PUPILS and staff at a primary school in Cirencester have expressed their gratitude after receiving a whopping £600,000 donation which has helped transform their school's facilities.

Over the past few months Chesterton Primary School, which is part of the Corinium Education Trust, has undergone an exciting makeover thanks to the generous donation from The Winstone Charitable Trust.

Some of the changes include the relocation of the school’s reception, a landscaped quadrangle meeting space and brand-new spacious library.

In addition, pupils in the reception class have been enjoying a new classroom which has been redesigned to accommodate continuous provision, creative and outdoor play.

Reception teacher Henrietta Cantouris said: "The new classroom has had a real impact on how the children learn and play.

"The design has provided a calm and open environment where the children can access resources themselves and take ownership of their learning.

"Our new outside area is a big hit, and the children love having an area where they can immerse themselves in messy play."

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Chesterton Primary School pupils enjoying the new outdoor play area Chesterton Primary School pupils enjoying the new outdoor play area (Image: Chesterton Primary School)

A community kitchen and an office for external support agencies has also been created to use for meetings and events.

Improvements have also been made to the staff room which now encompasses an open plan communal area, a quiet workroom for planning, preparation and assessment plus a smart new office for the headteacher.

Chiquita Henson, CEO of The Corinium Education Trust, said: "The difference is incredible. 

"We are all immensely grateful to the Trustees of the Winstone Charitable Trust whose generosity helped us achieve these significant improvements. 

"They are already having a positive impact on the culture of the school.

"The next phase of improvements will include developing the school’s hall to improve the light and provide access directly out onto the play area.

"We want to improve the flow around the school by connecting the classes more effectively and by providing break out spaces for one to one and small group learning.

"We also hope to develop the outside areas too and provide equipment that helps the children play creatively and develop a strong sense of adventure."

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Chesterton Primary School pupil picking a new book to read in the new libraryChesterton Primary School pupil picking a new book to read in the new library (Image: Chesterton Primary School)

Headteacher Libby Pringle said: "Since we opened up the new areas we have seen more interest locally in the school’s journey. 

"I am delighted that following their expressions of interest, three parents have been appointed to the local governing body."

Philip Beckerlegge, chair of The Winstone Charitable Trust, said: "Following a visit to the school and learning more about what The Corinium Education Trust and the school were trying to achieve, we felt compelled to support this refurbishment and contribute to raising aspirations and standards at the school. 

"We look forward to seeing further improvements."