Thank God it's Friday

21st November 1997 at 00:00
Monday: There is great anticipation today because work is due to start on the playground adventure trail, for which we have been raising money for as long as I can remember.

My week begins with Sally running down the corridor shouting "Miss, Miss have you got another one of those nit combs?" I am filled with pride. Nits used to be a hidden subject - as was Sally, who would agree to being in school only if she was allowed to stay under a table covered by a large cloth. Unfortunately, neither of these successes count as far as the national curriculum goes.

Tuesday: Michael, Michael's mum and I have a little chat about his unfortunate tendency to bite other children. Michael's mum thinks I should cure Michael by biting him. I'm usually happy to support parents, but I point out that I'm a vegetarian. Michael looks relieved.

In the afternoon I get a message from the adventure-playground builders: "How high do you want the wobble board?" I'm not sure, so I ask the children who say it's an essential part of the wood swing bridge. "So it's wobbly, Miss. " Message relayed to the builders.

Wednesday: The school photographer is in. Always a bit of a busy day, but it goes surprisingly smoothly. I help get hair neat by handing out nit combs. Our juniors are sent to get their siblings from the infants' school next door. Then cameras, lenses and backdrops are all changed and we start on the singles.

Harry says, "Shall I get my brother?" Harry's one of our new children and I don't know him well yet. "Yes please, Harry," I say in my best restrained voice.

Five minutes later, Harry returns with his brother. "Do you want my other brother?" "Yes please, Harry," I say, impressed by my self-restraint.

Harry returns five minutes later with another child, plus harassed infant teacher.

"Are you sure you want him?" "Oh yes," I say. "We need all Harry's brothers for the photo."

"But this isn't his brother, it's his friend from down the road."

Decide I should go and try out the wobble board.

Thursday: A father pops in to see me. Please can he use the football goal posts to help train the family's pet buzzard, and also his child has threadworm - could I keep an eye out for it? I don't mind headlice but threadworm is beyond my brief.

Friday: Mr and Mrs V storm into school. Their boy Ryan is being bullied, which I find difficult to believe as Ryan is very sturdy. Investigations reveal that Ryan and his friends have been playing "James Bond", with Ryan as a rather unsuccessful 007. Silly boy -giving the others the chance to attack him. Mr Mrs V seem happy when they offer to play "Batman" instead.

The adventure playground is all but finished. I celebrate by trying out the new monkey bars.

Mary Smith is head of a junior school in a rural town in Wiltshire

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