9th July 1999 at 01:00
Ben, until recently a pupil at my nursery school, telephoned me one Friday afternoon. "I got 10 out of 10 for spelling and I got frightened," he said.

"Good," I said, "but you must not get frightened; you should enjoy spelling."

"I did," he said, "and I got frightened and I spelled it right."

The Year 2 children are playing, running around in their own space away from the bigger children. I'm on playground duty, keeping a close eye on things, looking out for facial expressions that speak volumes. A breathless child runs up, tugs on my sleeve and says: "Mrs Palmer, Ben just said the 'R'


"The 'R' word, what's that?"

"Arse," he replies innocently.

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