Durban – Nervous parents, busy teachers and all-around enthusiasm dominated Clarence Primary School in Greyville on Wednesday, as hundreds of pupils began their first day of school.
The 111-year-old school, home to 1 215 pupils - 182 of which are in Grade 1 - was abuzz with staff and parents rallying to start the first day on time.
Slondiwe Malinga said she was "extremely nervous" for her daughter Unathi Ngcobo, who was starting Grade 1.
"I think that I am far more nervous than she is. I just feel like I am going to die without my little one. I am also happy that she is attending though."
"Look at Unathi, she is not nervous at all," said her father Siyabonga Ngcobo.
"She is like me. She has a few friends here and she is a strong child. She will be fine."
Commenting on her first day, Unathi said: "I am happy to be coming to school. It is exciting."
Hima Vasala said she was nervous for her little one, Diya.
"It is a quite nerve-wracking, but I am sure my baby will be great."
Diya, with a shy smile while grabbing her mom’s leg, said: "I am excited and happy."
Ellie Bob said she was going to miss her little one, Chloe.
"I am so nervous it is unbelievable. I think it is tough because the holidays are over and we are used to having her around. But I know her teacher and I am sure the school will take good care of her."
Naren Boodhoo, head of department for the Grade 1s, said after 17 years at the school he was accustomed to the first-day jitters.
"You definitely get some nervous parents, but for the most part, once the parents leave, the kids calm down and enjoy school."
Principal Lyn Breytenbach said the morning had gone smoothly.
"The energy is high and some parents are nervous, but we are well-organised today. I would advise parents to simply trust their kids with us. All will be well."