A SCHOOL is already looking forward to its next term after opening a long-awaited new extension.

Richmond Methodist School today (Friday, July 18) celebrated the opening of its new facilities with a ceremony attended by present and past pupils at the school.

One of those students was Olympic swimmer Jo Jackson, from Richmond, who competed in the women’s 400m freestyle at the London Olympics and who won bronze at the Beijing Olympics in 2008. She visited with her sister Nicola, also an international swimmer.

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The Mayor of Richmond, Councillor Clive World and the construction and architect firms involved in the creation of the new space also attended the opening ceremony on Friday, along with parents and governors.

The ribbon was cut by Yorkshire cricketer Lewis Stabler, another former pupil.

Headteacher, Mark Allison said the new building includes two new “break out” spaces, where children can be taught individually or in small groups and there is a new reception foyer and office.

Pupils with the school council chose the names for the new learning areas - the Lily Pad and the Hide-Out.

Mr Allison said: “We were lacking in space around the school where we could work with the children in small groups.

“The present building was built in the mid-1960s and with our high pupil numbers we were short on space. The children are going to benefit greatly from this space as are staff and parents.”