THE very idea of leaving the safety and security of home can be a daunting experience for many young children as they start of their lives in national school.
However, there were few signs of nerves among the almost 90 new pupils who arrived for their first day at Scoil Íosagáin Infant School in Mallow.
While there may have been one or two tears, the vast majority were clearly looking forward to the new adventure and it did not take them long to settle down into their new routine.
School principal Sheila Collins was no stranger to the big occasion, having presided over the first day at the school for the past three years.
"This is a big day for any school. While there were one or two tears among the children, they did not last long. In fact there were more moist eyes among the parents than the children," grinned Ms Collins.
"This is just as big a day for parents as it is the children, particularly when it is their first child starting school," she added.
With the school set to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year, it should come as little surprise that many of the new students were following in the footsteps of their parents.
Mrs Eileen Joyce, a teacher at Scoil Íosagáin for the past 36-years, taught the father of one of her new pupils. "He was a lovely young man as well," she laughed.
"It is great to see the familiar names coming through again. It reinforces the great tradition that exists here at the school, something we are all very proud of," added Mrs Joyce.
She and the three other junior infant teachers, Ms Foley, Mrs Hooper and Ms Cronin, were all busy keeping their new charges happy and making sure they settled in.
Judging by the beaming smiles on the faces of the infants the quartet of teachers were doing a fine job.
Certainly, little Golden Edogbo, who told the Corkman he wanted to be a "famous soccer player", was loving school. "I love it here, I love playing with my new friends," he said.
Diarmuid O'Riordan and his friends, Ian O'Sullivan, Keelan Hill and Cian Segondat, were also planning for the future. "We all want to be firemen," said Diarmuid.
Little Eve Tiburzi also had here future mapped out,
"When I grow up I want to work at Auntie Nellie's and get plenty of sweets," she smiled.