School is back in session this week for nearly 30,000 students across Hawke's Bay.

One of these students, six-year-old Jean-Anne Harrison, had been "counting down the days" for her first day back at Hastings' St Joseph's School.

Her mother, Bridget Harrison, said her Year 2 daughter had been more excited for school to start this year as she knew what to expect.

"She's been absolutely thrilled to be heading back to school. She's been counting down the days to see her friends ... and she was really excited to see her principal again."


Principal Sandra Connor said for Jean-Anne and the other St Joseph's students it had been a fun-filled first day back.

"It's been wonderful, a great start."

All their students had come prepared for the first day with books and uniforms. They would be getting straight into the curriculum, and already had homework last night.

There were six Year 1 students enrolled yesterday, and Ms Connor said their numbers tended to grow as the year progressed - with 13 to come throughout the year.

They were among the 290 who had their very first day of school yesterday in Hawke's Bay.

The Ministry of Education reported this number would grow to 2340 by the end of the year.

There were 29,800 total enrolments for the Hawke's Bay region from new entrants to Year 13 students this year. Ministry of Education head of sector enablement and support Katrina Casey said they expected 61,820 five-year-olds would begin their schooling throughout the entire year.

"Altogether, a total of 753,000 students will be heading to school from Years 1 to 13."

She said there were lots of things parents could do to support their children to achieve well at school, such as making a suitable space at home for homework.

"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?"

Ms Casey said parents should make a plan to check in with them regularly to see what support their children needed to help achieve their goals.