Pencils have been sharpened, lunchboxes retrieved from the back of the cupboard and shoes given a polish.

Yes, it’s that time of year again, when pupils around Basingstoke and Deane head off to school.

With the end of term having come rather abruptly last time, students are looking forward to getting out from under their parents’ feet and meeting up with their friends and teachers once again, because school is finally back.

Parents across the area shared pictures of their kids getting ready for the new school year.

Many returned to school for the first time since lockdown measures were introduced in March.

n The Gazette was inundated with pictures from proud parents of their loved ones heading off for a new school year this week. So we will run another double-page spread of photographs in next week’s issue to feature as many pictures as possible so make sure you pick up a copy next week.