Three schoolbags packed, three ties tied and three polo shirts buttoned up.
And plenty of tissues on hand for triplets’ Kyle, Callum and Lewis’ first day at school.
It’s an emotional day for their proud parents Alan and Gillian Johnston as the five-year-olds spend their first day in P1.
The brothers are in the same class at Kinghorn Primary School, and among thousands of four and five-year-olds starting school in Fife on Wednesday.
As they got ready to make the step from nursery to school, Kyle, Callum and Lewis told us what they were looking forward to and Alan and Gillian, who also have three older children between them, told us what it was like preparing for the big day.
Brimming with enthusiasm for their first day with their new teacher the boys all told us they were “excited” to start school.
Anticipating what they would do in class, Lewis said “I’ll paint a picture”, while both Kyle and Callum said “I’ll play with my friends”.
For Alan and Gillian everything from uniform shopping to ensuring bags are packed and trousers ironed was multiplied by three.
Their school uniform shopping bill came to over £500 and included:
- 12 pairs of trousers
- 9 jumpers
- 12 polo shirts
- 9 pairs of shoes (outdoor, indoor and gym)
- 3 ties
- 3 schoolbags
- 3 gym kits
Gillian, a support assistant at Fife Council, said: “It’s knowing what to get and obviously three of everything, and it’s more trousers and more t-shirts.
“It’s quite challenging, and quite costly!”
While some four- and five-year-olds will have been nervous about leaving their parents behind at the school gates, Kyle, Callum and Lewis have each other for support.
Alan, an electrical surveyor for the same local authority, said: “They seem to play off each other quite a lot, so the three of them going together is going to be a big help in the first few months.”
Gillian said: “Callum and Lewis are quite shy, whereas Kyle is really outgoing so I think it will be good for them all going together.”
It’s knowing what to get and obviously three of everything, and it’s more trousers and more t-shirts.”
Mum Gillian Johnston
When the triplets were born in April 2016, they made a family of six for Gillian, who also has son Rian, 14, and Alan, who has Scott, 15, and Carly 14.
The big siblings are also back at school in Kirkcaldy after the summer holiday, as thousands of older children return to or make the step up to secondary school.
Day one of the new term is also particularly exciting for Madras College pupils, who will be the first to attend classes in their brand new building.
The £55 million St Andrews secondary school replaces the school’s former campuses at South Street and Kilrymont Road.
Many Covid restrictions remain in force in schools, at least for the first six weeks of this term, including hand sanitising, one-way systems and enhanced cleaning.
Secondary school pupils must still wear face coverings in classrooms and inside school buildings, and are asked to take twice-weekly lateral flow tests.
However, class bubbles have been scrapped by the Scottish Government in favour of more targeted contact tracing, aimed at reducing disruption to children’s education by self-isolating.
Perth and Kinross pupils also return to school today, following Dundee pupils who were back yesterday and Angus schoolchildren who returned last week.