Belinda Mackean will be starting work as a teacher at Nayland Primary School for the first time this week, along with her three children. They are, from left, Charlie, 7, Tessa, 5, and Oliver, 9. Photo: Andrew Board.

Back to school


Starting school for a five year old can be a terrifying experience, at least Tessa Mackean doesn’t have to go through it alone.

Tessa has her first day at Nayland Primary School today – but alongside her will be her two brothers and mum, also having their first day at the school. The Mackean family moved to Nelson during the summer from Auckland to be closer to both sets of grandparents and mum Belinda, also a teacher, says she’s looking forward to starting her new job alongside her children.

“I think it’s going to be quite different, the kids are quite excited but come first day I think there might be a few nerves.”

Tessa, along with Oliver, 9, and Charlie, 7, say they’re excited about the start of the year and their new uniforms. Most primary schools head back to school today [Tuesday] and police are warning drivers to keep an eye out.

Sergeant Stu Wright said young children can be quite vulnerable.

“Young children returning to school are excited and are not good at judging speed and distance. All road users need to expect the unexpected. No one wants a child to be killed on our roads so we all need to play our part.”

He says police will be strictly enforcing road rules and driver behaviour around school zones.

“We will be checking that all drivers are complying with the conditions of their graduated licence and all drivers stopped can expect to undergo a breath test.”

He says traffic travelling past a school bus that has stopped to pick up or drop off children must slow to 20km/h.

“Children are extremely vulnerable on the roads. We will be out doing our bit to keep them safe.”