A PRIMARY school which has been at the heart of the community since the 1850s has unveiled its new 21st century look.

Tonge Moor Primary School has been transformed to meet the learning needs of today’s children — whatever their age.

The very youngest are enjoying a brand new play area while the older year six children have the use of a study area.

And although the grand buildings, the oldest of which is about 100 years old, reflect the history of the school, the revamped classrooms have been transformed into an airy state-of-the-art learning environment, complete with the latest technology.

Headteacher Anne Read said: “It has been a real privilege to be at Tonge Moor and witness the transformation in the learning environment over the last few years. Ideas, that first, were only in our dreams and imaginations have been skilfully brought about to provide the sort of indoor and outdoor space that we hoped for.

“It wasn’t a simple process, the project took much longer than was originally anticipated but with the tenacity of all involved we knew that it would be worth it in the end, and it is.

“Children, staff and governors are excited and as we look back we are amazed again by the change.”

As well as the expansion programme, which has added additional classrooms on to the school, Tonge Moor Primary successfully bid for £30,000 from the National Lottery Awards for All.

This has been used to overhaul the outdoors area and create a tyre park and an educational outdoor area for the early years foundation stage, a professional dance and drama studio equipped with lighting and a film studio with a green studio.

The school also received £8,000 from the Chadwick Trust for the dance and drama studio and Tonge Bridge donated timber, which has been used to create a stage and a house-style den.

Holly Muldowney, the early years phase leader, said: “The youngest children did not know that the outdoor area had been transformed, they were quite shocked when they saw it. Before they would cry because they didn’t want to play out and now they cry because they want to.”

“This new equipment is important to their education and development. We had one child who wouldn’t sing in class but she stood on the stage and sung, it was magical.

“Without the help of Tonge Bridge we would not have had as much as we do.”

And the new space has had a big thumbs up from pupils.

Penny-Leigh Smith, aged four, said: “I think it is lovely, and my favourite is the worm farm.”

Katy Bevan, aged four, added: “I think it is fantastic, before I did not like coming outside but now I really enjoy it.”

Year six pupils say the new school makes them want to work even harder in class.

Gemma Chappell, aged 11, said: “I think the school looks brilliant.

“It does want to make you work harder because you want to use all the new facilities. My favourite is the dance studio.”

Jenson Harper-Jenks, aged 10 added: “The school has changed a lot and it looks a lot better. We have new areas to play like the tyre park.”

The school is now looking to improve the library and have a conservatory for their children.

Mrs Read said: “We expect that school will continue to innovate and evolve to inspire future generations of children and their families.

“We are always thinking about how things can be improved, as can be witnessed by the development of the Early Years outdoor area and the tyre park. Thank you to everyone who helped to make it happen.”