Special needs pupils from Neasden school take-over children’s centre helping staff with roles and activities

Mayor of Brent Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi at St Raphael's Children Centre during a takeover day by Phoeni

Mayor of Brent Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi at St Raphael's Children Centre during a takeover day by Phoenix Arch School. Picture: Barnados - Credit: Archant

Neasden school pupils “inspired” the mayor of Brent when they helped run a Barnardo’s children centre as part of a takeover challenge.

Mayor of Brent Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi at St Raphael's Children Centre during a takeover day by Phoeni

Mayor of Brent Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi at St Raphael's Children Centre during a takeover day by Phoenix Arch School. Picture: Barnados - Credit: Archant

Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi was on hand to see Phoenix Arch School, which supports children with special educational needs, hold its takeover day at St Raphael's Children Centre and nursery, in Rainsborough Close on November 20.

Fourteen pupils from the Drury Way school helped nursery staff to lead a range of fun-filled activities in the nursery, including art and crafts, Play-doh, storytime and outdoor play.

Each pupil had a different role, which they decided themselves in advance of the takeover day with the support of Barnardo's staff.

Roles included assisting on reception and making sure all of the children in the nursery were happy and enjoying their activities.


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"I was delighted to attend the takeover day at St Raphael's Children Centre and nursery," said Cllr Ezeajughi. "It was fantastic to see what Barnardo's and Phoenix Arch are doing to create the next generation of leaders.

"I've been inspired by the professional qualities shown by the young people and level of responsibilities given to them in helping to run the children's centre and nursery."

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Marion Joseph, deputy head at Phoenix Arch School, saidthe partnership with the children's centre had allowed staff to teach pupils "that they can be aspirational and prepare for adult life by doing adult tasks".

She added: "Seeing the children in their roles was very touching. Each child took their role seriously. This is a lifeskill that they are learning at an early age."

Mandie Patterson, children service manager at the centre, said the partnership was going from "strength to strength".

"The Takeover Challenge was another successful event. By working closely with the school we have been able to develop and incorporate the voice of the students to make this event fully inclusive. The students did a great job in showing off their creative skills with a fun-filled morning of activities for our children.

"We really appreciate all of their hard work and professionalism shown in helping to run the children's centre and nursery."

The Takeover Challenge is a national initiative led by the Children's Commissioner for England.

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