THE first day of kindergarten at Orange Christian School was a wash of shiny shoes, brightly coloured backpacks, school uniforms one size too big on giggling girls and boisterous boys - but there was one thing missing.
None of the 24 kindergarten children had tears in their eyes, they were far too busy saying ‘see ya’ to mum and dad as they grabbed each other by the hand and took off.
Principal Melissa Brown could barely contain her excitement as she welcomed the parents of the new batch of kindy kids.
She said it had been a long time since any child had cried on the first day but seeing parents shed a tear or two was quite common.
“Another thing I noticed was the number of dads coming up on the first day,” she said.
“It has increased over the years, in general I think both partners share the responsibilities these days.”
As the children went into their classroom, parents were directed to a welcome morning tea at the school.
Mrs Brown said most schools had learnt they needed to provide some sort of social gathering to ease the stress of saying goodbye to their children on their first day.
Mum Sharon Chown sent her fourth child, Joshua, off to school and said the reason mums cry was because parents tried hard to instil the right morals and values in their children for the first five years and then you had to hand them over for the next 13.
“You just hope you did a good job and you did everything you could,” she said.
The anxiety she felt on Wednesday morning was just as intense as it was for the first three children she dropped off at school for the first time.
For five-year-old Lily Cordery, kindergarten was no big deal, her classroom was 20 metres away from her pre-prep classroom where spent the last year getting ready for school.
Her Mum Kristy Cordery said she was awake at six and ready to walk out the door at 6.30am she was so excited to go to “big school”.
Fellow mum Jennifer Cooke said goodbye to her eldest child Ebony and was sad she would no longer have her at home but was excited for her daughter to meet new people and learn how to read and write.
“I’m excited because she will get to expand her horizons,” she said.
About 3400 kindergarten students started school this week in the western region which covers Bathurst, Bourke, Broken Hill, Dubbo and Orange.