Wednesday, 8 January 2014

A tough day

It's been an incredibly difficult day at LSP. Staff and pupils have been deeply saddened by the tragic news that year 12 pupil Josh Woodyatt had passed away during the Christmas holidays. Josh was a likeable and popular student, he was a larger than life character and the type of boy who would never walk by without a smile and a hello. Talented in drama and music he will be very much missed by everyone in our family at LSP. 

The funeral today was as distressing as you would expect. It was quite rightly pointed out that there is something inherently wrong with the idea that parents should have to say goodbye to a beloved child. Josh's family bore their grief today with such dignity and I hope at some point they will be able to take comfort in that fact that so many turned out to pay their respects.

I'm always writing about how proud I am of the pupils at school, but the way current and ex pupils demonstrated their maturity and empathy today provided a little glimpse of sunshine on a very dark day. Clearly I am very lucky to be part of a community that cares so much about one of its own.  

Pupils have also expressed a desire to raise money for a permanent memorial to Josh at LSP and I hope very much that we will be able to provide something appropriate in the near future.

In the meantime I would like to extend my heartfelt sympathies to Josh's family and friends. He will ever be present in my thoughts and those of so many others who have made LSP their home over recent years. 

I'll leave you with some words from Henry Wandsworth Longfellow which seem appropriate this evening

"Good-night! good-night! as we so oft have said
Beneath this roof at midnight, in the days
That are no more, and shall no more return.
Thou hast but taken up thy lamp and gone to bed;
I stay a little longer, as one stays
To cover up the embers that still burn".

RIP Josh, may your sleep be sound.

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