Returning to school after the Summer holidays, or starting for the first time, can be daunting for children at the best of times, but even more so after recent events.
Pupils are now back in the classroom in some primary schools, and while some measures against coronavirus remain in place, things will look a lot more like they did before the pandemic.
At Great Meols Primary School in Wirral, it was the first day for new headteacher Rob Brown.
It was, said Mr Brown, "a bit like Christmas Day for me."
But there are concerns over the long-term impact of so much missed time.
"We have really supportive parents who have thrown their heart and soul into supporting the home learning.
"But it just cannot replicate children being in the classroom learning from those brilliant professionals we've got, and learning from each other as well," said Mr Brown.
"We know there are gaps to be filled, but we are starting with their mental well-being. We are getting that right first, lots of time with their peers, lots of enjoyable playtimes."
"We've got a great new initiative and learning policy about growth mindset which is all about learning from our mistakes, being courageous learners, and we know that will set the children well to then plug those gaps that they may have in Maths and English or whatever it may be," he added.
One parent Claire O'Connell told ITV News: "The older children have had to adapt to so much over the last two years really.
"So it would be really nice if we can get a normal term and have the normal kind of celebrations and things like the Christmas stuff where parents can go into school."