TWO year olds in the Holme Wood area can now attend school after a primary school officially opened its new early years provision.

The new facility, called Petals, means Carrwood Primary School on Eversley Drive can now provide places for children aged two to 11.

The facility is part of a push for more two-year-olds, especially in deprived areas, to get access to free education earlier in life. The purpose-built facility can accommodate 20 children.

Places will be available for children from families on benefits or income support.

Chairman of Governors Audrey O’Keefe said: "I am delighted to be officially opening Petals. The new provision means Carrwood Primary now offers a full range of education for local families.”

Headteacher Hilary Beards is retiring at the end of the school year and helping open the new facility was one of her final acts at the school.

She said: "Children at Petals have the opportunity to learn through play in a fun and safe environment, where experienced and dedicated early years practitioners plan for their individual needs. Petals is a wonderful stepping stone for children to enable them to continue their learning journey at Carrwood. Our children are motivated to do well and want to achieve and succeed."

Sylvia Ralph will lead the team running the centre. She said: "As early years professionals, we recognise that children develop and learn in different ways and at different rates. Each child at Petals is assigned a key person who will observe them as they explore, note their interests and plan for their next steps. This ensures the children learn through planned, purposeful activities that are individual to their needs and we never forget that children learn best when they are having fun.”

The school now has 360 pupils on roll since it became two-form entry last year. It also has a nursery, the Phoenix Primary Behaviour Unit and Designated Specialist Provision for children on the autism spectrum.