TEACHERS at Woodbrough Primary School say "the magic will prevail" as they recover from a fire that has destroyed two classrooms and other areas.

The fire on Friday evening devastated teaching staff, the school's 160 pupils and the local community who have already rallied round to give support.

More than £15,000 has been raised through an online appeal to help the school recover from the blaze which destroyed two classrooms, a staff room and other areas.

Head teacher Sarah Brewis said: “The response has been overwhelming. We would like to thank everybody for their good wishes. It really means a lot.”

In a statement, the school said: “Our school is not defined by the buildings, it is defined by our culture, and we are confident that culture will see us through this period of adversity.

“We will rebuild and continue to provide high calibre education. The Woodborough magic will prevail!

“The events of the evening of 17th were shocking to witness. We want to say a sincere thank you to all the emergency services who attended the fire; they risked their lives to minimize the damage to our buildings and adjoining property. We are sincerely grateful to them.”

The school closed on Monday and Tuesday while fire experts investigated the cause of the fire.

It is believed to have started accidentally in the roof of the Victorian building, which had been undergoing building works.

It is hoped the school's insurance company will cover the cost of rebuilding and refurbishing the damaged areas.

Ms Brewis said: "We know it started in the roof, we don't know the actual cause. We are waiting for the fire inspectors report to be released."

She said that "thankfully" fire doors held back much of the fire and a lot of the school was left undamaged.

Ms Brewis said teachers' primary focus was the safety, welfare and education of the 160 pupils who are aged four to 11.

Children began lessons online on Wednesday and it is hoped to get them back into classrooms as soon as possible.

The school has received offers of help and space from Pewsey Vale secondary school, as well as other organisations.

Ms Brewis added: "We are absolutely determined to make the school safe and sort it out so we can have them all back and learning together as soon as we possibly can.

"We've had many offers of support of different classrooms that we might use, vacant classrooms in other schools, village halls and studios, lots of people have offered their support."

Around 70 firefighters from all over Wiltshire and Swindon battled the flames at the peak of the blaze, which began at around 6.40pm on Friday.

Station manager Sam Legg-Bagg, of DWFRS, said they had used ten fire engines and an aerial ladder platform to battle the flames.

Governor Phil Wigg said the fire was “devastating for the school and the wider local community”.

On Saturday, the school said: “Woodborough Primary School, its governors and the wider school community share a feeling of shock following the fire at the school on Friday night, but wish to reassure parents and pupils that their priority is to maintain the continuity of education first, and then seek to restore what has been lost.

“The school will be closed on Monday whilst ongoing plans are confirmed and implemented through ongoing dialogue with the EQUA Trust and parents will continue to be updated through existing channels.”

The local Pewsey Vale School, through campus manager Mike Stewart, offered to help “in any way” it can.

Pewsey Vale School governor Barbara Reeder said she was at a reception in Salisbury when she received a text message and a photograph of the primary school burning.

“I was really stunned, absolutely stunned,” she said. “I followed it on my Whatsapp group and then rang one of my neighbours.

“The children have been off for 18 months and have not been able to have their proper schooling. It is just hard to see how they are going to cope and get on with their friendships.

“I am sure the school will be given the full support of Woodborough in any way we can.”

To donate to the appeal, click here