Youngsters at Trellech Primary are technologically savvy – using the latest IT tools to keep fit and find out what life will be like when they go to the local comprehensive. CATHERINE COOK reports.

IT’S definitely a case of laughter being the best motivation at Trellech Primary School.

To prove the point the school motto is ‘Living, Learning and Laughter’.

Trellech Primary School is located in an attractive setting in Trellech village, on the edge of the Wye Valley area of outstanding natural beauty, in eastern Monmouthshire.

The school has a large rural catchment area that includes Trellech and many surrounding villages. Around half the pupils travel to school in transport provided by the council.

Head teacher Steve King was appointed in 2008 and although proud and pleased with the progress so far and the hard work of his staff, he said he is not going to be resting on his laurels.

This term the school courtyard has been turned into a ‘beach theme’ with sandpit and taped sound effects of the sea and seagulls.

“Year 10 pupils from Monmouthshire Comprehensive came to help with the construction and really got stuck in with the work. When the work was finished the pupils built sandcastles which they loved doing even at their age,” Mr King said.

The concept has been well received by pupils of all ages in fact.

Trellech has recently worked with an Orange shop in Monmouth where they have been collecting and taking unwanted mobile phones to be recycled.

The money raised for the school is up to £1,000 and from this they have been able to purchase a Wii and 50-inch plasma screen.

“All our school equipment is security etched and covered in red gloss paint as pupils and parents have worked hard to raise funds and we want to ensure all our equipment stays safely within the school,” said Mr King.

The Wii is used for a lunchtime programme on two days of the week as a method of reward for children who have produced good work the previous week.

“Each week two children from each class get chosen in our Friday assembly so that’s effectively 14 children per week. We dedicate one of the days to the infants and one to the junior,” said Mr King.

The children get to use the Wii during their lunch breaks and also have a ‘health and fitness’ programme when they use the Wii Fit set-up.

“The programme is also offered to parents to aid with promoting healthy eating and the importance to stay fit,”

Mr King said.

“I see this tool as an aid to speaking the childrens’ language in today’s society.”

There are plenty of other programmes on offer such as a ‘brain gym’ which develops thinking skills. Other programmes include developing motor skills, balance and a sense of spatial awareness.

“This is only one of many resources available at the school,” said Mr King.

Another initiative set up is the ‘Trellech University’ which has its own prospectus and children can choose to pursue other subjects from a variety of courses on offer.

The subjects range from music appreciation, drama, science investigation, first aid, IT courses (making animated movies, designing and running theme parks), German and Japanese.

The courses are run by staff in the junior section and last for an hour and a half.

“One of our parents is actually Japanese and is doing a six-week course in Japanese for us. She usually wears full costume,” Mr King said.

“The children are allowed to choose which course they would like to do via a form where they stipulate their top four courses. Then they have to justify why these courses would be beneficial to them personally. This links in with planning for the future when they may go to college or university and helps to teach ownership. It also proves they want to learn.”

At the end of Yr 6 they will have attended 24 modules and gained 24 certificates which will show all the skills they have covered. Each course is built around five key skills and this links in with the Monmouthshire Children’s University to which Trellech is affiliated.

Year 7 children are doing a blog with Monmouth Comprehensive. Pupils who were in the school last year are communicating with Year 6 at Trellech as part of the transition for when children change schools.

“They have been writing and blogging to each other and children here have been able to see what life is like in the comp,” said Mr King.

The blog is attached to the website which also uses Twitter. “We are quite an ITbased school and recently I had to do a presentation at a teachers’ conference. It was lovely that I was billed as a ‘keynote speaker’,” Mr King laughed.

“The object of the blog is to create an online journal which demonstrates to children what life is like in the comprehensive.”

Outside the school is a junior den-building area.

“We literally put bits of wood around randomly and wooden posts stuck into the ground, then give the children tarpaulin sheets and plastic crates and tell them: ‘You can make dens if you want’,” Mr King said.

“This is done during the break-times and children get the opportunity to work together as a team. Children are chatting, making conversation, designing, playing and changing together. It is helping to develop key skills and they really enjoy the experience.

It is very much an enriching activity.”

There is an infant den building area as well.

“I believe good results need a great staff,” said Mr King.

“Here at Trellech we have a desire, a hunger, to be great and are passionate to move onwards. I also believe that learning should include colour, vibrancy, innovation and not just be black and white.”


  • Trellech Primary is a happy and vibrant school.
  • All learners achieve good standards in their personal, social, spiritual, moral and cultural development.
  • They are very aware of environmental issues, have strong views on moral issues and are developing considerable respect and appreciation for diversity in society.
  • Good relationships between pupils and staff are a strong feature of the working atmosphere of nearly all classes in the school
  • There are outstanding features in the quality and variety of extra-curricular activities and in the school’s promotion of education for sustainable development and global citizenship.
  • Partnerships with parents are excellent, as is the quality of information provided for them and the wider community on the school’s website


  • Head teacher - Mr Steve King
  • Teaching staff - 10
  • Support staff - 8
  • Children on roll - 165
  • Age range - four to 11
  • Chairman of governors - Mr Scott Hale