STUDENTS at a Woodley secondary school were having a blast when a new sixth form block and auditorium was officially opened last night.

Aspiring actors at Bulmershe School celebrated the unveiling of the £3.5 million development with a performance of hit musical ‘Grease’.

The building, which will give Years 12 and 13 space for independent learning, is part of a £6m investment from Wokingham Borough Council, and mayor Cllr Ulla-Karin Clarke was on hand to snip the ribbon with students.

The block also boasts a 400-seat auditorium for school productions, a new main reception to offer visitors access from Woodlands Avenue and six classrooms fitted with computer work stations.

Headteacher Emma Reynolds said: “At Bulmershe we believe every individual child has potential and every child will succeed and make progress with us.

“Our new auditorium and 21st Century learning environment represent further superb opportunities to prepare our students well for their future working lives as successful and well-rounded young people.”

History teacher Geoff Wickens, who has taught at the Chequers Way school for more than 20 years, believes the development is “overdue”.

He is also organising a series of alumni events to reunite past students as the school celebrates its 50th anniversary and said: “It is hugely exciting for the school and the community.

“Bulmershe School has had a proud history over the last 50 years but may be it’s overdue that we had some investment in order to provide a fantastic facility for the students here.”

The overall project is reaching its final stages, with the technology block set to be re-vamped and the previous sixth form centre is being transformed into a learning support unit.

Cllr Rob Stanton, chairman of the Bulmershe School Project Board, believes the new entrance building will be a success and has put it down to meticulous planning.

He said: “We’ve planned and planned for these new facilities, and debated every detail to make sure we get it right for the students and staff,” said.

“But there’s nothing quite like seeing it up and running – as we have done tonight - seeing just how much of a difference it will make to this school.”