CHILDREN were wowed by their surroundings on the first day at the new-look Darwen Vale High School.

Yesterday saw the fruits of six years’ hard work as the £24million Building Schools for the Future-funded new school was opened.

All year groups returned to school for the first day of the new era with pupils speaking of their excitement.

The school had been relocated to the former Darwen Moorland High School site at Holden Fold for two years.

Headteacher Fiona Jack was delighted that the historic first day had finally arrived.

She said: “I have been waiting for this since I started as headteacher in January.

“I would like to thank Balfour Beatty. Their support has been fantastic and they have worked in partnership with us superbly.

“Over the past three days the staff have worked until late to get everything ready for the students and I would like to thank them for that.

“We are in the business of learning and now we really can get down to business.”

Excited children packed into the school from 8am to get a first glimpse of their new school.

Year 10 pupil Chris Livesey, 14, said: “It is a lot better than Holden Fold.

“I am proud to be involved in such a historic day for the school.”

Elliot Welsh, 13, of Year Nine, said: “It is a really smart place and I have been very excited about coming back.”

Year Eight pupil Lisobelle Hanson-Mahon, 12, said: “The school looks amazing.

“I love all the art stuff and all the new facilities.

“I like the lockers as well. My bag won’t be as heavy now.”

Thirteen-year-old Libby Parkinson, of Year Nine, said: “My first impressions are really good and I am just looking forward to getting into it now.

“I like all the different shapes in the building.”

The school will host two community open days for anyone wishing to take a look around, on Saturdays September 22 and 29, from 9am to noon.