Pencil cases and protractors at the ready, the new school year also heralds a return for hit secondary school drama Waterloo Road.
At the end of series eight, we were introduced to new teaching assistant Princess Windsor, played by Elizabeth Tan. As she prepares for her first full term, we caught up with Elizabeth to find out what we can expect from series nine, what it's like playing the wife of Angus Deayton and all about her Coronation Street past...
We've only had a brief glimpse of Princess so far, tell us about her.
Princess is a fantastic character to play, I've been loving her. She's a lovely person, very kind and helpful, and she's got a good heart. She also stands up for herself, she's feisty and she has her own ambitions. So, while she will be a good wife to George (Windsor – played by Angus Deayton), she won't be pushed around.
So, err, what attracted her to George?
Well, they met in Shanghai and had a whirlwind romance. She's very attracted to his Western exoticness, his wonderful dry wit and his Englishness, which she found charming. They meet, get married and come to the UK to start a life together. She's very excited. She does have a bit of a culture shock but she has a very positive attitude towards facing the Western world.
And George doesn't waste any time getting her to do his work at school.
George has become the Mandarin teacher and he is really out of his depth because he 's not fluent in Chinese at all. As Princess says, “George, your Mandarin sucks.” He basically forces Princess to do all the work teaching Mandarin for him, so they start having big bust ups. It's very funny, as they are very creative arguers.
We've heard that Princess ends up getting revenge on George.
Yes, she does! She ends up thinking of some interesting ways of getting revenge on George and she hits him where it really hurts. Poor George.
What's it like playing the wife of Angus Deayton?
Fortunately, I get on very well with Angus. In the first scene we did together in series 8, where we're being affectionate and kissy in the car, I'd only met him 45 minutes earlier! Talk about a whirlwind romance. To be frank, I was really quite nervous. But Angus has been fantastic and we have great chemistry so it's been a lot of fun.
Talking of chemistry, what was your favourite subject at school?
I'm going to sound so geeky but I did really enjoy chemistry. And I loved playing team sports as well.
So, you were a geek and a jock?
Yes, believe it or not! You're pretty cheeky aren't you?
Just Northern, I think.
I love Northerners! You know, I never really appreciated Northerners until I went to do Coronation Street.
In Coronation Street, you played Xin Chiang, last seen running off with Graeme Proctor (Craig Gazey). Would you go back to the cobbles?
I would love to go back at some point. It's an amazing thing to be part of, with a fan base that are so loyal. It was like a dream to be part of something like that.
Tina McIntrye (Michelle Keegan), Graeme's former girlfriend, and Graeme were such popular characters, were you worried how the public would react to Xin and Graeme's affair?
They are so loved aren't they? I was actually very frightened. But I didn't get a lot of backlash, not to me personally. I did notice on Twitter people getting very upset with the characters, there were a lot of people saying 'who would you choose?' and people saying that Tina was out of Graeme's league. Graeme even said in the final episode that we thought Xin and he were a better match.
You say that, but we've met Craig Gazey in real life and he's surprisingly good looking.
(Laughs) You should go and check him out in The Full Monty (playing at the Noel Coward Theatre, London), you'd see a lot more of him than you did in Corrie.
The new series of Waterloo Road starts on Thursday 5 September at 8pm on BBC1