Manners on the menu

Last week a survey of 1000 people commissioned by supermarket Waitrose revealed that three out of four people believe manners should be taught in school. Fowey Community College’s hugely successful Ladette to Lady course, focusing on deportment, fine dining and elocution, has been running over 12 months as a series of fortnightly off-curriculum classes for girls age 15 and 16.

The take-up has been so large, and the demand from boys so high, that the school is now launching Charm School for Boys in response to requests from the school’s Year 11 (soon-to-be) gentlemen.

The course is the brainchild of Head of Mathematics, Samantha Munro, and Head of ICT, Tina Fletcher, who have involved local Cornish companies to help with prizes and aspects of the course, including a tiara for The Most Improved Lady.

The dining room of Fowey Hall Hotel was the setting for the penultimate of the term, as our ladies donned their best dresses, coiffed their hair and learnt how to set a table, serve drinks and take afternoon tea – all with a straight back (a skill mastered in lesson one with books on heads).

Abi, 15, says: “The most interesting part of the course for me was elocution and learning how to pronounce words properly. We used videos and did a series of fun exercises with Miss Munro.”

Holly, 15, says: “I think manners are essential and this course has really increased my confidence in taking college interviews and also job interviews in the future.”

Samantha Munro says: “We are delighted with the progress of our lovely Year 11 ladies who have taken to the course like ducks to water. This is a great example of the community working together in support of young people, and the students have already said they will be writing a thank you letter to our hosts at Fowey Hall Hotel. It is essential that we bring out the best in young people by always offering them support and encouragement.”