An 11-year-old girl who has never missed a day of school says the secret is good health and a love of learning.

Katerina Hibberd, a pupil at Lady Queen of Heaven RC School in Southfields, has a 100 per cent attendance record since joining the school's nursery aged three.

The keen student, who is about to move to secondary school, said: "I've been ill sometimes but not during school time.

"School is quite fun and educational and I learn new things. I like maths lessons. The year before last I got a trip to Chessington."

Katerina's school normally celebrates 100 per cent attendance with certificates, stickers and a party, where children who have never missed a day of school can wear their own clothes.

But two years ago headteacher Angela Pitcher awarded Katerina and her older sister, who live in Wimbledon Park Road, a trip to Chessington World of Adventures after both children achieved full attendance for five years running.

Two years on Katerina has still maintained an unbroken attendance record.

Katerina's mother, Antonietta Hibberd, said: "We eat healthily at home, she does quite a bit of exercise and she gets good hours' sleep. I think it's just a combination of that.

"She does have treats and snacks but they are always counterbalanced with a piece of fruit.

"Personally I don't agree with taking children on holiday during school time. I appreciate that it's quite expensive out of term time but they are there to learn and it just disrupts their learning."

Headteacher Mrs Pitcher, who introduced the 100 per cent award scheme at the school, said: "She is the first who has never missed a day since I have been head which is nine years.

"She is a good girl who works hard. I think she has probably come in when she felt a bit under the weather because once you have managed it for a year then the incentive is there to keep going.

"A lot of the children really try hard to have 100 per cent attendance, earning a prize, certificate and stickers but obviously they cant help it if they are ill so I guess she must be quite hardy."