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Devon - Zero-carbon primary gets bishop's blessing

A new Devon primary school has been literally blessed by a special visit from the clergy.

Bishop John Ford of Plymouth held a ceremony to mark the opening of the new #163;7 million eco-friendly Dartington Primary.

The building has been designed as one of the first zero-carbon primary schools in the country.

Solar panels are used to power the classrooms, which are also heated with the help of heat exchange equipment and large windows to maximise the solar gain. Elsewhere, rainwater is collected and the school grounds include a reed bed so that "grey water" can be filtered and used again.

Head Jill Mahon said: "All our parents and visitors have been bowled over by the new buildings and the children absolutely love it."

Pupils in nearby Newton Ferrers Primary are also celebrating the opening of their new #163;100,000 building.

"The Burrow" will house a range of extended school services. The space will also be used by the pupils for art and craft activities, and for community education courses.

Parents, friends and governors of Newton Ferrers have helped with the construction and pupils have assisted in its decoration.

Head Claire Sealey said: "It is a wonderful new facility that we will be able to put to a range of good uses for the benefit of the children, their families and the wider community." KM.

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