The Bug is coming to the end of his primary school journey; my diary is filled with school-related fixtures, from plays and assemblies, to sports days and parties. It’s so much fun, but it’s also a whole heap of chaos! Which is why I’ve been planning the next phase for several months already. I’ve booked an appointment to get his secondary school uniform, ordered the maths equipment (who even knew there was more than just a ruler and pencil?), and I’ve installed a desk in his bedroom.
When my eldest started secondary school she already had a desk. She used it more as a dressing table/dumping ground, its surface littered with make up palettes, and its drawer full of earrings whose partners were consigned to elsewhere (I strongly believe there’s an earring colony under her bed, but I have been known to find them in the u-bend of the bathroom sink on one of my routine unblocking endeavours!) However, fashion and cosmetics soon found a new home on her window ledge as it quickly became apparent that the desk would be needed – for homework.
The Bug, having no need for make up storage, has never had a desk, so I knew it was the first item of furniture I’d need to install ahead of his secondary school start. I also knew it would need various storage sections for the huge variety of files, exercise and text books, and handouts he’s going to start bringing home after his first week.
At the moment, the drawers and cubby holes of his Babios Ocean desk house decorously placed trinkets, and must-not-be-touched LEGO models, but I know from experience that within a week of starting in year 7 he will be bringing home a ton of stuff that will need not just to be stored, but labelled, filed and organised! Most secondary schools allow just a few days grace before they get their new recruits into the swing of things with a bit of homework, and then its trainers to the treadmill, ad infinitum, I assume until they leave school at 18. I’m up to year 9 so far, and the terms definitely go by faster, the further in you get.
As well as books and paperwork, I know that there is a whole remit of DT (or Design and Technology) modules that will require both input and space outside of the school gate. I’ve spent many a Sunday evening hunting down ingredients for Food Tech in the morning, and the range of metal, wood, and textile work that come home is a revelation. And that’s just in the first year! So I knew he’d need a desk with lots of storage space.
I love the cupboard under his desk, and I know it’s going to house all manner of what I consider junk that just has to be hoarded. (I will probably contribute to it by hiding stray objects from his floor  – if I can’t see them, I won’t complain about them, right?) What I love even more is that it has a door!
The desk is really solid, but comes flat-packed ready to build yourself. Now I’m whizz with a flatpack, and this was simple to put together, but I did need a bit of muscle to help me lift the various parts into place. This was actually quite reassuring; I have several (swedish-style) flat-pack furniture items that are beginning to sway as the backs jigsaw back and forth, but this desk will not be joining them. It’s really solid, so I know it’s going to last right up until he’s studying for his A-levels – and probably beyond.
What I’m also loving about the design is that Babios make complete sets of furniture on a theme, that you can buy individually. I’m hoping that once we chuck out all the polo and sweatshirts of his junior uniform there will be enough space in Evan’s wardrobe for all his clothes, but if he’s anything like his sister he’s going to need a bigger one. Thankfully Babios do two different sizes of wardrobe, in the same design as his desk. We can even upgrade his bed in the Ocean design when he decides he’s too big for a bunk bed. There are also book cases and chests of drawers, so if we wanted to, we can kit out his whole room to look super smart.

Is your child starting secondary school in September? What tips would you give to parents of new starters if you’ve already made that step?

The Ocean desk was sent to us courtesy of Babios for the purposes of review. All images and opinion are mine. Visit the Babios website to see the whole range, and for current prices.

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