THIS week the school in focus is Libanus Primary in Blackwood.

The head is Michelle Oddy who has been at the school since 2001 when she took over as head.

There are 400 children and the school was opened in 1915 when Frank Parsons was the first head teacher. Libanus still have the book which Mr Parsons wrote in on his first day and can map the history of the school.

This year is going to be a very exciting one for the school with the multi million pound development of the grounds which is taking place at the moment. Once the work is finished it will mean Libanus will have its own canteen which they do not have now.

Another exciting development for the school while learning about other cultures and countries teachers and pupils were privileged to have a visit from African teachers. The school was one of only a few schools in Wales to get a grant from the British Council for teachers to go out to an African school.

Ynysddu and Markham Primary schools were also part of scheme. Teachers went to Nigerian school and the Nigerian teachers came over to visit Libanus. While they were here they saw snow for the first time and had to be kitted out in all weather gear to help them cope with the weather.

Teachers visiting Nigeria were amazed at the class sizes of 150 in comparison to around 30 in a British school. They had very little to work with and had very little technology to help with teaching. During the trip they donated a computer to the school.

Lessons at Libanus are much the same as other schools but they try to make subjects come alive for the children.

One such idea has been the very successful Maths club. Pupils have been speaking via the internet to other children all over the world and doing mathematics with them. They have conversed with Russia, India, Spain, USA, Canada, Australia and many more. This part of the World Maths Day and more can information can be found at the website,

To help children learn about nature and to teach the Foundation Phase for the nursery children, there is a log circle where pupils can sit and learn outside.

This is a popular part of the school and the children have been fascinated by tree, which is said to be inhabited by fairies. There is a door into the tree and young pupils are convinced that there are mythical creatures living inside the trunk.

Adding to this the school is on the way to getting its Eco flag and have succeeded in gaining a bronze mark.

Leading on from the subject of lessons, Libanus has had a very positive Estyn report for this year. The inspector made clear indications just after his assessment that he was happy with the performance of the school.