Your complete back to school guide

It’s almost that time again… Back-to-school for the kids. With the holidays and all the festivities quickly nearing an end, moms and dads now face the task of preparing the kids for the brand new school year. From school clothes and sports gear to stationery and backpacks for sale, Junk Mail is here to help.

Here at Junk Mail we certainly understand what a daunting undertaking this can be and how it can put a major dent in parents’ pockets… those same pockets that have already taken some major shots during the festive season.

Back To School Made Easy With Junk Mail

That is why we have compiled an easy guide to all the school items we know your kids will need, taking a look at practical items that won’t cost you a fortune, will last longer and that aren’t extravagant purchases. From a complete stationery list to school bags and clothes, you’ll find it all here.

Choosing the perfect school bags

Choosing the right school bags or cases for your children is very important. You want something that is practical and durable, big and strong enough to hold all of your child’s books, stationery and lunchbox, and preferably something that has compartments to separate the items. Compartments help prevent books from getting crumpled up and damaging, or food and drinks accidentally leaking onto it.

Another important factor to take into consideration when choosing a school bag or case is how your child prefers to carry it, whether on their back, in their hand or pulling it as a trolley. Although backpacks are quite popular, you could put unnecessary strain on your child’s back and shoulders, especially with the number of books they have to carry with them every day. However, backpacks can work for younger children with lighter loads or children who have access to lockers at school.

School Bags For Kids | Junk Mail

You can also consider trolley school bags, depending on the requirements of the school. They look as cool as a backpack, but there is no strain on your child’s back and shoulders and they can pull it with them to all their classes.

If you are on a tight budget, there are lesser known backpack brands that offer quality and sturdiness, but without the price tag that a branded backpack would come with.

A school briefcase is another good option for your child. They come in assorted colours and are less expensive than some branded backpacks.

If your child is still young, either kindergarten or early primary school, with not a lot to carry, a fun character backpack or trolley bag would do the trick.

Getting the School Clothes ready

When it comes to school clothes, your child will need some basic essentials, including their day-to-day uniform, socks, school shoes, sport and after-school activity wear.

School Uniforms

A lot of South African schools have their own prescribed school uniforms for boys and girls, but many schools offer parents alternative options to purchase generic white and grey skirts, trousers, shorts, shirts, socks and jerseys.

To minimise the wear and tear on your child’s uniform, buy 2 or 3 sets of uniforms. The Toughees and Ackerman’s School of Value ranges is made of hard-wearing fabrics, comfy and cool, and easy on the pocket.

School Shoes For Sale On Junk Mail

School Shoes

Buying the right pair of school shoes is important. These shoes will have to endure a lot of daily activity, including running, jumping and kicking a ball during break-time. Therefore they need to be comfortable, durable, and a proper fit. Toughees, Trustees and Buccaneer are just some examples of reputable brands with great quality school shoes in various styles. Prices may vary for different shoe sizes.

Sport and activity wear

If your child participates in afterschool activities such as athletics, netball, hockey, rugby, soccer, gymnastics or swimming, they’ll definitely need some good quality clothes to practice in.

Depending on the sport, a few good plain t-shirts, golf shirts, rugby shorts, nylon tights and a quality pair of trainers would suffice. If your child is a swimmer, invest in a long-lasting one-piece bathing suit and cap from Speedo that would definitely last them a few seasons.

Sports Bags For Sale On Junk Mail

Important: Make sure your child has a good sports bag in which to carry their sporting clothes and sports gear like tennis rackets, cricket bats, etc.

Want to sell you unused back-to-school items? Place your free ad on Junk Mail and sell fast.

The ultimate stationery list

Every grade your child moves on to will have a new set of school stationery supplies and requirements. School stationery is, unfortunately, something that is a continuous expense for parents, so make sure that you buy good quality products that will last longer, without buying unnecessary items. Before you buy, find out from your child’s school or new teacher what school stationery supplies they will definitely need in the new year, so you know you are buying the right things. Most teachers are prepared and send out a list to parents in advance.

