PUPILS at a Dorset free school are setting out on a healthy 2018 thanks to the opening of the new gym hall.

Parkfield School moved from Bournemouth town centre to its new premiss at Hurn in September.

Some facilities were not complete but students are now using impressive new sports facilities, which also include a dance studio, outdoor tennis courts, netball courts and a football pitch.

Head of PE Kim Taylor, said: “Pupils are enjoying lessons in sports including gymnastics, basketball, handball, badminton, cricket and volleyball. There is also a climbing frame in the smaller hall for primary gymnastics classes.

“The sports hall is a fantastic resource and can also be used for whole school events.”

Parkfield caters for children aged four-16 and encourages cross age-group learning in all subjects, including PE.

Ms Taylor added: “Our primary pupils benefit from additional PE lessons led by our secondary school pupils. Our secondary students all get the opportunity to complete a Sports Leader qualification which helps them to learn communication skills, leadership and people management techniques.”

Around 420 pupils, staff and support staff are now based at the eight-acre school near Bournemouth Airport.

As a free school, it is funded by the government and is independent from local authority control.

The school moved to Hurn from a former office block in Bournemouth after attempts to find a suitable town centre site proved unsuccessful.

Speaking about the move, Graham Exon, chairman of the school’s Interim Advisory Board, said: "It is deeply gratifying to see our staff and pupils settling in to their stunning new school."

An open evening will take place at the school on Thursday, September 28 between 4pm and 8pm.

Places are still available at the school. For details of admissions across all year groups contact: 01202 592530.