CHILDREN’S writer Michael Morpurgo helped two Oxford primary schools celebrate the official opening of their new extensions.

The author of the best-selling War Horse visited Wood Farm Primary School in Titup Hall Drive and Bayards Hill Primary School, in Waynflete Road, Barton.

Wood Farm features classrooms, outdoor spaces, a kitchen and teaching areas while Bayards Hill boasts two big playgrounds, a library, facilities for sports, and teaching areas for pupils to work in groups.

Mr Morpurgo visited Wood Farm on Thursday morning and moved on to Bayards in the afternoon, where pupils showed him display projects inspired by his books.

Bayards Hill headteacher Rachel Medley said: “It was brilliant. Michael visited all the classrooms and the new areas.

“We have being doing a two-week project on his books and learning about them, so he looked at the displays and talked to the children about story writing. It was inspirational for them.”

The author and poet talked to staff and builders before touring the new sections of the schools.

Wood Farm Primary School cost £10.5m to redevelop.

Headteacher David Lewin said the day was a “great success”.

He added: “Mr Morpurgo treated the children to a reading of one of his stories, and we shared with him a film of some of the wonderful work we have being doing inspired by his book The Gentle Giant."

“The children also performed a song, specially written by us for the occasion, about Mr Morpurgo and his writing.”

Later in the day parents and carers were invited to look around the school and to drop in to the different classrooms.

Mrs Medley added that her school has houses which take their names from famous authors – Mr Morpurgo being one, along with Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman and Michael Rosen.

The headteacher added: “You could see the children really enjoying talking to Michael about their projects on his books.

“In terms of enthusiasm for reading, it was really good because he talked about the need for writing and reading. It’s given the whole school a lift.”

Mr Lewin said staff and pupils at Wood Farm were really excited the new school had finally been finished and opened.

He added: “Our children have been incredibly patient throughout the building programme, as they have had to wait for all of the outdoor spaces to be ready.”

Wood Farm pupil Kyle Allen, nine, said: “I felt very excited because Michael Morpurgo was in our class and stood right next to me."

“We all gasped when he came in.”

Wuraola Abdulkareem, also nine, added: “The school is really good. The corridors and classrooms are bigger, and it is good that all of the school is joined up.

“It helps when there is more space because you can focus more.”