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Headteacher expands nursery places to help tackle Poplar's child obesity

PUBLISHED: 16:00 30 October 2019 | UPDATED: 13:43 31 October 2019

More room for children to play as Manorfield School expanding its nursery places. Picture: Paul Jackson

More room for children to play as Manorfield School expanding its nursery places. Picture: Paul Jackson

Paul Jackson

A school trying to deal with child obesity has completed a nursery expansion in Poplar in a bid to engage more parents to promote healthier lifestyles.

Manorfield Primary expands nursary places to 170 for children between two and four. Picture: GoogleManorfield Primary expands nursary places to 170 for children between two and four. Picture: Google

Manorfield Primary has now opened its new nursery for tots aged two to three by using the newly-renovated Teviot community centre in Wyvis Street.

Manorfield is in an area of high deprivation, one of the worst in the country, with the school's development entry levels for children aged three and four well below expectations, headteacher Paul Jackson admits.

"Good education can be provided, sometimes against the odds," he told the East London Advertiser.

"We want the most disadvantaged children to be able to have a good nursery so they won't be having to catch up — they'll be in the best possible place to benefit from their education right from the start.

Teviot centre in Wyvis Street now used for expanded nursery facilities. Picture: GoogleTeviot centre in Wyvis Street now used for expanded nursery facilities. Picture: Google

"We made a commitment to early years education to lay the foundations for improving their futures."

Yet the school has been rated Outstanding after its last Ofsted inspectors' visit.

Now it is able to expand nursery provision and aims to tackle Poplar's rising level of children's special educational, disability and social needs.

Manorfield is offering 80 new places for two-year-olds and three-year-olds for 15 hours a week, as well as expanding its nursery for older children up to four years old with 90 full-time places for 30 hours a week.

New outdoor learning area at Manorfield School. Picture: Paul JacksonNew outdoor learning area at Manorfield School. Picture: Paul Jackson

"These places are free to parents," Mr Jackson added. "This sets the school apart from many in the area."

The expansion follows talks with Poplar Harca housing body which runs the Teviot centre opposite the school and with Tower Hamlets Council which agreed there was "an urgent need" for more nursery places in the area.

Mr Jackson proposed renovating the Teviot to use for a nursery, which was completed earlier this year along with an outdoor learning area in the school grounds.

The new facilities mean Manorfield has space for children to play and to engage parents to help develop children's healthy lifestyles "to reduce child obesity" in the area.

The new lower nursery times are 8.45 to 11.45am and 12.30 to 3.30pm with 40 places each morning and afternoon period.

Parents can contact the school office on 020-7987 1623, or email admin@manorfield.towerhamlets.sch.uk.

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