In Memory of Frank

Dear parent / carer

You may or may not be aware that sadly, one of our Reception children died very suddenly in December. Frank was an amazing little boy who enjoyed every moment of his time in our Nursery and Reception. He was full of life, bubble and energy and we were devastated to be told that he had died.

Frank had previously been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, which is a very rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer. But this was in remission when he started our Nursery. Throughout his time with us, until less than two weeks before he died, Frank was well and healthy. Sadly his Neuroblastoma came back so aggressively, that less than two weeks after he was last in school, he died.

Understandably, his parents, Rebecca and Craig, along with his wider family, are devastated. As are we. It was their expressed wish at the time that we shared this sad news with Reception families, but not parents across the rest of school. This was because they needed time to begin to process the shocking news.

Following advice from both our school Educational Psychologist and the Clic Sargent cancer charity team, we told all of our children in school about Frank. This was to ensure that our children were told accurate facts, rather than hearing about it from others. They needed to know how rare Frank’s condition was to prevent them from worrying that it could happen to them. We also wanted to reassure children that this was not related to COVID. Children were given the sad news age appropriately, following the advice we sought from the experts.

It is hugely important to us and his family that we always remember and celebrate Frank as a member of his Reception class and a part of our school. However devastating this is, we want to celebrate his memory in positive ways. Having spoken to his family, we have a number of positive and exciting ways to always be able to remember Frank.

The first way is that every year on/near Frank’s birthday, we are going to ask our children to come into school in Frank’s favourite colour – blue. We will then ask for donations on that day for Neuroblastoma UK. Neuroblastoma UK is a small national charity, dedicated to finding a cure for neuroblastoma. It is through funding leading research projects that the charity stand a chance to develop new, more effective and kinder treatments for children with neuroblastoma.

Frank’s 5th birthday is on Sunday 14th March, which is also Mother’s Day. So we are asking that our whole school community comes to school in non-uniform and wearing something blue a week today, on Friday 12th March. It would be truly amazing and mean the world to Rebecca and Craig, if together as a school community, we could raise as much money as possible in memory of Frank for Neuroblastoma UK. Together, let’s work to stop this happening to anyone else. If you would like to donate, please go to the School Gateway app, tap ‘payments’, then tap ‘In Memory of Frank’.

We also have lots more plans to celebrate Frank. We have some amazing and exciting news to share with your children next week about something extra special we have been planning in memory of Frank, which we know they will enjoy and look forward to. We will write to you again very soon to tell you more.

Thank you
Miss Byrne

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