BREAMORE School in Fordingbridge is celebrating 200 years of primary education.

Pupils, teachers and parents were joined by the Bishop of Southampton, the Rt Revd Jonathan Frost, at its first thanksgiving service.

“Breamore is a wonderful school at the heart of the community,” said Bishop Frost. “The church set it up 200 years ago – it’s so good to see it thriving and growing and one of the warmest, most inspiring and constructive schools it’s my privilege to visit.”

To celebrate the bicentenary the parents and school commissioned a new banner from Shirley Ellicott, a master craftswoman from Whitbsury.

In thirty thousand silken stitches she made an embroidery which incorporates the school and its history.

She added: “It took me three months – working off photos of Breamore Church, the geese and galingale on the Breamore marsh – and the stocks for villains.

“I also put in the school itself and two pupils playing football at the centre – and all the names of pupils and teachers who were there this bicentenary year.”

Francesca Bellini and Tristan Prinsloo were the two children captured playing football in the embroidery.

Head teacher Emma Clark says the embroidery will a treasured part of the school’s history, and added: “Our pupils have been examining it every day for the things they recognize – like the geese, the church and plants. And their own names.

“So many of our former pupils come back to see us. I like to think in the future we’ll have children and grandchildren of our former pupils finding their relatives’ names on the banner.”

The summer will see Breamore School celebrating its bicentenary with more festivities involving the community.