Ground-breaking Leatherhead schoolchildren helped builders and a former England cricketer prepare the site of their school’s new sports pavilion.

Sophie-Rose Russell and Jack Goodman, both 13, the head girl and boy at Downsend School in Leatherhead Road, Leatherhead, were among the first pupils to inspect the works when they returned from Christmas break earlier this month.

They broke the ground at the site of the new school pavilion alongside headteacher Ian Thorpe and former English cricket international Paul Taylor, who is now Surrey County Cricket Club’s director of cricket development.

The £300,000 project will feature changing rooms and toilets, a community space and a coffee shop.

Outside the pavilion there will be a viewing area with seating, allowing spectators to watch fixtures and practices on the Astroturf and surrounding pitches.

Mr Thorpe believes opening the new pavilion will be the perfect way to celebrate the school’s 125th anniversary this year.

He said: "Throughout the school’s history, Downsend has always taken great pride in its role as a community school and this new facility extends this further."

Mr Taylor said: "Surrey CCC is delighted to be a partner with Downsend School and looks forward to continuing to support its excellent sporting traditions in the years to come in this new, state-of-the art facility."