School Stationery Essentials | Junk Mail

Below is a list of some basic stationery and school supplies children of various ages might need for the new school year:

Books and exam pads:

  • Hard Cover exercise books
  • Soft Cover exercise books
  • Exam pads
  • Spiral notebooks
  • A school diary
  • A4 bookkeeping books
  • Graph books
  • Project books

Book covers and tapes:

  • Pre-cut book covers
  • Plastic book covers
  • Paper book covers
  • Poly roll
  • Kraft roll
  • Self-adhesive roll
  • Brown kraft roll
  • Clear plastic roll
  • Blue border labels
  • Name labels
  • Sellotape

School Stationery Essentials | Junk Mail

Pens and pencils:

  • Ballpoint pens
  • Click pens
  • Coloured and neon ballpoint pens
  • Glitter gel pens
  • A mechanical pencil
  • Pencil leads
  • Traditional pencils

Markers and correction:

  • Permanent markers
  • Highlighters
  • Whiteboard markers
  • Fineliners
  • A metal sharpener
  • Tub sharpener
  • Erasers
  • A ruler
  • Geometric protractor
  • Scissors

Adhesives and correction:

  • Glue sticks
  • Rainbow sticks
  • Craft glue
  • Correction pens
  • Correction tape


  • Pencil crayons
  • Colour pencils
  • Tip markers
  • Oil pastels
  • Wax crayons
  • Retractable wax crayons
  • Paintbox
  • Paintbrush set
  • White and coloured chalk
  • Finger paint

Coloured Paper | Junk Mail

Paper and accessories:

  • A4 office printing paper
  • A4 bright board white, black and coloured/pastel
  • A4 paper pad, white, black, coloured

Filing and whiteboards:

  • A4 ring binders
  • A4 lever arch files
  • Transparent ring binders
  • A4 pocket files
  • Filing pockets
  • File dividers
  • Carry folders
  • A magnetic whiteboard

Pencil cases:

  • Book bags
  • A chair bag
  • A pencil bag
  • A pencil case


  • A stapler
  • A hole punch
  • A maths set
  • An Oxford dictionary
  • A Pharos dictionary
  • A Thesaurus
  • An abacus
  • Playdough
  • Colouring books
  • A basic calculator
  • A scientific calculator

Lunchbox for a healthy meal

Your child will spend a big chunk of their day at school, so it’s very important that they take a healthy lunch and snacks along with them to sustain their energy and concentration levels. Studies show that kids that have better nutrition perform better in academics and sports than kids who do those same activities on an empty stomach. Drinking ample fluids such as water throughout the day is also imperative for a healthy mind and body.

Pack A Healthy School Lunch Box | Junk Mail

So make sure your child has a good quality BPA free lunchbox and water or juice bottle. You can fill it with a healthy wholegrain sandwich and snacks like fruits and veggies, biltong, nuts, dried fruits, cheese wedges, yoghurt, granola bars, juice boxes, popcorn and the occasional sweet chocolatey treat. Be creative and listen to your kids about what they prefer, but don’t give in to too many indulgences and whims on their part, which are also not good for their little bodies and minds.

Tip: To ensure their lunchbox and its contents stays nice and cool until break time, put it in a mini cooler bag or pack a cooler lunchbox. Fill their water or juice bottle the night before and freeze it overnight. This will keep their lunchbox nice and cool until break time and by that time it will have defrosted. Just remember to put the frozen bottle in a plastic bag or wrap it in a paper towel so that it doesn’t leak over everything.


Technology is advancing fast and it’s affecting the way our children receive their education. Traditional textbooks are slowly being replaced by digital versions read on a tablet.

Although it is great for the kids to learn how to use the latest technology, parents’ budgets might say otherwise.

Tablets For School | Junk Mail

But don’t worry, you don’t need to splurge on the most expensive tablet out there. There are great options for the budget-conscious parent. A good idea would be to keep your eye on Junk Mail for good deals on tablets and computers for your kids.

Also, don’t forget to buy a protective case for your child’s tablet.

Study desk, chair and desk lamp

Lastly, make sure your kid has a clean, practical, well-lit space where they can do their homework and study during the afternoons. Invest in a proper desk, even a corner desk if possible and a comfortable chair. Luckily, this isn’t a regular expense, so you can splurge a little on good quality that will last your child throughout their school career. Again, browse through Junk Mail for great bargains on these larger, more expensive items needed for your child’s education.

Desk Lamps For Sale On Junk Mail

LAST IMPORTANT TIP: Save yourself unnecessary expenses and make sure that you mark all your child’s belongings with their name on it. This way it won’t go missing easily or be mistaken for another child’s.

Well, there you have it. A comprehensive guide to all, or most of what your child will need to make a success of the new school year. Hope this helps some moms and dads out there. We wish you all the best for the new school year!

Don’t waste time, visit Junk Mail today to find great deals on back-to-school and other essentials.

Your complete back to school guide
Article Name
Your complete back to school guide
It’s back-to-school time again so visit Junk Mail for a wide range of affordable school clothes, sports gear, stationery, backpacks and much more.
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Junk Mail
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Liezl Grobler

Digital Copy Editor, Blogger, SEO Writer and Online Marketing...

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