It is sad that Shinewater School pupils will always have the memory that their school appears to have been deliberately set on fire, but they will also have the redeeming memory of the teachers and staff who looked after them and formed a safety net at this time. I was really touched to see headmistress Theresa Buttery crying and hugging the children at the school gate on the afternoon of the fire. I wanted a hug from her myself! My daughter told me yesterday that she had ‘earwigged’ her teacher having a conversation with another staff member and that her teacher said she had cried ‘all night’ upon hearing about the fire. The children can now see their teachers as having emotions such as sadness and fear, which makes them more human and accessible, rather than them being that ‘old’ person who constantly moans at them to tuck their shirt in and gives them boring homework.
Also I think the way that West Rise School have welcomed Shinewater pupils has been lovely. Given all the construction work currently going on there it is probably a hassle they could have done without.
This destruction has been very hard for everybody associated with the school, more so for the teachers than the kids, who were no doubt glad to get a few days off and are probably slightly enjoying the drama of it all.
I have nothing but praise for everybody who has been helping to ensure the pupils of Shinewater face as little disruption as possible. It is sad that this situation is happening, but you are all doing a brilliant job and thank you so much. My daughter has had five happy years at Shinewater – so happy in fact that you are getting my other daughter next year, who is telling anyone willing to listen that her sister’s school was “ruined by a fire, but they are fixing it for me when I go next year”.
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