A minute’s silence in remembrance of pupil Pierre Barnes will be held in an assembley at King’s School as pupils return from their half-term holiday on Tuesday.
The boys will also be offered counselling to help them cope with the news of Pierre’s death. The schoolboy, aged 12, in his first year at King’s, died while on holiday with his family on the island of Porquerolles in the south of France last Saturday. His body was found in the sea on Thursday close to the place where he went missing after going out on a bike ride. Soon after leaving his parents, a storm blew up and gales battered the island.
This morning, as the school’s flag flew at half mast, King’s headteacher Frank Hedley, pictured above talking to the Journal this morning, said: “The death of Pierre Barnes is a tragedy which affected all at The King’s School. Although Pierre had only been a student at King’s for eight weeks, in that short space of time he had made his mark. He was an enthusiastic and confident boy with a thirst for knowledge and an ability to communicate very effectively. His desire to learn and his gregarious character meant that Pierre had a superb future ahead of him at The King’s School.
“We feel an enormous sense of loss, though we recognise that our grief can in no way compare with that of Pierre’s family. All of our thoughts and prayers go out to the Barnes family at this very sad time.”
Mr Hedley said the school would be holding assemblies to make sure the boys understood what had happened. The school will get support from Grantham Hospital’s ‘Grief and Loss’ team to counsel those boys who need help.
The school will also encourage the boys to think about how they want to commemorate Pierre’s time at the school.
Mr Hedley added: “We have a challenging week ahead of us, but they are resilient boys.”
Pierre was on holiday in France with his parents Stephen and Florence and their other children, Zoe, 17, Desmond, 15, and Clemence, 13.