There were some tears but mostly big smiles outside Port Stephens primary schools on Monday as parents dropped off their newest 'big kids' for their first day of kindergarten.
Meeting an excited Anthony Ford before the bell rang on his first day of kindergarten on Monday, you would never have known that earlier that morning he had been a little reluctant about getting ready for his first day of 'big school'.
Anthony's mother, Anna-Maria Ford, said her youngest son's excitement for kindy grew when he put his Soldiers Point Public School uniform on.
It also helped that Anthony, 5, had his big brother Alexander, 11, by his side to tackle the first day, so much so that the young student was ready to race through the school gates on Monday morning.
"The fact that he wants to go in and get started is exciting, especially for me," Mrs Ford, from Salamander Bay, said.
"It's an emotional day. My eldest is starting Year 6 and my youngest is in kindy. I have one at each end of the scale now, they're both experiencing primary school.
"I'm glad they have this year where they're at school together. I'm looking forward to seeing them in school photos together."
Alexander helped his younger brother prepare for kindergarten by teaching him how to write his name and spell words.
The 11 year old said he was a "little sad" at seeing Anthony start school, but promised that he would look out for him.
"He's too little," Alexander said.
To which Anthony quickly replied: "No I'm not."
Anthony said he was excited to be in big school and meet new friends.