THE headteacher of a Farnborough primary school has praised his teachers and pupils for their hard work after being presented with a prestigious School Achievement Award.

Cherrywood Primary School in Mayfield Road was given the national award by the Department for Education in recognition of the excellent standards and improving performance at the school.

"It is absolutely brilliant," said headteacher Bob Butterworth. "I am really, really pleased. It is dedicated to the children really because without them making the progress, we would never have won the award."

Cherrywood was only formed in March 2001 through the amalgamation of Mayfield Infant and Junior School and major building works are set to be under way in July to refurbish the old school.

"It has been a lot of hard work for us, and there are still a lot of changes to be made," said Mr Butterworth.

"At the moment we are rushing between three separate buildings all the time, but by this time next year, there should be just one building adapted to house everything."

In a letter to the school, David Miliband, Minister of State for School Standards, said the award was intended to celebrate the hard work and dedication of teaching and support staff, that are crucial to the school's success.

Earlier this year Cherrywood had a very successful Ofsted report, which Mr Butterworth believes led to the award.

"You can't apply or be nominated," he added. "So we're not entirely sure how it came about that we won the award, but we are so pleased."

Internal changes have already provided a networked computer system for the school and the new building will provide specialist facilities for music, reception pupils, community work and administration.

The refurbishment will provide, among other things, a much needed staffroom as teacher have had to use temporary areas since the school opened.