CHILDREN in Hay-on-Wye returned to a new school after half-term as Powys County Council's 21st Century Schools Programme for a cluster of five new primary schools comes to fruition.

The school is part of a massive £24m investment into education in the Gwernyfed catchment area, which itself recently received confirmation of a £7.2 million refurbishment.

Happy days for head, Mrs Bartholomew who started in post in 2016 and now sees the shape of the future around her.

"It feels wonderful," she said. " We all feel very lucky and very happy to be in our new home. The words that keep coming to the fore are spacious, clean and warm! It's fantastic to be in our shiny, beautiful new building as the summer months approach."

Five days in and the children are already enjoying working independently in the street area part of the school, off which the classrooms lead."It actually feels like a whole as we talk and work with one another without having to leave the building and cross a playground."

The demolishing of the old school, which had been in situ for 50 years, is underway with an estimated end date of April 24.

"Our parents have been amazing and supportive as routines and schedules have changed over the past year," Mrs Bartholomew said.

There is now just 11 weeks of building work left to go while the playground and sports field are finished.

Mr Andy Dix who has a year 6 and year 3 pupil at Hay School said that his children were very happy with the amount of space and being able to work in 'the street' area which includes the school library and where children can work together in groups.

"They also like the fact it's not leaking!" he said.

"The facilities are as they should be in a new school with wet areas in each classroom and other things that prevent one class interrupting another."

An open evening for school parents and the wider community was held before Christmas with a further event planned.