AFTER three years of hard work organising and holding fundraising events, pupils at a primary in Bicester welcomed their new minibus to the school on Tuesday.

Southwold Primary and Nursery School managed to raise £16,000 to go towards a new school minibus that will help children get to sporting events, swimming lessons, extra-curricular activities and other opportunities for pupils to take part in.

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The money to buy the vehicle was generated by a number of fundraising events arranged by the school's parent-teacher association, Friends of Southwold School (FOSS), over the last three years.

These included Christmas, summer and Easter fayres which were open to the local community.

Christian Fitzmaurice, chair of FOSS, said: "We are always delighted to be able to support the school in any way they can. The minibus is a great asset to the school to help enhance the children’s learning."

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Southwold Primary and Nursery School says it offers a 'diverse and expansive' curriculum that extends beyond classroom learning and is grateful for the support of FOSS in getting the minibus as it will help it provide an "exceptional learning experience".

Helen Wollington, headteacher of the school, said: "We are absolutely delighted to have raised enough money to purchase a minibus that will allow us to safely transport our pupils and staff to events and activities taking place outside of school.

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"We’d like to thank everyone involved in FOSS, The White Horse Federation, and our entire school community for helping us raise the funds to purchase this new minibus and continue providing our pupils with an exceptional learning experience."

The White Horse Federation multi-academy trust, which is responsible for the school, has also been instrumental in helping it reach its funding target.

It has worked closely with the school throughout its three-year campaign, providing it with access to additional resources and invaluable support.

The trust is also responsible for Gagle Brook Primary School in Bicester and Whitelands Academy in Kingsmere which is currently being built and due to open in September this year.