Back to School: Setting the stage for success

17 Aug 2016
POSTED BY Y Magazine

For parents in Oman putting bright-eyed pupils on the bus for the very first time and for seasoned mums and dads who know the drill inside and out, gearing up for another year of school is a process. The shopping extravaganzas, trips to the doctor for physicals or vaccinations and endless forms and paperwork all culminate in a single moment: the first day Back to School. 

Often, it’s this first day (or days) that set the tone for the school year to come. Help your child feel prepared and confident to tackle whatever the school year brings with these tips for a successful start.

Here are some tips for a smooth transition Back to School.

Plan well-balanced meals


The summer break brings a lax approach to many aspects of life, and healthy eating is often one of them. However, nutrition plays an important role in overall development, and countless studies show a correlation between academic performance and good nutrition. As the school year approaches, work at creating healthy menus. If hectic scheduling makes it difficult to get well-balanced meals into lunchboxes and on the dinner table throughout the week, allocate a portion of the weekend for a family prep session.

Reinstate bedtimes


Easing back into earlier bedtimes will make things smoother for everyone when the alarms start ringing on early school day mornings. Well before the start of school, gradually back off more time each night – in 15-minute increments, for example – to get kids back in bed early enough to capture at least 10 hours of sleep, the amount recommended for school-aged children and adolescents by a range of child and sleep experts.

Get creative to boost enthusiasm

Part of the fun of heading back to the classroom is carrying a shiny new set of supplies. Build your kids’ excitement by letting them select the tools they’ll use to bring home good grades, like pens and pencils. Despite being in a keyboard and touchscreen-driven world, sales of colour-focused products like felt-tip markers, porous (fine line) pens and coloured pencils are on the rise.

Ken Newman, the director of marketing at Zebra Pen, says:  “We’re conscious of the influx of technology in school but still see the importance of writing instruments in the school environment. There is a great deal of pen or pencil and paper activity in the classroom and we have focused on providing products that meet the needs of teachers and students alike.”

There are options for every stage of a student’s development, whether they are a beginner, intermediate or have progressed towards the end of their academic careers. A complete selection can be found online at

Follow the paper trail


The volume of paperwork associated with sending a child to school can be overwhelming. From registration forms and emergency contact sheets to physicals and immunisation records, the list goes on and on. Keep on track with a list of all the materials you’re responsible for completing, along with special notes for those that require visits to the doctor’s office or other appointments.

Establish a transition tradition


Celebrate the end of summer and the fresh start ahead by creating a special family tradition. It may be a final backyard campout for the season or a scrapbooking project that captures memories from the summer and describes goals for the school year. The time together to talk about what lies ahead can help get the family geared up for a successful school year.

Personal space


For younger pupils, the area designated as a student’s own may be limited to a backpack or storage cupboard. For older kids, there’s an entire locker to consider. Customising these personal areas lets kids assert a clear stamp of individuality. Photos, artwork and treasured mementoes bring these personal spaces to life.

Explore extra-curricular interests


Developing interests outside the classroom builds confidence and character, teaches discipline and may help reveal hidden passions or talents that translate into future scholarships or career choices. Now is an ideal time to explore the options available in your community and complete necessary registrations as many extra-curricular activities are closely linked to the traditional school calendar.

Take a tour


Especially for new students but even for experienced kids, spend some time getting familiar with the school before the big day. Seeing the bus drop-off location, classroom, toilets, cafeteria and any other major areas ahead of time can help soothe jitters and lets you proactively answer worries or questions about how those first days may unfold.

Express Personality with Style


Encouraging your child to develop his or her own unique personality can be tough with social “rules” and official policies that determine dress code, supplies and more. When you get down to it, though, there are dozens of ways to let kids explore personal expression without breaking any rules or subjecting them to unwanted attention.



Even at schools with uniforms or dress codes, there can be some latitude when it comes to accessorising. Dress codes may vary but many allow flexibility in things such as socks, shoes, hair bows and jewellery.

School supplies


Let kids choose their own writing implements as a personal statement of self-expression, which is especially important to many students as they move up grades. With so many options, it’s easy to bypass the basic bargain selection and choose from an array of new designs and creative features that will reflect your child’s personality during his or her time, Back to School. 

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