A school community enjoyed glorious sunshine as they held a ceremony to mark the opening of their new building.

The dedication of the new building at St Osmund’s C of E Middle School marks the completion of a two-year project.

Jim Williams, headteacher at St Osmund’s, said the school was approached by Dorset County Council in 2015 to ask if they could extend provision to be able to take on 120 extra pupils, bringing the total school capacity up to 720.

This means the school will have an extra tutor group for each of its four years.

Mr Williams said: “The governors agreed to accommodate the request and contractors Morgan Sindall were appointed. The local authority oversaw the project and work commenced in January 2017 and was completed by Christmas.”

The headteacher added that he is ‘delighted’ with both the new facility and the support on hand from DCC.

“We are equally pleased with the quality of the work,” he added.

With the new building up and running, the only thing left to do was hold a dedication ceremony.

Mr Williams said: “As a church school we needed to celebrate and recognise this wonderful new resource with a formal dedication.”

The event was attended by the great and good, with Bishop of Sherborne The Rt Revd Karen Gorham, governor Canon Thomas Woodhouse, Mayor of Dorchester Cllr David Taylor and Dorchester councillors joining pupils, governors and teachers.

Mr Williams added: “We met outside in glorious sunshine and the whole school encircled the new building, facing outwards to represent the school’s commitment to meeting the needs of the community.”

The Bishop of Sherborne and Canon Woodhouse then performed the ancient custom of ‘clipping’, where water that has been blessed is sprinkled around the grounds. The group then reconvened inside the school for a blessing.

Mr Williams said he was very pleased with how well the ceremony went.

“The children really were a credit to themselves and the school and they appeared to enjoy the service and the ceremony. The school is now reaping the rewards of a marvellous new facility.”