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Wednesday, 23 July 2014

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Barrow school celebrates as toddlers join classes

TWO-YEAR-OLDS took centre stage as a Barrow primary school celebrated achieving a Cumbria first.

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new beginning The mayor of Barrow, Colin Thomson, performs the opening ceremony at North Walney Primary School’s pre-school room for two-year-olds. Back from left: School governors Joanne Phizacklea and Hazel Edmondson, head girl Leah Bell, headteacher Helen Manderson, head boy Ethan Knowles, Brenda Thomson and Councillor Thomson; front from left: Pupils Steven Hayworth and Kyle Pope. Inset: Pre-school manager Michelle Scott-McCullogh with one of the school’s youngest pupils, Lucy Hambleton pictures by HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50062438B001/50062438B002

North Walney Primary School is the first in the county to extend its age range to take two-year-olds.

Pupils from two to 11 years, parents, governors and guests attended the official opening of the new pre-school yesterday.

Schools are now able to apply to provide provision for toddlers and a number of schools in Barrow are working towards making changes for September.

The Duddon Drive school started operating this month in a former classroom which is now a fully resourced pre-school.

Helen Manderson, who became the school’s headteacher in September, said North Walney is creating excellent provision for two-year-olds where there is a need for early years provision.

The pre-school has temporary staff who have trained at Bram Longstaffe but from May it will employ three full-time members of staff. The school has worked with the Early Years team at Cumbria County Council.

Year Five children organised a celebration assembly which was followed by a ribbon cutting in the pre-school by Barrow mayor, Colin Thomson. Councillor Thomson then joined children from across the year group to plant a tree.

Guests included staff from George Hastwell School and St Paul’s CE Junior School.

Mrs Manderson said: “We are very proud. It has been a lovely celebration to have the friends of the school altogether. We turned this around very quickly and it is an honour to be the first in Cumbria. This is an excellent facility for the children and the community of Walney. We would like to be a centre for early years excellence.

“The pre-school is absolutely tailored to two-year-olds.”

Cllr Thomson said: “This is a wonderful achievement for North Walney Primary School. It is a credit to them for being the first in the county. I believe this will go from strength to strength.”

Headgirl Leah Bell, 11, said: “We are very proud to be the first primary school in Cumbria to have two-year-olds. We enjoyed showing the mayor and mayoress around our school.”

lSee more comments about the new pre-school on Page 16

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