AT Yau Sin School, there are no complaints about class size. For the entire Sai Kung village school has just one pupil. Sit Hau-yee is in Primary Six. When the 11-year-old first entered the school near Ko Tong Village six years ago, there were six other pupils studying in higher forms. But for the past two years, Hau-yee has been the only student, her lessons given by headmaster Chan Kwai-ching and part-time teacher Lai Ko-ya who comes in three times a week. ''I used to have classmates and I enjoyed playing with them,'' Hau-yee says. ''But I don't mind spending my school days alone because Mr Lai and the headmaster always look after me.'' Yau Sin was established by villagers in 1947. But, like many other village schools in the New Territories, the number of pupils has kept dropping as villagers moved to urban areas or emigrated abroad. Hau-yee's parents are indigenous residents of Ko Tong. They earn a living by making gravestones and growing vegetables. The family only takes occasional trips to Sai Kung town centre, spending the rest of their time in the village. Thus they prefer their daughter to go to school close to home. Hau-yee believes she is privileged to have the sole attention of her teachers. ''I can bring my dogs to class and pick wild berries and tomatoes with Mr Lai or the headmaster during break-times,'' she says. ''I enjoy being the only student and I am not bored. But I never tell my friends in town that I am studying alone. I don't want them to ask me questions.'' Hau-yee has eight lessons a day covering all the subjects required in the Education Department syllabus although class arrangements are very flexible. Given both teachers' permission, for example, Hau-yee can finish English class - which she doesn't like - early and proceed to music, a private piano lesson given by the headmaster. As in other schools, Hau-yee sits formal examinations and is given homework. What she doesn't have is competition. Mr Lai, who has taught Hau-yee for two years, does not believe the one-student arrangement is beneficial. ''There is no competition in class which can give the student the incentive to work harder. ''Besides, Hau-yee cannot learn from classmates and has no peer group in school. She is deprived of a normal social life which similar-age students enjoy. It is detrimental to her and the teachers alike,'' he says. Mr Lai worries that when Hau-yee switches to a secondary school, it may take her a longer time to adapt to the new environment and make friends. However, he admits that the special situation at Yau Sin has fostered a close relationship between the school, parents and pupil. ''We are like a family. The headmaster and I are always being invited to Hau-yee's home for dinner. There is no bureaucratic hierarchy and we maintain good relations with Hau-yee's parents,'' says Mr Lai. ''I feel that I am more like Hau-yee's father than a teacher,'' Mr Lai adds. ''Though this close relation with the child sometimes makes it difficult for me as a teacher.'' Headmaster Mr Chan also notes the problems facing Hau-yee. Despite several attempts to arrange a transfer for the girl, her parents would not agree. ''Her parents refused to let their daughter transfer because of financial difficulties,'' explains Mr Chan. ''It would cost the family a lot if Hau-yee moved to a school in the town centre. Her mother would have to stop working and take her daughter to and from school.'' The girl's mother Sit Yiu Ng-mui realises the difficulties for Hau-yee as an only pupil but still feels Yau Sin has been the most suitable school. ''I think it's better for Hau-yee to stay close to us,'' she says. ''Although the Education Department has said they can transfer Hau-yee to a school with a school bus service, I think that Hau-yee is used to the life at Yau Sin. ''Besides, it's only been for two years. Everything will go back to normal when she gets to secondary school. She will have a longer school day and will learn to take care of herself,'' Ms Sit says. Travelling to and from Ko Tong Village and Sai Kung town is tedious with only one bus an hour. ''If Hau-yee stays at Yau Sin, it takes her just 15 minutes to walk home with her two dogs. Certainly, it is more convenient,'' Mr Chan explains. According to figures from the schools division of Tai Po District Education Department, there are three other village schools in northern Sai Kung, besides Yau Sin. All have less than 30 students. But with Hau-yee graduating next month and no new village pupils to come, the Education Department will close Yau Sin down. Mr Lai, who turns 61 this year, will then retire after spending all his life teaching in the New Territories. Headmaster Mr Chan, a teacher with over 20 years' teaching experience, has spent the last 10 years at Yau Sin. Although he could obtain another post through the Education Department's placement scheme, he says the closure of the school will spur him on to change his career. For Hau-yee, September will bring a new start at a secondary school and over 1,000 fellow students. ''I will miss the school, Mr Lai and the headmaster. I like it here,'' she says. But she is looking forward to one thing: sports lessons. Playing basketball by herself or badminton with Mr Lai just isn't the same.