, cola, energy drinks or chocolate at least 4 hours before bedtime
  • Make sure the room is dark, quiet, cool, comfortable
  • Your child might find some relaxation techniques helpful, check out the calm zone
  • If your child is feeling worried at bedtime, it might help them to write the worries down and put them away or under their pillow
  • Regular exercise helps us sleep better, your child should aim for about an hour each day

The Sleep Charity has good practical advice for parents, from how to know it's time to change your child's bed, to how to cope with disruptions in routines after holidays.

Multiply free maths courses

If you struggle to support your child with their maths homework, Multiply courses are now available in Surrey to anyone aged 19 or over who does not have a GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in maths.

You can attend courses online or in person across Surrey. Course providers like Surrey Adult Learning, East Surrey College, National Numeracy and Windsor Forest College Group are offering free and easy to access courses and initiatives to help brush up numeracy skills.

To find out more visit the multiply web page.

Link bus cards

The Surrey LINK card is for young people aged 20 and under who live in Surrey. It can be used on any single or return bus journey that starts and/or finishes in Surrey and allows you to get 50% off the adult fare for the journey you are taking. On most routes this is the equivalent of a child fare.

There are two types of LINK cards, one for under 16s and one for over 16s.

For more information about the LINK card, including eligibility and what to do if you have a faulty card, visit the Surrey LINK card web page.

Libraries are Where it Happens!

Here are some of the ways Surrey Libraries can help your child settle back into the school routine:

  • The summer reading challenge: Get your children back into the routine of reading again with the Summer Reading Challenge. Children aged 4 to 11 have until 23 September to apply and will win a prize if they read up to 6 books. These books can be anything from fiction, comic books to audio books.
  • Information and advice: library staff can recommend books and other resources, provide information on local schools and give advice on helping children prepare for reception. Check out the libraries from home web page.
  • Inspire new hobbies: there are many cool and interesting clubs led by local libraries including coding club, reading clubs, STEM club and arts and crafts. Find out more on the events and activities in libraries web page.
  • Free early years activities: Pebble the penguin rhymetime sessions are aimed at babies and toddlers, aged under five, along with their mums, dads and carers. The events are based entirely on sharing nursery rhymes, action songs and percussion music and is a great way for your toddler to learn.
  • A quiet space: the library is a great environment for learning as it provides a calm and quiet place for your child to do their homework after school. There is also plenty of learning resources such as books and access to the internet to help. Find out how to join your nearest library.

Secondary school admissions

From 1 September, secondary school admissions for 2024 will be opening. If you are a parent or carer with a child reaching age 11 between 1 September 2023 and 31 August 2024, they will be due to start secondary school in September 2024 and you have until 31 October 2023 to apply for their school place.

If you miss the deadline, you will reduce the chances of getting one of your preferred schools for your child. Check out our secondary school admissions web page for more information and support.

Re-think your journey

Make active travel part of your school routine from the start of term. If you were going to hop in the car, could you swap it for walking or cycling instead? It can be a great opportunity to build relationships and does wonders for your health and wellbeing too.

If you sign up to the BetterPoints app, you can get rewarded for walking, cycling or using public transport instead of using the car. For every sustainable journey you make, you'll earn points which can be redeemed for vouchers to spend or can be donated to a charity.

Music lessons

The start of a new school term is the perfect time for your child to pick up a new hobby or try something new. If your child wants to have music lessons but you don't know where to begin check out the Surrey Arts music lessons for children web page.

Sign up to the Surrey Arts newsletter to find out more about what's on offer, from lessons, workshops, events and much more.

Period Dignity

Regardless of if you have a library card or not, your teenager can collect free period products from 40 libraries across Surrey.

Each building will have one donation box and collection trays in toilets, as well as posters signposting you to where you can find free period products. Please take what you need, you don't need to ask.

To find out more visit the Period Dignity web page.

More from families and young people