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Last month saw the opening of a new state-of-the-art nursery building at Exeter Cathedral School. Children, parents, teachers, governors and staff of Exeter Cathedral School welcomed Baroness Floella Benjamin OBE Hon D Litt (Exeter) who officially opened the new building alongside the Chair of Governors and Dean of Exeter, the Very Revd Dr Jonathan Draper. Speaking to the assembled audience, Baroness Benjamin said: “I was honoured to be asked by Exeter Cathedral School to open the new nursery. I feel it is a wonderful oasis for children, designed to be the perfect environment to help them learn and develop through play and nature.”

Baroness Benjamin was met by Stephen Yeo, Headmaster of Exeter Cathedral School, along with governors, and was given a guided tour of the new nursery before sitting down with the children, aged from rising three to five, to tell the story of The Three Little Pigs.

After the unveiling of a new plaque commemorating the opening day, the children were free to show their parents the new nursery. The pupils will benefit from two new classrooms, a sensory room and newly landscaped gardens in two distinct zones – an ‘active zone’, where the children can ride bikes and let off steam, and a “natural zone”, which will include a “bug hotel”, sandpit, treehouse and gardening plots for each teaching group.

Stephen Yeo, Headmaster, said: “This new nursery represents a huge investment both in terms of financial expenditure and in time spent ensuring that the very best facets of design were considered and incorporated into the project. The new nursery at Exeter Cathedral School is, quite simply, a magical space which will serve our three and four year olds extraordinarily well, and which will help them lay down the firm foundations of a first-class education. In addition it will help to secure the future of a school which, whilst looking back on its eight hundred year history, is determined to be forward looking and meet the needs of the twenty-first century child.’’

In 2014 the school was made legally and financially independent of the Cathedral, and the school is now a registered Charity and a Company Limited by Guarantee. However there continues to be a very close relationship between the Cathedral and the school. The choristers go from strength to strength, and there are now two choirs, boys and girls, who share the services throughout the week and who sing together on special occasions and in many concerts throughout the year.