18th April 2019
A very sad thing has happened in our school community during the holiday break. Last week, one of our teachers, Mrs Fiona Orton, our music leader passed away peacefully with her family. Mrs Orton had been fighting a very personal battle with cancer for some time. Mrs Orton was a well-respected teacher and colleague. She was so very passionate about teaching music to young people and she has left a lasting legacy in the school. As a school community, we will all be deeply affected by news of her death and I am sure that you will wish to join me and my staff in offering our condolences and sympathy to her family at this sad time.
As a parent, you may want to talk to your child about death because it impacts on each person in different ways. How children react will depend on the relationships they had with the person who died, their age, level of development, and their prior experience with death. Your child may appear unaffected, ask questions about the death repeatedly, be angry or aggressive, be withdrawn or moody, be sad or depressed, become fearful or scared, or have difficulty sleeping or eating. We suggest that you listen to your children. If they want to talk, answer their questions simply, honestly and be prepared to answer the same questions repeatedly. Links to support information for parents:
Staff will also be speaking with the children about Mrs Orton on Tuesday morning when they return to school. We will be supporting them and carrying out activities to allow the children to share their memories and questions. We will then be coming together as a whole school on Friday 26th April in a special assembly to share our memories and to celebrate Mrs Orton’s life by singing some of her favourite songs.
The family have requested a private funeral on Friday 3rd May. Staff will have the opportunity to attend a service of remembrance during the afternoon of that day. In order to facilitate this to happen, we will closing the school early at 2:30pm on Friday 3rd May. We will appreciate your support in collecting the children early so that staff are able to pay their respects to a much loved colleague.
Thanks again for your support for our school community at this sad time.