ALISON Hester is not sure who is more excited, her or son Phineas, who starts kindergarten next Monday.
For the mother of five, it is the first time in more than a decade she will not have any of her children at home during the week.
“It’s going to be a big change,” Alison said.
“Phineas is starting kindergarten and my oldest Stephen is heading to high school.
For the youngest of the Hester siblings, school presents even more opportunities to play with friends while also making new ones.
And with three older siblings at the school, there will be no shortage of people to look out for Phineas.
“Lynelle was really protective of Matthew (going into year 2) when he started and it’s been the same with the others as well,” Alison said.
Alison said the orientation programs for both Gloucester Public and Gloucester High schools had been excellent.
Kindergarten students are paired with a buddy from year 5 who show them around and introduce them to school life.
The peer support program run by Gloucester High is similar.
“Towards the end of the year they do a couple of hours at school each week,” Alison said.
“It makes the transition far easier.”
For Phineas, apart from spending more time with his friends, the thing he is most looking forward to is catching the bus with the big kids.
“I don’t even need a booster seat,” he said.