A mix of emotions surrounded the gates to primary schools across the region last week as students and teachers leapt into the new school year.
Students headed off to school to enter new grades and year levels, but those most excited were the young prep, or foundation, students who were heading off to primary school for the very first time.
Tears of nervousness at being a full day away from home, kinder or day care were mixed with those of excitement and eagerness to get started on seven years of primary school.
School bags and lunchboxes were packed as parents and carers watched on, many with tears of their own welling in their eyes, as their young charges either ran off to meet friends and make new ones or clung tightly to their hands or legs.
Others were old hat when it came to school, busily catching up with friends to divulge their holiday antics.
Former grade six students were also making gigantic leaps into secondary schooling, perhaps just as nervous as they had been starting out seven years earlier at primary school.
With the summer break now over, motorists are urged to slow down and be extra cautious around school zones, with reduced speed limits of 40km/h and 60km/h depending on locations from 8am to 9.30am and 2.30pm to 4pm, Monday to Friday.