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Small fry all set for big day at school

Last updated 05:00 29/01/2014
Sophia Evans
NEW ENTRANT: Five-year-old Sophia Evans is starting school for the first time on Monday.

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Little Sophia Evans is one of 10,000 children across the country fronting up for their first year at school over the next few days.

Ministry of Education guidelines state schools can start term one between January 27 and February 7.

The 5-year-old will be at Mellons Bay School on February 3 and is well prepared for the experience.

"Santa bought me the school bag and the lunchbox and the drink bottle," she says.

"It's my favourite colour."

Proud mum Melissa Teed says seeing Sophia starting school is exciting.

"She's definitely ready for it," Miss Teed says.

"Her brain is just so active wanting to pick up new things like counting, she's like ‘Mummy ask me more math questions'."

School will still be cheaper than kindergarten despite all the extra costs, she says.

"All up with the summer uniform, the winter uniform, the school fees and all the bits and pieces, I think you wouldn't get much change out of $1000."

Sophia has already been introduced to Mellons Bay School through its Small Fry Learners programme.

She is looking forward to trying out the playground, heated swimming pool and library.

"I went into the library on Small Fry and they had a hundred thousand books," she says.

"I only read Fuzzy Bear."

Ministry spokeswoman Ruth Laugesen says about 62,000 children will start at school this year.

The ministry says most children in New Zealand start school shortly after they turn 5, but all must be enrolled by their sixth birthday.

Caregivers are legally required to ensure their child attends school every day.

Caregivers of children aged between 6 and 16 can be prosecuted if their child is away from school without good reason.

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- Eastern Courier

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