A small rural school has opened a new classroom which will further help boost pupil numbers.

Cerne Abbas CE VC First School celebrated the opening of the a classroom which will be used for its youngest pupils.

The classroom was made possible thanks to a gift of a significant amount of money from well-loved resident Miss Mann, who passed away recently.

She gave the money to village charity the Cerne Valley Young People Trust, which was set up in 2008 and helps young people in Cerne Abbas and the surrounding villages.

The classroom will also be used for any youth or community events in the village. It has been named Miss Mann’s Garden Classroom in her honour.

Getting the building finished was fraught with ups and downs and was hampered by bad weather, but everything came together on time for a grand opening on November 2.

Chairman of governors, Barbara Southcott, cut the ribbon at the grand opening.

Youngsters were excited to see their new classroom and they could not wait to play with the toys, read their books and start their learning. Headteacher Catherine Cresswell said she would like to thank the members of the school and community who have donated money to help resource the classroom.

She added: "We could not be happier with how the classroom looks, the children’s faces were so lovely when they went in and this is what it’s all about, a project that has helped keep our school open and has brought the community together once again. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this fantastic build."

Builder Martin Curley said: ‘It was brought to my attention in May the need for this extra classroom and I wanted to be a part of keeping a small beautiful school open. I would like to thank the following people: The Cerne Valley Young People Trust for their grant and the people who have gone way beyond their wages for this project and backed me all the way - Steve Bull the plumber, Brian Pincott, retired builder/civil engineer, personal friend who volunteered his services, Retired Brigadier Alister Timewell Davis, Chris Hazeldine and crew, paid contractor who went beyond extra mile, B A Wrixon Electrical Contractors who were very professional and amicable, Johnny Young plasterer, JY Plastering who pulled off a job to help us, MM Decorating, Kevin who helped us out with the decorating even pulling in his girlfriend to help at a weekend, Daz – full time work buddie who has shown his worth and dedication to this project. Personal thanks go to Catherine, headmistress and all the lovely staff who work with her and have put up with us.

"I would also like to say that I can build anything but could not have done this without Alex's (School Business Manager) administrative help that she gave for free. Finally thank you to Bradfords - namely Dave Collins, the manager and his crew particularly Andy the delivery driver who helped us out enormously. On a personal note thank you to everyone for helping me - positive mental attitude always works not only to yourself but others. And I finished it on time. The accolade for this whole classroom goes to Miss Mann - who I never met, but her name is now written on the wall of the classroom in respect for this lady that loved the school and the village."