My School Years with M&S


When M&S contacted me about their My School Years campaign and asked for some images of me in school uniform from when I was a child, I had a lot of fun reminiscing and laughing over old photos.


I’m risking two of my sisters disowning me by sharing the photo below. It makes me smile though. There are just five years between me and my eldest sister and two between me and my other older sister. This means that growing up we were always pretty close.


School photo of me and my two older sisters.


I actually think that my sisters get off quite lightly though, I’m the slightly chubby scary hair bearing one on the right. Possibly scary big hair was fashionable in the 80’s?


The photo above was actually from my first school St Kew, but we moved I think the next year to St Columb Major and the uniform was very different. Though apparently the big hair issues were a battle I continued having to fight as the years went by.


Old school photo - A Cornish Mum


I remember finding the school change really hard, we’d just moved house away from all of our family and friends in St Mabyn and there were all these children to get used to. I felt like such an outsider, but luckily I came to love the school. My boys only ever went to one primary school, the same one my youngest is still at.


When I went to school, uniform rules were a lot more relaxed than they are now for my boys at their schools. If I wanted to wear a normal t-shirt under my school jumper instead of a polo shirt, no one said anything. I actually went through a stage of wearing purple trainers to my primary school for quite a while, without them even being glanced at twice by the teachers.


I loved those trainers, neither of my boys could get away with it now. To be honest though, I am actually quite glad that the boys have to wear a particular uniform and stick to it. They look so much smarter than I ever did, and there are no arguments over what they have to wear, as they don’t have a choice. Luckily being boys, they don’t have the same crazy hair issues I did, although they are both desperate for a hair cut currently.


We have pretty much always bought the main staples of the boys’ school uniform from Marks and Spencer. I’m not just saying that because I’m in collaboration with them on this piece. Their trousers, shorts, shirts and polo shirts have been our regular buys for back to school time.


These days at his secondary Fin needs to wear a blazer and tie, which means he looks so unbelievably grown up at times I want to embarrass him by being all emotional. At my secondary school we had to learn how to put a tie on, but his is a clip on thankfully. This is one less stress for the mornings.


This photo is of the boys on Fin’s first ever day at school, an emotional day for any parent.


My boys cuddling on my eldest's first day of school


I feel a little emotional looking at it now, look how small they used to be! At ten and twelve they are both sneaking up on me height wise at a steady rate. I tried to convince them to do a mini reenactment for the photo below, mostly for my own amusement. Well I tried anyway, apparently cuddling your little brother isn’t cool any more.


I actually did get a few nice shots of them looking staged and smiley and in much better lighting …. but personally I prefer the photos I’ve included below. This was a pretty hilarious photo shoot.


The boys in M & S School clothes messing around


They’re in their new uniforms thanks to Marks and Spencer. You can see that uniforms need to be pretty hard-wearing in our house!


The boys in their new school uniform


School for them is so different from how it was for me and my sisters. I think the biggest change is the homework, not that they don’t get as much as we did. If anything they get more, but it is so much easier for them to do.


If we were stuck on our homework, we had to ask our parents for help or pay a visit to the local library to hopefully find a book to help. Children today can just ask their good old Uncle Google for some help, or pop to YouTube to be given all the answers. They use iPads at school, we had to do everything by hand.


Ha I can still remember when I was close to leaving primary school, how big a deal it was that the school had a computer delivered for the first time. One computer for the whole school, with very basic graphics looking back now. The boys find it hilarious that the internet wasn’t really properly usable for most people until I was in secondary school.


When I think of school days I think of swapping pogs in the playground and saving my money all week for the tuck shop on a Friday – I don’t think you get tuck shops in schools now with their healthy eating policies and whatnot. I find that a little bit sad that an old tradition has gone, as far as I’m concerned with my own children it is everything in moderation.


School days were playing with hula hoops, hopscotch, running around acting out scenes from the new Jurassic Park film – yes the first one. It was playing outside with friends, making new friends and rushing to be the first in the Tuck shop queue in case all the Push Pops were gone when I got there.


Luckily my own boys spend a lot of time outdoors at home, and I love watching them from the window running around with their friends. I don’t get to watch them making memories at school, but I love hearing about them in the car on the way home. At home I get to see them running with their friends and being care free and so happy…. which is everything that I could wish for them.


The school days are the most worry free days of your life, I have no idea why I was always in such a rush to grow up. I love my life, but oh to not be the one to have to think about bills and work  and whatnot for a while would be pretty amazing. Does anyone please have a time machine, I quite fancy a Push Pop and a game of hopscotch…. ?


What did you love about school and what is different during your child’s time at school than yours?


If you fancy a trip down memory lane, then pop to the M&S website and check out their My School Years page for a look back at school uniforms over the decades.


You can see if you can spot the uniform most like the one you wore to school, and if you’re feeling brave, then share a bit of nostalgia with the Marks and Spencer team, by sharing your own school photos on social media with the hashtag #MySchoolYears.


