PUPILS and staff at a York primary school celebrated the official opening of their newly-refurbished school, dedicating the day to the memory of a much-loved former head teacher.

Knavesmire School in South Bank, with 400 pupils, has undergone a £2.5m refurbishment, with the creation of a new school hall, five new classrooms, an upgraded kitchen and dining area and a new IT suite and library.

A section of the new building has been named The Weston Wing in honour of the school’s former head teacher, Carol Weston, who died of cancer, aged 50, in 2011.

Mrs Weston was the head at Knavesmire for nine years, and was credited with leading the popular school to outstanding Ofsted success.

Yesterday her son Richard Weston, brother Dave Salmons, parents Jean and Eric Salmons, and two-year-old grandson, Jacob Weston were among members of her family at a ribbon cutting and balloon release at the school.

Dave Salmons said: "Carol would have been really proud of today."

Chairman of governors, Tanya Wheatley, said: "I know Mrs Weston would have been thrilled knowing some of her ideas came to fruition. Her only complaint would have been that she did not secure the site for a new build so she could have had her office overlooking the river."

Current head teacher Adam Cooper said: “We're all tremendously excited about these fantastic new facilities. Our pupils are very lucky to now have such an innovative learning environment and it's been a fitting tribute to Carol Weston to create the new building built on her principles."

Four pupils Josh Hall, Beanie Benton, both 11, and Hannah Godfrey, five and Jonas Collins, four, released the balloons.

Beanie said: "Our new building is really lovely, and it means we can all have assembly together now."

Cllr Janet Looker, City of York Council’s cabinet member for education, said: “I am delighted to see the completion of a building project that has hugely increased the capacity of a highly thought of and popular school.

"It has been a significant project for the school and the council and it is really good to see staff and pupils now fully able to enjoy the new build.”