PUPILS and staff at Hardenhuish School, Chippenham, have paid tributes to sixth form pupil Ellie Gould who died at her home in Calne on Friday.

She had joined the secondary school as a Year 7 pupil and was involved in many aspects of school life.

Headteacher Lisa Percy said: “The Hardenhuish community is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Ellie Gould.

“Ellie was a talented, popular and much loved member of our school community who will be dearly missed.

“Our thoughts and condolences are with Ellie’s family at this devastating time. We recognise that the coming days and months will be difficult for us all and we are determined to support each other with the help of our partner agencies. “

When Ellie was a Year 7 pupil she took part in a fundraising event to raise money in memory of another girl who had lost her life.

She and classmates raised money for Jemima’s Gift a fund set up to celebrate the life of ten-year-old Jemima Prees from Colerne who died in a skiing accident.

Also During Ellie’s time at Hardenhuish she was also an enthusiastic member of the school’s show jumping team and competed in a number of events at West Wiltshire Equestrian Centre.

A spokesman for the centre said: “We didn’t know Ellie personally but we know she competed here and we were all very shocked by what happened.”

Ellie’s Facebook page is full of pictures of her riding ponies and practising her show jumping.

Among those joining in tributes to Ellie was Calne Mayor Glen is Ansell. She said: ““On behalf of the town cuncil I send our deepest condolences to the family of the young girl who lost her life so tragically on Friday.

“Our hearts go out to you at this difficult time and I know that the thoughts and prayers of our community are with you. “

St Mary The Virgin Church in Calne has become a central point for people to remember Ellie and to leave messages of condolence and to light candles in her memory.

Team rector The Rev Bob Kenway said: “We have opened the church during the day so people can come here and have a quiet place to remember Ellie.

“I think the whole town has been badly affected by what has happened and there is a sense of disbelief that such a young person who had so much still to live for could have died.

“It is the sort of thing you read about happening in other places but you do not really expect it to happen here in Calne."