Comprehensive back-to-school checklist: from stationery to essential school supplies

The anticipation of a new school year is a fusion of excitement and preparation. At Education Buying, we recognise the significance of a seamless back-to-school transition and the hurdles that involves. To assist teachers and school business managers across the UK, we’ve compiled an in-depth checklist to ensure a successful start.  

As summer gives way to autumn, the corridors of schools once again resonate with the promise of learning and growth. Whether you’re a seasoned educator or a dedicated school administrator, the commencement of a new academic year brings the opportunity to mould young minds and create an environment that promotes success.  

From foundational stationery essentials to cutting-edge tech accessories, let’s delve into the world of school supplies and organisational aids, all tailored to the unique needs of the buildings, teachers and students alike. 

From the critically important pen, to the sophisticated cloud centric iPad. Immerse yourself in the world of stationery procurement, ensuring your school is stocked with essentials that ignite the learning process. 

1. Stationery essentials: the foundation of learning

The classroom is a canvas where ideas come alive. Be prepared with the essentials, such as sets of pens and pencils so you are ready for the inevitable statement of, “I lost my pen, Sir!”.  

Add flair to your class with multiple vibrant highlighters, these tools are more than mere instruments howeverthey’re catalysts for curiosity and exploration. Give your students the ability to effectively research and note specific points of learning that interest them with highlighters! It’s a key skill that is naturally taught through the use of that stationery that will carry through to their professional careers.  

Beyond the individual writing tools, the importance of organisation cannot be overstated. Folders, binders, and planners are the architects of a well-structured educational journey, and we will dive further into them later in the guide but, do keep in mind organisational tools are essential in your classroom. They not only keep assignments, schedules, and materials in order but also impart valuable organisational skills to students.  

Discover the array of organisational aids that contribute to a harmonious learning environment, setting the stage for an efficient and productive school year. 

2. Writing tools: facilitating expression and connection

The classroom is a hub of communication, and writing tools are the conduits that enable educators to convey ideas effectively. I know we already touched on pens as they are also an essential tool but there’s so much more than the traditional ball point pen. 

Beyond the conventional black and blue pens, the palette expands to include gel pens that glide effortlessly, whiteboard markers that bring visuals to life, and coloured pencils that encourage artistic collaboration 

Not only that, these tools become extensions of a teacher’s creativity, allowing you to craft engaging visual aids and interactive lessons that captivate young minds. 

Whiteboard markers for example, give you the opportunity to hand out personal whiteboards that can be used for interactive learning that differs from simply writing down answers in a textbook.  

Be sure to have a wide variety of pen stocked in your schools classrooms so that every pupil can take advantage of them when the time arises.  

3. Tech accessories: navigating the digital landscape

In an era of digital literacy, technology is not just a tool – it’s a landscape that educators and students traverse daily. Computers, laptops, and touchscreen devices like iPads are the companions that facilitate seamless digital engagement. Arguably students will be feeling more naturally inclined to typing/working on a touchscreen device than teachers will be, having grown up with them from birth. 

As classrooms evolve into digital hubs, these accessories play an integral role in fostering interactive learning experiences. Digital whiteboards and projectors can keep students engaged with interactive ways of learning that would be traditionally impossible. 

Take virtual tours for example, utilising computers you can give your class a virtual history lesson that puts them directly in a museum that would otherwise be a big upfront cost and a day out from school or time in history that’s now passed.  

Explore how each accessory contributes to a tech-savvy educational ecosystem and empowers educators to deliver dynamic lessons. 

4. Backpack and bags: supportive carriers of knowledge

A teachers backpack is famously always packed with numerous lesson plans, marking sheets, all types of stationery and maybe even a packed lunch if they can fit one in! This can also be applicable to your students, they’ll be starting the new year with multiple new textbooks, notepads, a pencil case, packed lunch, PE kit and anything else that gets thrown in there never to be seen again.  

It’s important to have enough space for everything and if your school wants to provide branded book holders or binders then they need to be able to hold everything a pupil needs for the year.  

5. Art and craft supplies: cultivating creativity and expression

Education is not confined to textbooks; it extends to the realm of creativity and self-expression. Art and craft supplies go beyond utility; they inspire students to explore their imagination, turning blank pages into vibrant canvases.  

Paints, brushes, sketchbooks, easels and palettes encourage students to think outside the box, encouraging holistic development that transcends traditional subjects. 

Delving further into the arts can mean students will need canvases, art materials such as chalk, charcoal and the multitude of paints available as well as going beyond traditional artistic endeavours towards music.  

Does your school have a brass band? Do students want to learn instruments like the violin, cello, drums, clarinet, flute etc. With a near limitless amount of choices, it’s important to facilitate your students desire to learn an instrument. 

You can even integrate these supplies into the curriculum, creating a well-rounded educational experience that nurtures creativity. 

6. Organisation aids: crafting clutter-free learning spaces

The learning environment should be a sanctuary of focus and order, and organisational aids play a vital role in achieving this.  

Storage containers, drawer organisers, and bookends transform chaotic spaces into harmonious zones of productivity. This statement need not only apply to classrooms though, why not apply it to your whole school? Great furniture layout is a simple way to organise a school, room by room. 

Need tables and chairs? Sofas? Cupboards? Get them all delivered and installed to your school as early as possible into the new year so you are not worrying about layout or space during exam season. 

Discover the array of aids that contribute to a well-organised classroom, enhancing the teaching and learning experience. 

7. PE equipment:

Make sure your school is able to provide a space for your students to exercise with the proper equipment. This can involve anything from climbing frames to footballs, hula hoops and tennis rackets.  

Students are at school for such a formative period of their lives, it’s important that they get the ability to enjoy a wide range of activities that can help them forge a path into their later years.  

Conclusion: preparedness fuels progress

As we conclude this comprehensive back-to-school checklist, it becomes evident that every item serves a unique purpose in the educational landscape.  

From sticky back plastic to classroom desks, each component plays a crucial role in shaping the learning journey. As the new school year beckons, embrace preparedness and commence your back-to-school shopping early.  

Education Buying stands beside you on this journey, ensuring that your educational establishment is well-equipped for a year filled with growth, discovery, and boundless opportunities while looking to save/avoid costs whenever possible with expert procurement advice. If you want to check out our School Supplies framework, where you can procure with trusted, pre-vetted suppliers, then click here.