What sort of school is Mousehole School?
What makes Mousehole special?
Mousehole is indeed a special place to learn. The original buildings have been at the heart of this beautiful village for over 100 years. The recent refurbishments and state of the art extension (finished in 2011) have created an excellent learning environment including a large hall, three classrooms, a library, on-site kitchen, meeting room, cookery room and a purpose built Early Years block (including a large reception classroom, preschool room and two outside learning areas). We have also developed our other outdoor areas to include a picnic and teaching space, climbing equipment, vegetable patches, sports area and will soon be adding a pond, den and playpod.
Education is a personal experience and each child’s educational journey is different. We work hard on getting to know all our children well. We use assessment methods that give each child 1:1 time with their class teacher so that together they can plan their learning and next steps. We also pride ourselves on the excellent relationships we foster and believe that children have the best chance of success when the school and parents work together. Our staff are in the playground at the beginning and end of each day and parents find them, “approachable, committed and friendly” (July 2012 parent survey). We hold regular events when parents are encouraged to come into class to share in the children’s learning.
It is important that children see the school as their school. To this end our children take an active part in determining the direction our school takes. Every class has representation on our school council and the council works with the school parliament to propose, research and present motions to our termly parliament assemblies. Children then vote on the motions. Successful motions that have been passed recently include acquiring pets for school (Fudge and Ameera the gerbils), including gardening activities in the class timetables, the promotion of outdoor learning and buying playground equipment. The school parliament presents to the governing body annually and we encouarge all our children to take on roles of responsibility e.g. running lunchtime clubs, meeting and greating guests, taking on jobs and monitoring roles.
We are committed to using the wider environment to enhance the education of our children. Each class delivers a minimum of 10% of its timetable outside of the classroom; in practice it is usually much more than this, especially for our younger classes. The children receive regular woodland skills sessions and use the village, beach and the school field and woodland to enhance the curriculum. In addition each class arranges regular visits further afield to enhance the curriculum.
Each year the older children have the opportunity to take part in an activity week staying at one of the county’s outdoor centres or a trip to London. These very popular trips are an excellent chance for the children to gain self confidence before they move on to their next school.
Fostering creativity is very important to us. Creative approaches are encouraged across the curriculum not just in the arts. Creative solutions are encouraged at all levels and the ability to see things from different persepctives is celebrated. We are very lucky to be part of a community of very creative people and many of them work with the school. Over the last two years we have worked with film makers, actresses, musicians, authors, chefs, graphic designers, sculptors, puppeteers and poets. If you know of anyone who could broaden the children’s educational experience, please let us know.
As well as health benefits, sport has the power to teach children important lessons about team work, commitment, self control and determination. In addition to a full PE curriculum (including regular swimming sessions), we strive to give our children the opportunities to take part and compete in a variety of sport. We strive to give all our children opportunities to enjoy sport for fun and we do not shy away from encouraging our children to compete and enjoy and be proud of success. We run after school sports clubs and compete in a wide variety of local competitions. In the last year we have competed in cross country, football, high five, tag rugby, athletics, badminton, tennis, rounders and hockey events. We have had considerable success: Fifth and Seventh respectively in hockey and high five in the 2012 Cornwall Games where we competed with much larger schools; 2011 finalists in the Cornwall-wide Centennary Football Shield; we have pupils who have competed at a county level in cross country, hockey and gymnastics.
We are very lucky to have Advanced Skills Music Teacher Christine Judge working here one day a week. Christine is inspirational and is responsible for our samba band, our Gold Sing-up award, ukulele lessons for whole classes, workshops with the famous Mousehole Male Voice Choir, our ever popular school concerts and our fantastic school choir who last year performed to a packed Hall for Cornwall. We also have on-site instrument lessons for guitar, violin, keyboard and drums.