PUPILS and staff are celebrating after making the first step in securing a bigger school hall.

Windmill Primary, in Margaret Road, Headington, is set to have the much-wanted revamp begin this summer.

Headteacher Lynn Knapp is thrilled by the news, which comes after concerns were raised about the increasing number of pupils.

Mrs Knapp said: “I’m so pleased. Recently there was a big story about cutting funds for school improvement projects. This is big news for us.”

By the end of 2017, the school will have three classes in each year group.

Pupil numbers, which stood at 480 in March 2013, are expected to rise to 630 by September 2016.

Mrs Knapp is looking forward to being able to get all the pupils into the new hall for assemblies and lunchtimes together.

She said: “Parents feel really strongly that the school should come together as a whole. The hall was always in consideration.

“Work will start in the summer and won’t be finished until 2015.”

County councillor and school governors’ vice-chairwoman Rosalind Smith said: “If we are going to have a three-class form-entry primary school, we need to have those classes grouped together.

“Obviously to have children criss-crossing the site is not a good use of their time or the teacher’s time.

“We wanted to have all the classes together.

“With that number of children, we needed a bigger hall, but also so that we could have full school assemblies. We really need a much bigger hall.”

As well as an extension to the school hall, the application includes a new multi-use games area.

A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council said that a planning application for a two-storey, four-classroom extension is out to consultation until May 2.

Windmill will have 90 new pupils start in reception in September.