STUDENTS are enjoying a new canteen and outdoor eating space after the their school underwent a summer holiday revamp.

St Helena School in Colchester has a new kitchen, a new student canteen and outside eating space and two new toilets blocks, which were all completed in eight weeks.

The school was built in the Thirties and was in need of modernisation.

Headteacher Fiona Pierson: “When I arrived in September I spent time speaking with students about their experience in the school, in particular their social times and how they felt about their school.

“What was striking to me was the number of students who did not feel they had full access to the social facilities.”

The canteen now has an extra 150 seats as Ms Pierson said when she first arrived, some children would eat their food on the floor in the corridors.

She said: “It was just unacceptable.

“I want my students to become young adults who can conduct themselves appropriately in any social situation with confidence and conviction.

“To do this we have a moral obligation to provide them with a platform, a platform that treats them like young adults from the start of their school career.”

Finally, a new kitchen with purpose-built equipment has been fitted.

In a time of diminishing school budgets Ms Pierson said the students always come first. She said: “It is difficult to know how to prioritise funding because every child is important, not one greater than another but you do have to make difficult decisions.

“The drive for these works came through my concerns around student wellbeing and welfare, the extensive renovation work will allow every child at St Helena to enjoy their school, not just the students we have with us now but for many decades to come.”

An open evening will take place on Monday to show off the new facilities. Call 01206 572253 to reserve a place.