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Children at Manorfield Primary School enjoy an outdoor lunch – spot the hats donated by William Turner Schoolwear.

Manorfield makes its marq-uee on space issue

MANORFIELD PRIMARY SCHOOL will be trialling a new method of optimising space so that children who return to school can learn and socialise while maintaining social distance.

The plan comes from architects Curl la Tourelle Head, which has suggested that marquees which are usually hired out for summer festivals and weddings could be loaned to schools while those events are still on hold. This would provide schools with temporary classrooms or extra dining space.

Space is the biggest worry for schools which are trying to prepare for the return of children. The Government said that children from Reception and Years 1 and 6 should be able to go back to school this month – but should maintain social distancing. Few, if any, schools in East London have classrooms big enough to accommodate that – so schools are having to use two or even three classrooms for each school class.  Clearly, schools will run out of teaching space before all the children could return.

It now seems unlikely that most pupils will go back to primary school in any meaningful way before September – but don’t assume that everything will be back to normal when the new academic year begins. There’s every chance social distancing will still be in place in eleven weeks’ time (which is when September begins) and it’s even possible we shall be trying to stave off a second wave of Coronavirus.

Extra space is, therefore, a very important consideration to those trying to manage the provision of primary education. Next Monday, 15th June, Curl la Tourelle Head will set up a marquee in the Manorfield playground, assisted by its partner company Original Marquees. The marquee measures 18m x 6m and will increase teaching capacity by around 25%. The marquee will also host a canteen – a welcome recognition that teachers and pupils alike need regular refuelling if they are to enjoy a successful educational experience.

Manorfield is now distributing some 900 food parcels to local families – thanks to generous donations from those who are able to contribute to the school appeal. The appeal has raise nearly £30,000 – and a few extra donations now could bring it over this landmark figure. To donate, go to:
Manorfield Covid-19 Emergency Response

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