by Molly Hancock
THE bell rang, parents said their goodbyes and the fresh-faced prep students were ready to start their schooling adventure.
Mitchell State Primary School is the home to 19 prep students this year and St Patrick's Parish Primary School welcomed eight, the biggest intake for them in 10 years.
Another new face in the classroom at Mitchell State School is prep teacher Kate Sterling.
Ms Sterling graduated recently from USQ and, through the Darling Downs West Professional Hub, secured a permanent placement at Mitchell.
The eager teacher is already blown away at the growth of her preps in the two short weeks since starting school and can't wait to see what the next year brings.
"This year I am really looking forward to teaching reading, which will be really exciting and I also want to build good relationships with the children,” Ms Sterling said.
"We are all going to be doing our own learning journeys but they're all going to grow and succeed.
"They're all really excited to learn.”
At St Patrick's, reading is also the number-one priority of prep teacher Jessica Maris.
"The Toowoomba diocese has a reading strategy going at the moment and we have done so much professional development on reading and that has really made me excited to teach them how to read,” Mrs Maris said.
She also hopes to help her students thrive socially, academically and spiritually.
The eager preps in their crisp new uniforms, paired with beaming smiles, shared some of their favourite things about school so far.
While playing on the playground, using iPads and going home were favourable, they were also excited to learn.
"I have learnt to be respectful,” Mitchell State School student Amy Cassell said.
"I love reading and writing about holidays,” Mckenzie Mitchell, from St Patrick's, said.