TEAMWORK is said to be at the heart of Menheniot Primary School. The quality is highlighted by head teacher Amanda Raynham in the school's prospectus.

Miss Raynham said that governors, staff, pupils and parents work together to achieve high academic standards and quality learning within a warm and caring environment.

Teamwork was certainly much in evidence during a visit to the school, which serves the village of Menheniot and a rural district stretching from Merrymeet to Trerulefoot. There are 134 children currently on role at Menheniot, which has five classes covering infant and junior pupils and which has a smart school uniform of red and grey.

The present school building, built in l980, and recently extended to provide an extra classroom, is centrally situated in the village, making it a true part of the community. Pupils traditionally become involved in the local cherry fayre, usually held in the summer, enter the local craft and vegetable show, and attend church at Easter and Christmas time. The local vicar, the Rev Philip Conway, is also a regular visitor to the school, taking the choir which has now grown from nine to about l8 youngsters, as well as hymn practices and a weekly assembly.

The school recently gained a Lottery award to buy equipment for its athletic club, which concentrates on track and field in the summer and cross country in the winter - but it has a range of other clubs. These include cookery, football, a French club, infant sports, a computer club, a gardening club which makes use of the school's allotment, and performance speaking. These are taken by governors, teachers and teaching assistants.

Miss Raynham highlighted the efforts of all these, and said many of the teaching assistants have also taken qualifications in teaching and learning, and are involved in ongoing training.

The school is proud of its environmental area - well fenced off from the school field - which is being developed all the time. It boasts a pond, bird boxes and a bird table, and a wild area, but it is eventually hoped to provide a polytunnel, and nature trails which the children will be involved in designing. The area has been partly financed by the School Association, which organised many fun-filled fundraising events such as quiz nights at the school.

The computer club makes good use of the new ICT suite which has been up and running for about a year and boasts 11 stations, a scanner, two printers and a projector.

This is housed in a former, renovated classroom, which also adapts to being a music room when the ICT suite is not in use. The school is extremely grateful to the School Association which made a large contribution to the provision of computers, and helps in the school in very many ways.

Menheniot is a busy, active school, with the usual Christmas concerts, service and parties, an annual Easter Egg hunt and Easter service, a book week in the spring term for which the pupils dress to a theme, and special events such as a health week last summer.

Music also features a great deal at the school with piano, recorder, violin and cello lessons given, and an orchestra formed for occasions such as the Christmas concert.


This week a number of the pupils have been busy practising a dance for an event to which many local schools will contribute and which will be held at Liskeard School and Community College in February. They were being put through their paces by deputy head, Georgia Rowley, who moved to Menheniot in September from Bugle. The majority of pupils from Menheniot go on to Liskeard School and Community College, with which Menheniot has close links.

Menheniot school also liaises closely with the local playgroup.

Children and parents have an opportunity to attend Learning Together sessions, run by Anna Bowers, the Early Years Co-ordinator.

These weekly sessions give the children a valuable introduction to school and help them get to know their future teacher, classroom, and class-mates.

It also gives parents the chance to borrow fun, learning resources to use with their children at home.

The best use possible is made of local facilities and amenities, with one class recently going to the Eden Project to carry out some art work.

Plans for the future include an adventure playground to help the children develop their physical skills - and due to the school joining a private finance initiative a larger library.

Work on the library, which will also includes relocating offices, is due to start in July.

Plymouth-born Miss Raynham, who earlier in her career worked at an international school in Singapore, said it was quite important for the school to have more space.

The teamwork the school is so proud of includes not only the pupils, teachers and teaching assistants, but also the governors (Chair of Governors being Mary Jefferies), those who keep all well fed such as new cook Trudi Finch, secretary for the past eight years Di Bennett, the School Association and its committee, and the wider community.

The light, bright, present-day school is very much forward-looking aiming to produce pupils which the prospectus describes as 'independent, well-behaved and confident'.