AS A TRIBUTE to a former pupil an Islip primary school has officially opened a new creativity hub for students.

Dr South’s School in Bletchingdon Road has opened the doors of its new creative building built in memory of Lin Cooper, who lived in the village and attended the school in the 1950s.

She died of cancer in 2012 and a trust fund set up in her memory funded the build.

Headteacher Huw Morgan said: “The building has been created in memory of a former pupil and is an area where primary aged children can learn practical and creative skills such as cookery, art, drama and music.

“Lin Cooper went to the school and one thing she excelled at music and art so it was important to not be a classroom but a special place to be creative.”

The building has been in use since January but was officially opened at a ceremony on February 4.

The Bishop of Dorchester Rev Colin Fletcher OBE and diocesan director of education Anne Davey attended the opening.

Friends and family of Lin Cooper also joined the ceremony, which included songs from the children and a blessing from Bishop Colin.

Cousin Rachael Beckley Harris said: “It is great that Lin’s love of practical activities is carrying on. Lin loved sewing, cooking, music and art, and she learned these skills at school.

“There is a picture of her from 1959 showing her receiving the school prize and I would love it if the children of today found a new skill that they can take through life.”

The new hub at the 111-pupil school,will be a place where children are taught skills in groups of eight, such as cooking, pottery, painting, music and drama.

It includes cooking units just the right size for children and folding sound-proofed walls, so that rooms can be sectioned off or opened out as one large area.

Mr Morgan said: “We are privileged to have such a flexible building which enables small groups of children to do a wide range of activities at the same time.

“We are very keen to make sure we have a rounded curriculum which includes cookery classes and high quality music and art.”

He added: “We are doing full cookery classes learning how to peel vegetables or to prepare meat for example and teaching detailed art techniques.

“It is learning at a much thorough level.

“The children love the building and just cannot wait to get in there to do the wide range of activities. To have these facilities for a school of this size is amazing.”

Pupil Islay Miller, eight, said: “It is really fun being able to do lots of different activities. I love doing cooking.”

It is hoped the creative hub will work alongside the village’s community hall in providing facilities for evening and weekend sessions open to all residents.

During the build the school also took the opportunity to redesign the outdoor area, introducing artificial grass and a new playground and climbing frame, funded by the school.

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