Stevie x


*This post is in collaboration with M&S, but all thoughts, opinions and embarrassing photos are as ever my own and honest*
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  1. 29 July 2016 / 4:21 pm

    Haha I love this. My first ever school had no uniform at all so I didnt wear one until we moved when I was 7. I wore a tie all through school. Oscar wont be wearing a tie for the first year or so, but will have to after that! I much prefer the smarter look though I have to say!
    The hair is immense though!

    • 29 July 2016 / 4:36 pm

      Oh I know, in my defence I was too young for straighteners and ghd’s didn’t exist back then…. Couch hair is crazy hair though, even my boy cousins mostly all had that hair ;)

      Stevie x

  2. 29 July 2016 / 4:24 pm

    Oh you were so cute! I love looking back at school photos x

  3. 29 July 2016 / 4:29 pm

    My uniform was all black and white. The whole school looked like we were attending a funeral! There is no way I’m sharing those photos!! ;P xx

  4. 29 July 2016 / 4:44 pm

    This post has made me laugh. I love looking at old pictures and see how much people have changed.
    I can see your boys are just like mine, playing around and refusing to pose for pictures

  5. 29 July 2016 / 4:51 pm

    I’m sorry Stevie I was laughing at the scary hair too much to read the whole post.

    I’ll try again later.

  6. 29 July 2016 / 6:32 pm

    Oh my gosh that hair Mine wasn’t much better I must admit!We loved playing skipping/jumping games with loads of elastic bands tied together.Can’t think for the life of me what it was called!Nobody had even heard of the Internet when I was at school and I remember wearing slouch socks which we could only get at M&S al the girls had them! Xx

  7. 29 July 2016 / 8:46 pm

    I had a shirt and tie at primary school and because I was a skinny thing back then my skirts weren’t actually skirts they came with a sewn in vest which had the added bonus of then not spinning around during the day.

  8. 29 July 2016 / 9:55 pm

    Awwww you looked so cute – love the hair!! I love that they still take siblings photos at school now as it is so nice to be able to look back and remember isn’t it? (Even if they may disown you now haha!!). x

  9. 31 July 2016 / 6:02 pm

    I love this post Stevie. The photos of your boys are fabulous and the ones of you are hilarious! You really haven’t changed very much over the years except for the hair – thank goodness for straighteners hey? ;)

  10. 31 July 2016 / 7:28 pm

    Loved reading this and I picked you out straight away! This made me feel emotional with Alice starting school in September. I have pictures of my brother and me too from school, I hope they still do siblings ones when Holly joins Alice x

  11. 31 July 2016 / 8:06 pm

    Love this – and fab pictures!! Marks and Spencer was the place we always got our school uniforms from as Children and the first place I went to last year when shopping for my little ones uniform. Oh those school days I miss them – I found myself saying to my 5 year old a few months ago exactly what my Mum said to me…’ school are the best days of your life’!!

  12. 1 August 2016 / 7:33 am

    Ah look at you ya big cutie!!! My mom took us religiously to m&s for our uniform too – we had to wear blazers at secondary school (yuck!) and they were the only place that catered for girls! Charlie’s school bag was a bargain in their sale too. I can’t believe they had colour photos when you were at school though… WOW! :P

  13. 5 August 2016 / 8:23 am

    A very topical read as we just bought our first ever lot of school uniform for our daughter.. From M&S! I know there are loads more stockists but I always trust the quality of Marks and that it’s going to last the year. Our daughters uniform is really formal compared to some other local schools….we need to start practising with shirt buttons!
    Thanks for hosting picknmix, it’s good to be back while #coolmumclub has a summer break.

  14. 5 August 2016 / 8:50 am

    Ahhhh my first school uniform was green. I used have the dress, matching socks and hair bobble! I thought I looked so cool! Haha. Great post!

  15. 5 August 2016 / 9:05 am

    Great school photos. I have some cracking ones. I had a really big fringe and never smiled for school photos. My youngest will start at the same school as his sisters in a few weeks. I think school seems more fun now than when I was there. Sarah #PicknMix

  16. 5 August 2016 / 9:09 am

    Aww, you look so cute Stevie! I always had a stupid expression on my face as a child, not sure I’m any better now! Love the photo shoot of your boys too, looks like typical brotherly love! #picnmix

  17. Lisa@Intotheglade
    5 August 2016 / 9:21 am

    I love the first picture of you and your sisters and, the one of your boys ‘play’ fighting. M&S uniforms are great, I always bought them for the girls because they were really easy to look after and still looked good by the end of the year. Thank you for hosting lovely, have a great day today and a fab weekend xx #picknmix

  18. 5 August 2016 / 9:36 am

    My mum has all the pictures like that! She would buy them every year. You are not on your own, don’t worry. I also have some cringy snaps. But it’s cute though and brilliant memories too. #PicknMix

  19. 5 August 2016 / 1:05 pm

    Hahaha love it! My school photos are just awful, I dread the day they ever ‘get out’ ahhhh lol. #picknmix

