TOWER HAMLETS SCHOOL RENOVATES COMMUNITY CENTRE TO EXPAND NURSERY
‘OUTSTANDING’ RATED MANORFIELD PRIMARY FIGHTS TO SUPPORT ‘FIRM COMMITMENT TO QUALITY EARLY YEARS EDUCATION’
Manorfield Primary, a school based in one of the UK’s most deprived areas, has now opened its new nursery provision for 2-to-3 year-olds, marking the renovation of a local community centre and a significant expansion for the school.
Manorfield is based in the London borough of Tower Hamlets, an area of high deprivation that currently sees development levels at time of entry to its 3–4 year old nursery sitting well below expectations. The school, rated ‘Outstanding’ after its last Ofsted visit, has expanded its nursery provision with the aim of improving upon these levels as well as tackling the rising level of special educational, disability and social needs amongst young children in the area.
The new provision offers 80 new places for 2-3 year olds (15 hours per child, per week) in addition to an expansion of its established 3-to-4 year-old nursery, which will now offer 90 full-time places (30 hours per child, per week free of charge to parents), setting the school apart from many others in the area.
Plans began in 2018 following a discussion between the local authority Poplar HARCA and other community members in which it was agreed there was an urgent need for quality 2-3 year-old provision in the area surrounding the school. Manorfield Headteacher Paul Jackson proposed a renovation of the Teviot Community Centre, which stands opposite the school, in order to expand Manorfield’s current nursery provision.
‘We made a firm commitment to quality early years education, recognising that it lays the foundations for excellent futures for these children’, Mr Jackson stated, ‘and we’re immensely proud to have been able to maintain that commitment and bring it to fruition’. The new nursery building for 3-4 year olds was completed earlier this year, alongside a brand new outdoor learning area within the school grounds.
Mr Jackson explained the rationale behind the project, describing how ‘[Manorfield] wants the most disadvantaged children to be able to access a quality 2–3 year old nursery: this helps lay a strong foundation for our 3–4 year old provision, meaning those children won’t be having to catch up: they’ll be in the best possible place to enjoy and benefit from their education right from the start’.
The Teviot Centre has been renovated in a collaboration between Manorfield and award-winning East London housing association Poplar HARCA, with funding from the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in order to offer the ‘highest quality learning environment possible’. The facilities have enabled Manorfield to offer nursery attendees fundamental space for play, as well as providing engagement with parents that helps to develop healthy lifestyles amongst the children and support the reduction of obesity in the local area.
The 2-3 year old nursery operates on a daily basis in term times from 8:45am to 11:45am and from 12:30pm till 3:30pm, with forty spaces available for each morning and afternoon period. ‘The opening is the culmination of a wonderful set of collaborations and a great deal of effort,’ Mr Jackson commented. ‘Manorfield is extremely proud and excited to be pushing boundaries and proving that quality education can be provided, sometimes against the odds, for this fantastic community.’
Any parents interested in their children joining Manorfield and accessing the outstanding provision should contact the main school office – email@example.com, or 0207 9871623.
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