BYLYEY Primary School has had plenty of reasons to celebrate at the start of this term.

Not only has the school learned that it had been rated ‘good’ in its most recent Ofsted report, but it has increased the number of pupils studying at the school – a key ambition of its headteacher Kay Walsh – and celebrated the opening of its new outdoor area.

Kay said: “It’s only been a couple of weeks but it’s been an absolutely astonishing start to the new school year.”

When Kay joined the school from Cledford Primary School in 2014, one of her aims was to increase the number of pupils attending and this year this has risen from less than 60 to 70.

She has also played integral part in transforming a once neglected area of the school grounds into a fantastic wild area, which was officially opened on Thursday.

She said: “We applied to the Tesco Bags of Help fund and were amazed to be awarded the full £12,000 to transform what was essentially a scrub area into a wonderful new outdoor space for the school.”

The new area includes a potting shed, raised beds, a wooden seating circle and a bug hotel.

Kay said: “The children have absolutely loved it. They’re curious about what lives and grows there and they are keen to get out and discover more.

“It’s a fantastic asset for the school and is really important for the children. We’ve obviously got to get the reading and writing right but it’s so valuable for them to learn and work together in this sort of environment too.

“It was lovely recently to have the whole school out there, four year groups all working together. We can’t thank the local community and the parents enough for helping us in getting this funding.”

The icing on the cake came on Thursday when the school hosted a fundraiser for Macmillan’s in the new outdoor area.

Kay said: “Since I came to this school we have always supported Macmillan Cancer Support and we haven’t been able to do a coffee morning – however, this year we tied in an afternoon tea with the opening of our new outdoor play area and raised more than £300 for the charity.”