  20. 5 August 2016 / 3:09 pm

    Oh I love looking back at old school photos! It’s great to reminisce. Yours are so cute :) x #PicknMix

  21. 2travellingtots
    5 August 2016 / 3:46 pm

    Ha ha the boys look like they’re having fun :) Our ‘big one’ doesn’t start school until next year (gulp – it still seems too soon) but I think I’m going to be glad of the uniform because at least I’ll know what to put him in every day! We currently have to go through about 5 outfits a morning until he’s happy! #PicknMix

  22. 5 August 2016 / 7:02 pm

    This reminds me of when I was in infant school – We wore black or grey skirts, trousers or pinafores in the winter with a blue school jumper but we also used to wear blue cardigans with the school badge pinned on one side over a blouse or polo shirt. I never see the little ones going to the primary school by us dressed like that any more they always have a jumper, and black trousers or skirt. School wear seems more formal then I was a kid. #Picnmix

  23. 5 August 2016 / 7:11 pm

    Love these photos! My school days were very different to BB’s – my dad was in the forces so we moved every few years, whereas I’m determined BB will go to one primary school and one secondary school. I get her uniform in M&S too! #picknmix

  24. 5 August 2016 / 8:29 pm

    Aww these photos are fab!! I love looking back on my school photos, although it usually results in me asking my parents what the hell they were thinking about with my wonky fringe and later on my corkscrew perm!! I stand by the fact that it was fashionable at the time! I’ve just bought all of Eva’s uniform from M&S, you can’t go wrong can you! #picknmix

  25. 5 August 2016 / 11:15 pm

    School and Uni in the days before Google and Wikipedia. I don’t know how I, or anyone else, survived it! Love the school pics. Big hair was definitely a must in the 80’s. I had a crazy big perm and some ‘Deirdre Barlow’ style glasses. When I look at photos now I could die. Why did anyone let me out the door looking like that? My old high school yearbook is a riot too!

  26. 6 August 2016 / 7:27 am

    Love the photos, I have two boys who are 20months apart and it warmed my heart to see your photos and how incredibly big and grown up your boys now look! Great to reminisce with you, we had the ‘ici’ van for sweet treats, how hilarious! #PicknMix

  27. 6 August 2016 / 9:28 am

    Ah this is so lovely – the first picture made me smile as we had that background in our school photos too…must be universal across all schools! I agree with the strictness of school uniform these days, it wasn’t so regimented when we were at school either. Wonderful post looking back on the school years – hope your sisters have forgiven you! Thanks for hosting #picknmix xx

  28. 6 August 2016 / 12:26 pm

    I love M&S school clothes, my mum would always get mine from there, such good quality. Looking back at school photos is always great, I tend to dig out photos now and then to reminisce. #PicknMix

    Jordanne ||

  29. 6 August 2016 / 8:37 pm

    Marks & Spencers were great for clothes when I was little. I love their chocolate cookies now. #PicknMix

  30. 6 August 2016 / 10:33 pm

    Oh how lovely, I love the photo of your boys when they were little and then scrolling down to see them as they are now! Mia goes to school next year so I will be buying her uniform and school bits and pieces before I know it!! :)


  31. 7 August 2016 / 8:58 am

    I love that the collaboration allows you to wander down memory lane and to create new memories with your boys. That has to be the best collaboration ever! I love the photos, especially the photo of your sons hugging, so cute!
    I loved school and I remember fondly projects, sports days, the smell of school lunches and day trips out to a butterfly farm and a farm where I got to bottle feed a cow. I think there was far less pressure on primary aged children then both educationally and from peer pressure. I was far more innocent and free that children I have taught at that age and I find it quite sad to think how quickly they grow up now. #picknmix

  32. Kay Brown - Cheery Little Thing
    7 August 2016 / 8:48 pm

    I don’t think I’d be brave enough to share my school photos, in fact I think I’ve hidden them along with the memories of the Deidre glasses as well as I can!

  33. 9 August 2016 / 8:25 pm

    Brilliant photos! Finley starts school in September and it’s going to be pretty emotional. I know his uniform needs to be hard wearing so it’s great to know m&s is the place to go. #picknmix xx

  34. 10 August 2016 / 10:47 am

    Ahh what fab photos Stevie! I love that you got to have a group sibling photo together. There was too big a gap for me to have a photo with my brother when we were at school. Loving the boys in their uniform too – they are so handsome! #PicknMix

  35. 12 August 2016 / 7:26 am

    What a great campaign!! Although I shudder at the thought of getting my old school photos out!! I’m sure your sisters will be fine :). It’s the first year we are buying school uniform for Monkey and we really struggled because he needed 100 % cotton! No one does cotton trousers anymore as they don’t stand up to the wear and tear so well! Thanks for hosting #PickNMix

    • 12 August 2016 / 8:59 am

      Oh no, I hope you got it all sorted and you aren’t too emotional on his first day!

      Stevie x