The school year begins for 52,800 Bay of Plenty students this week with 690 five-year-olds starting school for the first time.
Another 4,150 will start school this year.
Across New Zealand 750,000 students head back to school with over 10,000 5-year-olds starting this week.
"Across the whole of this year we expect 61,820 five-year-olds will begin their primary schooling for the first time," said the Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey.
"Altogether, a total of 753,000 students will be heading to school from Years 1 to 13.
"There are lots of things parents can do to support their children to achieve well at school.
"Ensuring there's a suitable space at home for homework is important, for example.
"For older students tackling NCEA, this is a good time for parents to sit down with their kids and set some clear goals for the year ahead. What does your son or daughter want to achieve this year? Make a plan to check in with them regularly to see what support they need to help achieve their goals," said Ms Casey.