Learning the letters is the most important subject in the first class and 8-year-old Zhenya from SOS Children's Village Pushkin, Russia, is doing great. "I can read a bit, even if I don't know all the letters yet," she says.
Generally, her feelings towards her school are the same - she likes the school, the subjects are not very hard and she loves her teacher, even if she is sometimes displeased with the pupils who don't pay attention.
"I'm not bored of school yet, but that doesn't mean I'm not waiting for the summer vacation to begin," says the girl, who got praise from the village administration because of her excellent results in school.
Troiki ne Dvoiki!
"At that time my marks were only 5's and 4's, but now I have two 3's in mathematics, and I'm not very sad - troika ne dvoika (a 3 is not a 2)! I had errors in an exercise and I accept the marks," says Zhenya who has now learned the most important thing in school is to be careful.
"In school you must be very careful not to make errors in exercises, behave well and be extra careful with books."
She is obviously managing to do all that, as she is one of the best students in her class. "I'm not the best, but among the best. There was a case when the teacher let me and a friend of mine leave before the others, because we solved the exercises in mathematics so quickly," she says excitedly.
"Charmed" replaced by "Poor Nastya"
Although Zhenya has many friends at school and she says that they usually play family, most frequently a game called "mother and daughter", schoolmates haven't visited her at the SOS Children's Village. "Katya, Julia, Natasha and Vanya are my best friends, but they haven't visited me here yet," she says.
"Mother said that we should wait a bit and then invite them for a visit. I agree with that - I can't even cook yet. First I must learn," she says. A month before the end of the school year she has no idea what will happen in the summer.
Between studying for school and cooking lessons, Zhenya watches TV. "Charmed" used to be my personal favourite TV-series, but now my favourite is the Russian series "Poor Nastya."
In a way Zhenya is also worse off now - the school bus doesn't stop near the village anymore, so she has to walk a couple of extra kilometres every morning. It hasn't done away with your enthusiasm for school? "No! Now we can even write with a ballpoint, not with a pencil!"