MP drops in to see progress at a Rawmarsh school

John Healey with staff and pupils at Monkwood.
John Healey with staff and pupils at Monkwood.

IT has been a tremendous term for everyone at Rawmarsh Monkwood Primary school.

And the togetherness within the school, that recently opened a new Keystage 1 section, was witnessed by MP John Healey when he dropped by for a visit.

The school had a testing time during the merger of its junior and infant schools, but received a glowing first Ofsted report as a united school. Staff and pupils are now busy maximising their new facilities.

It was Mr Healey’s first visit since the changes, and he admired the new £2.4m building that is intended to be as “green” as possible.

The new area has a main entrance, classrooms and staff accommodation and aims to be as carbon neutral as possible. It has a completely green roof, made of soil, grass and plants, natural ventilation – windows automatically open and close according to carbon emissions – and an energy-efficient heating system.

Rumours were rife during the school changes that the former infant school playing fields were to be swallowed up by housing.

“These fields now form our current sports area, and we have improved a former pathway between the two schools to lead to the wooded parts for nature work,” said headteacher Elizabeth Gee.

“It is also a path that creates alternative access for parents and children, and so eases congestion elsewhere.”

She added: “We are enjoying all the new facilities and have a great working atmosphere”.

An after-school gardening club will soon see a new greenhouse built, and potatoes, onions and runner beans are finding their way out of the club’s patch to pupils’ homes... and onto plates.

The school’s football teams were on top form this season, winning both the Barlow Salmons Shield and the Inaugural Broadsword Trophy – a six-a-side tournament played out at Millmoor during half-time on match days.

Last Saturday the school choir performed at the RotherhamAnnual Civic Ceremony at Rotherham Minster, with newly-installed Mayor Coun Shaun Wright, who is a governor of the school.

A total of 30 “choir club” pupils aged from five-11 will perform “With a Little Help from my Friends” at the major event.

Monkwood’s many after-school activities include a newspaper club, that produces its own publication, along with a podcasting club, streetdance, football, and knitting or cross-stitch clubs, all of which were chosen by pupils.

Projects this term involved a mass of feature work based around the Royal Wedding. Last week, a Year 2 party visited and studied Conisbrough Castle as part of their history work. Others from Year 2 went to Butterfly House at North Anston to boost their “tropical forests” studies.

In July, Year 6 students will “turn Japanese” to raise funds for a tsunami charity. They will produce items to sell, then will invite parents in, to sample – and hopefully buy – them.