The first day of school can be a scary moment for any four-year-old - and their parents.
But when Ellie May Challis's mother dropped her off at the gates yesterday, it marked a particularly poignant milestone.
Three years ago, Ellie May was struck down by a deadly strain of meningitis.
Although she survived, septicaemia caused her body to shut down and she was forced to have her arms and legs removed weeks later.
Yesterday, with the help of prosthetic limbs, she walked into her school's playground with her twin sister Sophie, brother Connor, ten, and sister Tai-la, nine.
Mrs Challis said: 'Ellie May can't wait to go back. She is so excited and has been telling me everything about her first day.
'I sat by the phone all morning just in case there was a problem, but it couldn't have gone better.'
Although Parsonage Farm Primary in Rainham, Essex, has installed a wheelchair ramp leading from her classroom to the playground, Ellie May is determined not to use it.
Mrs Challis, 35, who lives with her husband Paul, 45, said: 'She wants to fit in like everyone else but she does get tired and keeping up with the other children might be difficult.
'She's an independent little girl - she gets dressed herself, climbs the stairs and even brushes her own teeth and hair.
'If anyone tries to help her, she insists on doing it all over again by herself.
'But the freedom her legs give her is remarkable.'