Infants show the way

Samia Uddin, five, Isabella Saul, six and Charlie Gibbs, six, of Manor Infants
Samia Uddin, five, Isabella Saul, six and Charlie Gibbs, six, of Manor Infants
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David Curwen, centre, hugs his mother with whom he wa sreunited. Completing the group is his brother Keith

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An infants school which embraces different cultures and backgrounds is the first school in Portsmouth to win a prestigious award.

Staff and pupils at Manor Infants in Buckland are celebrating the Inclusion Quality Mark (IQM) that demonstrates excellence in provision for all children – regardless of special needs, ability or disability.

Jan Christie, headteacher, says: ‘I am very proud of all my staff for making Manor Infants a warm, inclusive and welcoming school for all members of our local community and as such this award is testament to that.

‘We also feel very proud to be the first school in Portsmouth to achieve this award.’

Jan was praised by the IQM assessor for encouraging care and respect for every individual and developing ‘a community where everyone’s personal and learning needs matter’.

Despite challenging backgrounds, every student is seen as ‘special’, the assessor Chris Chivers says in his report, adding: ‘The over-riding impression given by Manor Infants is of a school that has an understanding of what can be provided to enhance the learning experience for children.

‘There is an energy and enthusiasm from the staff which is clearly visible in the attitudes and behaviour of the children.

‘There is a values-based ethos, based on openness, honesty and humanity, which ensures that the inclusion agenda is assured.’

A recent event at the school that backed up the report was the Harvest Festival, which hosted several visitors from Harry Sotnick House, a care home for elderly people in Fratton.

The theme of the day was an ‘intercultural harvest’ with children singing songs and dressing up in clothes from across the globe, and Year Two youngsters donated foods to Hale Court sheltered housing run by Portsmouth City Council and Age UK.

Isabella Saul and Charlie Gibbs enjoyed learning about Sri Lanka on the day.

Isabella, six, says: ‘We learnt about tea, cinnamon and coconuts and dressed up in saris.’

Charlie Gibbs, six, says: ‘The people in wheelchairs enjoyed our singing and we brought lots of different foods in from around the world for older people.’

Manor Infants will receive its award on November 11.