Morley Observer Article

The best thing about opening the new nursery at Morley Newlands Primary School wasn’t the cake.

Don’t get me wrong – it was a fabulous, giant colourful cake – and the whole class of three and four year olds piled in to helped me cut it and then wolfed it down double quick.

But the cake wasn’t the highlight – and nor was the children’s lovely singing, a bouncy rendition of ‘twinkle twinkle little star’.

The highlight of my day was walking in to see the beautiful, big airy new building which has finally replaced the old and manky nursery block.

There were pictures on the walls and plenty of space for messy play – and no more draughty windows and leaky roofs.

The new nursery is the result of some strong lobbying by the headteacher Mr Adrian Stygall, which has also resulted in a new Year Six area, and a new receptionfor the school.

One of the best things about my job is meeting hardworking people like Adrian who fight tirelessly for our community. We need people who don’t accept no for an answer and who say, actually, this school, this area is worth the investment.

In government I took the same attitude. I said, yes we can find ways to make some savings, but what we must not do is take away desperately needed funding from areas which have been left behind in the past.

The other thing I noticed at Newlands is that parents were enjoying being an integral part of the school community. That sort of feeling doesn’t happen by accident. It happens when a great staff team work to make parents feel welcomed into the school.

The new nursery has a room set aside for parents and the community to use. The Morley South Children’s Centre runs sessions for parents with children younger than school age, and to support younger mums.

Supporting the wider community can sometimes be missed, but at Newlands it’s right there at the centre of what they do.

Kids in Morley deserve the best start in life, and here at Newlands they have got a great place to start their education. It’s taken a lot of lobbying and hard work from Adrian and the staff team, as well as local Councillors and Education Leeds. But when we celebrated the new nursery on Friday, nobody was in any doubt that it has all been worthwhile.

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Posted September 29th, 2010 by Ed's team