ANCIENT artefacts played a starring role at the official opening of the city’s newest school on Monday.

The Bronze Age cremation pots were dug up by archaeologists from the site of Old Sarum Primary School before the builders moved in.

And Phil Harding from TV’s Time Team was the perfect person to tell the children all about them, and the people who made them to bury the ashes of their dead, as he performed the opening ceremony at a special assembly.

The school has been up and running since September and the 60 pupils were keen to show off what they have achieved already to an audience including parents, governors, Wiltshire and parish councillors and representatives of Wessex Archaeology, which excavated the site.

Children from the reception class talked about what they want to be when they grow up – one little girl said her ambition is to be a fairy “with purple wings” – while older children read out their poetry or spoke about their friends, and everyone joined in singing about their school.

Headteacher John Jones gave the guests a guided tour and explained plans to create a garden and orchard in the grounds, not just for the pupils but for the wider community, with help from organisations including the Shaw Trust, Wiltshire Wildlife Trust, and Laverstock and Ford parish council.

Chairman of governors Natalie Moss proposed a vote of thanks to councillor Ian McLennan, who fought for years to get the school built to provide a hub for the new community.

The school has room for 210 children and there are hopes it will be full within two-and-a-half years.