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On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

This week: Christmas comes early

Those of us in the northern hemisphere are deep into the summer holidays - and what fantastic holidays they are turning out to be. Right across Europe, from Helsinki to Lisbon, the only rain to be found is falling upon Luxembourg.

Back in England, teachers are deservedly spending their days soaking up some sun, contemplating an ice cream or perhaps relaxing with a lovely glass of Pimm's. Some may even be tripping down London's Oxford Street to do a little light shopping in preparation for a week's break on the beach.

However, be warned: if you step into department store Selfridges, you will not be met by idyllic seaside scenes but by a giant polar bear with a bemused expression, possibly because he's surrounded by tinsel and baubles from the store's newly opened Christmas shop.

And bang, there goes your summer reverie, ousted by images of the longest term: children unsettled by new classes and new schools, worries about results, a new curriculum and icy playground accidents. All standard fare in the build-up to screeching nativity play rehearsals and, after all that, Christmas.

Don't get TES wrong. We're not against the festive season. We just don't want to be reminded of it until, say, 24 December. So until then, premature Christmas, it's off to the naughty step with you.

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