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School is fun for some four-year-olds

Less than a year into her school career, Sumer Netherwood has already worked out the balance of power in the classroom.

The four-year-old, who is a reception pupil at Elsecar Church of England primary, in Barnsley, south Yorkshire, knows that it is important to listen to her teacher.

"She tells us what to do," she said. "She tells us when it's play time and home time. It's important to listen to what she tells us. That's being good.

"I want to be good, because she'll shout at us if we're not, and that's quite scary."

Sumer and her friends enjoy coming to school.

Olivia Knott, her four-year-old classmate, said: "I like playing in the classroom, playing with toys, with cars.

"It's different playing in the playground to playing in the classroom.

There's more things to play with in the classroom. It's more fun. And it's better than nursery. You learn more things."

Both list painting, writing and playing in designated role-play areas as their favourite activities.

"I'm happy to go to school," said Olivia. "I'm happy to see my friends. But I also like home time. I like having my own toys. I like going back to my mum. She gives me biscuits."

Neither believes that Alison Crawford, their teacher, lives at school. But Ms Crawford says that opinion is divided on this vital question.

"There are some children who think you live at school and stay overnight," she said. "They think school is my life. And sometimes it is."

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