School back on feet

Headteacher Pip Otton has thanked everyone who helped her Bognor Regis school overcome a flood.

Mrs Otton said the assistance given to the pupils and staff at Laburnum Grove Junior School had made a big difference during their enforced exile.

“The children and staff are really grateful to St Mary’s Catholic School who took in their Year 3s, Felpham Community College who took in the Year 4s and The Regis School who took in the years 5 and 6.

“The children and staff were made extremely welcome by the host schools who were very caring and provided good facilities and lots of interesting activities,” she said.

“Myself and my governors were overwhelmed by their kindness and support.”

The Laburnum Grove site was flooded on June 11. The damage caused by the excessive water in the buildings caused the school of some 150 children to be closed for three weeks.

It re-opened on July 2 after eight temporary classrooms were installed in the grounds by education officials.

Work is taking place to repair the school buildings to ensure the normal daily life is resumed ready for the new term in September.

Mrs Otton said the spirit of the school was summed up in the phrase - flooded but not defeated - which enabled its Olympic-inspired entry into Sunday’s Bognor Regis Carnival to go ahead as planned.

The school was the only one in the event along the seafront. The 38 children who took part were proud to represent it, she said.

“The children danced to inspirational and upbeat music they had selected and felt reflected their determination to enjoy their school life despite the flood,” said Mrs Otton.

Among the tunes chosen for the display was Don’t Stop Me Now. Everybody Dance Now was chosen by Year 4 because they were thrilled the school’s term disco would still take place even without a school hall.

This was due to the kindness of Ken Standen. He has offered the Rainbow Room at Riverside Caravan Centre on Shripney Road free of charge for the event, Mrs Otton said.