ALTHOUGH perched way up above the village at Brentfields, Polperro Primary School is still very firmly at the hub of the community, and in some cases has been attended by generations of the same families.
The children, encouraged by the staff, take part in many local competitions, and are very much involved in the annual Polperro Festival of Arts. In return the village turns out in force to support events organised by the school.
The 85 pupils are proud of their local heritage, which is reflected in their aubergine coloured sweatshirts. They bear logos of Peak Rock, which sits at the entrance to Polperro harbour, together with a fishing boat and a crab pot, encircled by boat ropes.
Headteacher for the last seven years has been Roger Carter, a Cornishman originally from Portscatho, who previously taught for 20 years in Buckinghamshire. He is also proud of his roots: the flag of St Piran hangs outside the school and the maypole dancing team has specially made outfits of Cornish Tartan.
All the children are to receive mugs in celebration of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and in conjunction with Lansallos Parish Council.
Polperro School moved to its existing purpose-built site in 1978 following the devastating floods of 1976, when the old school down in the village itself was badly damaged. The building is now the village hall and home to the pre-school, with which there is a close working relationship. The same applys over Looe Community School to which the majority of pupils progress.
Polperro school has excellent facilities which include a large playing field, a swimming pool and bright and airy well-equipped classrooms, of which there are four. Y1 and reception are taught by deputy head Heather Lang, Y2/Y3 by Emily Mays, Y4/Y5 by Roger Carter and Linda Pearce, and part Y5 and Y6 by Stephanie Lock. The five classroom assistants are Mary Henley, Jill Shepley, Rachel Facey, Elizabeth Buckley and Gill Chivers.
In the school's recently enlarged office, school secretary Mrs Rachel Joslin gives a warm welcome to visitors, while 19 years of dedication from caretaker David Kelley ensures the pupils are always in a safe environment.
The school has its own kitchen which also prepares meals for other schools in the vicinity, and there is just pride in head cook Gill Coote who recently received an award 'in recognition of outstanding commitment to raising standards through service'. Her able assistant is Nicky Turner.
The governors, chaired by John Taylor, were highlighted by Ofsted for their wide range of skills and experience, and members are actively promoting the development of the school. This was in evidence the afternoon the Cornish Times called as a number of pupils were at Mr Taylor's home for the day, involved in a writing improvement project. They had an interesting time in the company of Penryn artist Paddy Haughton, from the Newlyn Society of Artists, and Penzance poet Roger Butts.
The staff say an essential representation on the governing body is also through the input of parent governors, and further parental support is provided by FOPS (Friends of Polperro School), whose support has allowed the purchase of valuable educational and recreational resources. FOPS chairperson is Sheila Roberts.
There are a wide range of out of school activities and clubs including chess, table tennis, spoken French, recorders, soccer, cricket, tag rugby and theatre trips. Regular visits are made to outdoor activity centres.
Sport is important to the life of the school and another special strength is information technology, in fact Polperro Primary was one of the first in the county to have its own website. Set up by Mrs S Lock, ICT co-ordinator, who also provides training for other schools, a comprehensive insight into the school's achievements and activities can be found at http://www.polperro.cornwall.sch.uk">www.polperro.cornwall.sch.uk
A friendly school with a stimulating environment, Mr Carter says that Polperro Primary provides an 'open door' at all times and looks to the future with both commitment and optimism.