TWYNHAM School celebrated the opening of their brand new reception area and changing facilities on Wednesday.

Largely funded through the Academies Capital Maintenance Fund, the £450,000 refurbishment includes a smartened-up and enlarged reception area with a separate conference room for private meetings with parents.

As well as more office space for school administration staff, the work, which started in August, included installing new changing and shower facilities for students and expanded offices overlooking the gym for the school’s PE staff.

The newly refurbished areas were opened by Mayor of Christchurch John Lofts with headteacher Terry Fish.

School resources manager Chris Stafford said: “The whole reception area was looking a little tired and there wasn’t enough office space or anywhere for staff to speak to parents.

“We applied for funding to revamp the reception and fortunately we were successful, and we now have the facilities to reflect an outstanding school.”

Headteacher’s PA Leigh Cousins added: “Our ten sports staff have been crammed into one tiny little office so it is a big improvement for them, and they can keep an eye on the gym.

“It made sense to get all the work done at the same time.”

The Christchurch school was rated ‘outstanding’ in its most recent Ofsted report from April last year, two years after it converted to academy status.

In February last year it was praised by Schools Minister David Laws for its “high standards of educational achievement”.

Ms Stafford said the changes had been well received by staff and students. “We are very much settled in now and everyone is pleased with the improvements.” she said.