Thousands of children across Cumbria are preparing to return to school, but for one youngster it marks a special milestone.

The majority of nurseries, primary and secondary schools across the county reopen their doors today or tomorrow, preparing for the start of a new academic year.

For hundreds of little ones it is their first day at school, bringing with it a world of new experiences.

When Noah Wall, four, starts Allonby Primary School tomorrow it will be a move his parents and doctors once feared he'd never make.

The Abbeytown youngster is paralysed from the chest down, having been born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus (water on the brain).

Noah initially had just two per cent of his brain functioning but, in a seeming medical miracle, his brain has since developed and grown to almost that of a typical four-year-old.

He will begin by attending school just one day a week, with his mum Michelle - known as Shelly - acting as his carer throughout the day.

She told the News & Star : "I didn't want Noah to go to a special school, I didn't want him missing out on mainstream education and all the experiences that come with it.

"We chose Allonby because it is a very small school, with very small class sizes. That will help him but will also cut down the noise, and does still cover his ears and is unsure of certain noises."

Shelly already home schools Noah, and this will continue alongside his one-day-a-week, allowing him to attend his physiotherapy and hydrotherapy appointments, and various doctors' appointments and scans.

She continued: "I wanted him to have a choice and be able to see what it's like in mainstream school. If he then wants to go two days a week, I'm not going to stop him.

"Noah is really excited though: he's got his pencils, his books, his reading bag and lunch bag.

"He's even got his PE kit, and says he wants to be able to play football one day."

It is a big week all round for young Noah who, two days later, will be undergoing major surgery.

Surgeons will work to create a new hip socket, and he will then face weeks in a spica cast, fixing his legs in one place and requiring temporary new car seats, chairs and clothing.