CLUTCHING their book bags and wearing pristine uniforms, pupils arrived for lessons for the first time at a new Didcot primary school.

Didcot Primary Academy, in Chestnut Drive, opened its doors to pupils on Monday for their first day of school.

Mother-of-two and Great Western Park resident, Lizzy Wood, said her four-year-old son Harry had “had great fun” on his first day.

She said: “I think he did quite a lot of playing outside and was making friends.

“He was a bag of nerves this morning but I have been really impressed with how supportive the school was when he went in.”

Mrs Wood said that instead of sending Harry to Harwell Primary School, where the majority of his nursery friends will be starting, they wanted to support the new local school.

She added: “So far we are confident in our decision of sending Harry here rather than Harwell.

“I was impressed with all the resources, toys and all the play equipment they have.”

The new school, which will educate more than 400 children when full, was planned as part of the estate’s 3,300 home development and will help to cater for new families.

The school promises pupils will have access to state-of-the-art facilities when they start, including interactive white boards, an IT suite and an outside amphitheatre.

Town councillor Margaret Davies said: “This is the first primary school to be built on Great Western Park.

“There are now more than 1,000 homes occupied on the estate and there is a shortage of places for primary pupils in the town so the new school is very welcome.

“Families have been looking forward to the school opening.”

Headteacher Alison Ashcroft said staff had been raring to go all summer.

She said: “I am delighted with the team we have recruited in the teaching crisis. Their expertise will hopefully get our pupils off to a flying start.

“We have been in such high demand that we have had to start an extra two classes, which is fantastic.

“Every September we will start two new reception classes until we reach our capacity of 420 pupils.”

The school has already established links with the Oxfordshire University Technical College and hopes to build a strong relationship with the secondary school opening next September.

Nicola Hutchings’ three-year-old son Zach had an “excellent” first day at the school’s nursery.

The mother-of-two and Great Western Park resident said: “I thought it was a really lovely place to learn.

“They have got a really great play area outside which is perfect for Zach.

“It is all really colourful and pristine and the amount of resources they have for the children is fantastic.”