PUPILS and staff have celebrated the official opening of their £5 million new primary school.

The new Bere Regis Primary School building, which opened in January, is fully accessible for all, on a single floor level and the choice of materials and colours ensures the building 'harmonises with the natural environment', says Dorset County Council.

A new access drive to the school has also been created and the local footpath network improved to encourage walking to school.

Former headteacher, Steve Battishil, performed the official opening ceremony in front of pupils and their teachers.

Senior representatives from Dorset County Council’s Dorset Property and Children’s Services also attended the event, along with the site team and management from Morgan Sindall, the main contractor for the project.

135 primary and pre-school children and their teachers are now able to enjoy this high quality building which provides modern and accessible facilities including five classrooms, main hall, a pre-school and extensive playing fields and courts.

Dorset Property, the county council’s building consultancy group, provided design and project management services for the scheme which has taken nearly four years to bring to completion.

Mr Battishil thanked individuals and organisations that had been involved in the building project, and said the new school was a first class facility for local people.

He added that the new school will provide a modern, fit-for-purpose resource not only for the children but also the wider community for many years to come.

Peter Wharf, local councillor for Bere Regis, said: "The old brick building at Rye Hill served as the school for over 80 years, but was not large enough or suitable for teaching today's curriculum.

“The new school allows for day to day flexibility and future adaptability if future needs arise.

“This is a great day for the pupils and teachers at Bere Regis primary school.”

Headteacher Wayne Roberts said the new school was something the whole community could take pride in, and, even more importantly, make use of.

“It’s a wonderful new facility which will add hugely to what we can offer the children here at the school.”

Jon Daines, area director at Morgan Sindall, said: “We’re delighted to have delivered this fantastic new school, which will provide pupils and teachers with a contemporary, spacious, sustainable learning environment.”