Students are strapping on their shoes and sunhats and heading back to school, but not all at once.
The start of the school year has been staggered by Nelson schools, with some welcoming students back this week.
Others are waiting until after the Nelson Anniversary and Waitangi Day holidays.
Colleges have started early, with all but Nelson College bringing pupils back this week.
Nelson College will open on February 7, the same date as most primary schools and all intermediate schools in the city.
Nelson Central School opened its doors to new entrants and returning students this morning, in a move principal Paul Potaka said "works for everyone".
The school was starting early to break up its use of teacher-only days, he said.
"We want to have some teacher-only days during the year."
New entrant Celeste Marchant, 5, was escorted to school by her mother and two older siblings.
They were early and her mother, Bridget Marchant, said it was because they were organised.
"I hope it's setting the precedent for the whole year," she said.
Her youngest was "a bit nervous", but had been ready for school for ages "because of the other two".
"She's finally caught up with them."
Celeste had new shoes, a new backpack, and a new sunhat.
She hung her bag on a hook by a yellow name tag outside Room 10.
Her teacher, Tracy Watkin, said some of the children in the class had been at school for a few weeks already at the end of last year.
"Some of them come in and they are very, very confident already, and some of them come in and it takes them a few days to settle," she said.
"We're going to be working on our first letter sound, and we're going have a little look around the school."
They would also share a big book, and the newest children would go home at 2pm.
Ms Watkin said she also taught Celeste's older sister Eliza, 10.
- The Nelson Mail
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