Breakfast for children before they start lessons has become a family affair at a Hackney primary school which is helping parents during the cost-of-living crisis.

The whole family is being given breakfasts at the Hackney New Primary in Haggerston, which has extended its free early morning meals to mums, dads and siblings.

Children arrive with their parents for a hot breakfast bagel in the half-hour before lessons start while teachers sit and chat with pupils.

One mum enjoying the breakfast is Kate Leggo with her six-year-old son Fred.

“He races to get to the school gates,” she said. “We both think it’s wonderful. It helps give the school a real sense of community and tells us it is paying attention to community needs as well as the children.”

Some families at the school facing the cost-of-living crisis, Kate points out.

The school in Downham Road also plans to open the gates for parents at lunchtime to create “a family atmosphere” and help children feel comfortable with adults, to improve their confidence and social skills. 

Attendance at the school has shot above 97 per cent since the family breakfast was started, well above the national average.

Family dining, where teachers sit with children, makes the youngsters feel comfortable and helps with social skills, the school says.

Headteacher Marya Afreedi said: “Families are keen to have that moment together before they go off to start their day.

“The new breakfast bagel bar is a hit with families and has contributed to our overall attendance rates.

“We want our school to have a ‘family feel’ where children feel part of the community. Free breakfast is supporting our community with the cost-of-living crisis.”

The school also has a strong history element in its curriculum where children have an understanding of British history from the Stone Age to the present day, making connections between different eras and their own lives in the 21st century.

Even Reception children in are taught "an understanding of the world, its people and communities" by the end of their first year.

The school celebrates Hackney History Week in the spring term, as well as Black History, Remembrance Day and different religious celebrations with workshops, assemblies and learning days.