Sun turns star-crossed lovers crazy

6th August 2010 at 01:00

From the outset there was something dangerously romantic about the last days of summer term. I don't mean the sweet allure of six weeks' holiday. Neither do I mean the staffroom daydreams of a bikini-clad Miss Gorgeous lying sun-bronzed on the beach at Lanzarote (although for the rest of this paragraph I'm going to take a few deep breaths).

What most aroused my fears was the way Year 6 became suddenly enamoured by thoughts of love. It is scary enough to observe 11-year-old boys spraying themselves with enough Eau de Testosterone to beguile a female rhinoceros. It is even more scary to see 11-year-old girls - on the pretext of having grown out of their uniforms - wearing too little of everything but make-up.

The cold days toiling under the shadow of Sats were clearly a thing of the past. The announcement that we'd had our best test results ever raised barely a flicker of excitement - except in the headteacher's office, where loud whoops were heard as she performed cartwheels, ate Belgian chocolates and drank copious quantities of pink champagne. Year 6 had other, more important matters to obsess about.

Some say the fierce sun went to their heads. Others blame the cruel whispers that emanated from behind the bike racks. Knowing the cause, however, is of little consequence when it cannot change what happened. For never was a story of more woe than this of Britney and her Robbie-O!

What started with a peck on the lips, quickly progressed to a smack in the mouth and ended with a mass brawl, the like of which has not been seen since a famous family in Verona thought it might be a good idea to gatecrash a party thrown by its neighbours from hell.

Britney and Nathan were an item. They lived next door to each other; their parents were best friends; they had been in love since they were three. Numerous missives, intercepted as they passed around the classroom, bore testimony to this. The only pity is that the messages bore little testimony to the ability of either correspondent to use compound sentences, adverbial phrases, a variety of logical connectives and the truth; for Britney secretly loved another.

Apparently, while Nathan had been re-sculpting his hair in the boys' toilets during the Leavers' Party, Robbie, his arch enemy from the parallel Year 6 class, had stolen his girlfriend's heart. They had checked each other out across a crowded hall and danced the Macarena together. The next day, Britney sent several messages via her best friend Emma, and a secret rendezvous was arranged. It took place under cover of the "wild area" by the playground, which Mother Nature's reckless fecundity had turned into a warren of intimate hideaways.

It is not a best-kept secret that best friends are not best at keeping secrets. Within moments of that first tentative kiss, Nathan arrived hot on the scene swearing to make worm's meat out of Robbie. And because news of a good fight travels much faster than your average lunchtime supervisor, lots of other children arrived hot on the scene, too, and for several minutes all hell broke loose.

By the time order was restored Robbie had sustained several bruises, Nathan's hair was in desperate need of gel and Britney's inconsolable screams had provoked breathing difficulties.

When Britney's mum arrived with her asthma spray it was noted by several members of staff that her sunglasses didn't entirely conceal a black eye. Rumour has it she was caught snogging Nathan's dad at a barbecue.

Steve Eddison is a key stage 2 teacher in Sheffield. Mike Kent is on holiday.

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