kate sutton school


I remember my first day at senior school like it was yesterday. Which is rather surprising considering it was 33 years ago. My school uniform was generally considered rather hideous, and it really was. A turquoise crimplene A-line tunic which clashed horribly with the green floral blouse we had to wear underneath, white knee-length socks and clompy black shoes. We were the laughing stock of the other local schools, already being considered incredibly uncool as the only grammar school in the area, the uniform really didn’t help.


Take a look at this photo and feel my pain:


kate sutton school


Mum drove me to school on my first day. I don’t think I’ve ever been so nervous (well, apart from my driving lesson, but that’s a whole another blog post.) My black clompy, square-heeled lace-up shoes, were expensive – from Clarks, but I moaned about them so much when I got home after that first day, that Mum took me shopping for a new pair that weekend. Can’t say I’d be that generous with my own children, but she was lovely my Mum.


It’s funny the things you remember from such a long time ago isn’t it? But starting senior school is such a massive milestone in your life that you never forget. What’s also interesting is that Dexter, now aged 12 (going on 16), goes to the same school that I did, but thankfully the uniforms have changed somewhat! I wanted him to go to that school, not just because it’s the best school in the area in my opinion, but because I have, to this day, such happy memories of my time there. The friends I made, the sports days I’d spend just chilling on the grass bank with my friends because I was never really that good at sport, the food in the canteen (I particularly remember ‘Chip Friday’ and the vegetable soup from the machine) … some of the teachers that we used to take the mickey out of, but I probably shouldn’t go public about, well, the memories are endless and wonderful.


Dexter’s first year at ‘big’ school has been quite rocky – everyone is trying to find their place in such a big school, and I think he is doing much better. It’s hard to go from being a big fish in a small pond to one of the youngest kids in a big school, but he certainly seems a lot happier. I know he’s made friends that will, hopefully, remain in his life forever, because there’s nothing quite like the friends you make at school… that special bond is not something you can easily replicate in later life.



This is Dexter’s first day at senior school, a whole year ago. I’m afraid at the ripe ‘old’ age of 12, I won’t be able to share a photo of him this year! No-one tell him it’s here!


The school holidays have only just started but I know from experience that they’ll be over in the blink of an eye and Dexter will be back at school. Yes, I’ll have some much needed routine back, but life is just whizzing by much quicker than I’d like. I’ve been a parent for 21 years – a lot of that spent as a single parent, and every milestone Dexter now passes, in life, not just at school, is another reminder that it’ll be the last time I experience that with him … good and bad. So I need to cherish everything. As annoying as living with a tween can be sometimes!


Thanks to Marks & Spencer, and thanks to a school that doesn’t require floral blouses anymore, I have nearly everything we need for September – how organised is that?! Dexter is a big lad and so I get shirts and trousers suitable for 15/16 year olds from the Senior Boys range, and the shirts I bought last year have lasted the whole year, so hopefully this new batch will last just as long. His shoes, however … well, suffice to say they’re looking a little sorry for themselves and we’ll go back to Clarks the week before school starts to get another pair. He’s a size 10 so I need these six weeks to save up!


m&S senior boys uniform


(Excuse the pink carpet!)


Marks & Spencer are focusing on school uniforms through the ages so why not take a look at how uniforms have changed through the decades, over at their #MySchoolYears hub. I went to school in the 80’s – the decade of Jon Bon Jovi perms, shoulder pads and winkle pickers. Amazing it made it through in one piece really, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.


Coincidentally, my Zumba classes are held at Dexter’s school and so I get the pleasure of going back there twice a week. We were in the old gym earlier this week and I remember every inch of that room … probably because I still have nightmares about trying to climb up the rope! But it’s funny how everything has come full circle for us as a family.


Roll on September, but don’t grow up too quickly Dexter. I still miss my school days, 30 years on.


kate sutton

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Published by Kate Sutton

Writer, Mother, Dater.

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  1. I was in your year Kate and loathed that uniform. I even had a navy blue cape! It’s not even retro cool now, still horrendous

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