School praise for students’ tribute

Headteacher James Colquhoun, right, has paid tribute to St Laurence School pupils after the death of Harvey Johns this week

Headteacher James Colquhoun, right, has paid tribute to St Laurence School pupils after the death of Harvey Johns this week

First published in Latest News

The headteacher of St Laurence School this week paid tribute to Harvey Johns and praised the support of his friends at the school.

Ambulances were called to Harvey’s home in Batheaston, where his body was discovered at 7.06am on Tuesday, after he suffered a cardiac arrest, with the 16-year-old being pronounced dead at the scene.

Avon and Somerset Police are investigating the circumstances of Harvey’s death but it is not believed to be suspicious.

Shock swept through St Laurence School, in Ashley Road, Bradford on Avon, when the news of Harvey’s death was broken on Tuesday afternoon.

Pupils quickly decided to commemorate sixth former Harvey by setting up a Facebook page honouring his life which has been joined by more than 1,000 people. Fellow sixth formers also came to the school dressed in red and black on Wednesday with a one-minute silence being held at break time.

The tribute to Harvey referred to his love of history, in particular a trip he went on with the school last summer to First World War battlefields in France and Belgium, where he and fellow students were given red T-shirts for their travels.

Headteacher James Colquhoun said: “Our students have been subdued, respectful and mature as they come to terms with the shocking news. The unique feature of sixth form students wearing red and black goes back to their 2011 visit to the First World War battlefields – a trip that very much inspired Harvey.

“The red and black was a very original and unique thing for our students to decide to do.”

Mr Colquhoun said that counsellors and education psychologists, supported by Chris Browne of Bradford on Avon Community Church, and the Rev Joanna Abecassis, of Holy Trinity Church, have been speaking to affected pupils.

Mr Colquhoun said: “Harvey was well known and liked by staff and his circle of friends. He was a polite, considerate and conscientious student who had an ambition to work in carpentry and joinery.”

After he received his GCSE results this summer Harvey left St Laurence to pursue his interests in carpentry and joinery. Two weeks age he had returned to the school and had been studying for an A-level in product design and a BTEC in business studies up until his death.

As a mark of respect, St Laurence School cancelled matches involving their sports teams earlier this week.

Mr Colquhoun said that Harvey shared a number of special relationships with friends, teachers and staff at St Laurence and that he would be greatly missed.

He said: “Discussions are under way for some form of memorial but it is premature to make plans since it is only right to focus our thoughts and prayers on Harvey’s friends and family at this very difficult time.”

An inquest into Harvey’s death is expected to be opened next week.

Anyone wishing to leave a tribute to Harvey can visit www.facebook.com/RIPHarveyJohns. Anyone affected by his death can call Wiltshire Social Care on 08456 070888. for support.

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