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Fire-hit classrooms reopen

PUBLISHED: 14:26 16 July 2008 | UPDATED: 14:37 07 July 2010

AN arson attack which destroyed half of Barnham Broom's Primary School could have been a total disaster for the school.

Instead teachers, parents, villagers, police and builders helped turn the school around in just six months after arsonists struck in an attempted burglary, causing £100,000 of damage.

AN arson attack which destroyed half of Barnham Broom's Primary School could have been a total disaster for the school.

Instead teachers, parents, villagers, police and builders helped turn the school around in just six months after arsonists struck in an attempted burglary, causing £100,000 of damage.

And on Friday everyone involved was invited to a special concert and celebration to mark the reopening of the destroyed classroom number three and thank those who had pulled together to get the school back open.

Keith Wright, headteacher, said: “It's a real achievement because it is a public declaration that the school is so well thought of and that people have really pulled together.

“The determination of everyone to come together has been extremely humbling, it has created a whole new level of relationship between families and staff.”

Classroom number three was destroyed in the fire, started one night in early January. A central area of the school was also destroyed, a cloakroom and activity room and library.

But staff managed to get the school open again after just one week. Some pupils had to be taught in the school's after-school club and hall for most of the spring term.

And while finishing touches were still needed to other areas damaged, children, in a poem about the fire, said their new classroom was the cleanest they had ever seen.

“Everyone at the school is relieved we can now begin to return to a level of normality and are fully equipped for the beginning of the new term in September,” Mr Wright added.

The reopening was celebrated with a concert performed by children in the school on the playing field, including street dance and poetry recitals.

Former pupil and governor at the school Ron Tyrrell performed the official reopening. A plaque, put up in memory of his late wife, Jennifer, was salvaged from the fire.

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