Community rallies to help St Helens Park Public School rebuild after classroom fire

Gifts from Campbelltown Public School. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)
Gifts from Campbelltown Public School. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)

It's been almost two weeks since St Helens Park Public School lost two of its classrooms to a fire, but the local community has ensured the staff and students are still feeling the love.

Two classrooms were largely destroyed in a fire on Father's Day weekend, forcing a kindergarten and Year 1 class to relocate to other rooms to continue their learning.

Teaching resources - many paid for by the teachers themselves - were unsalvageable.

Luckily, the Macarthur school community didn't hesitate to help out their fellow learners.

Almost immediately after the September 5 fire, the school began receiving donations.

Firstly, the St Helens Park staff got together to buy gifts for the teachers for all their hard work.

Gifts from St Helens Park to the affected teachers. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)

Gifts from St Helens Park to the affected teachers. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)

"Thank you gifts from us all were presented to our wonderful teachers who have worked so hard with the Department of Education team to set up their new spaces and support their students," principal Sue Sessions wrote on Facebook.

Paper hearts from the kids at Elderslie Public School. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)

Paper hearts from the kids at Elderslie Public School. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)

The kids at Elderslie Public School sent along 500 paper hearts to brighten the school's spirits, while Yandelora School in Narellan helped out with a container full of books and games for the kids.

Gifts from Yandelora School. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)

Gifts from Yandelora School. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)

Campbelltown Public School sent along plants and chocolates on R U OK? Day with a kind note.

"We wanted to check in with you all to see how you are going after the fire," the note read.

"Let us know if there is anything we can do to assist.

"We thought you would like these plants that signify the new and exciting growth that will come from this terrible ordeal.

"The chocolates are to keep you going strong."

The kids from Thomas Acres Public School in Ambarvale penned personal messages and crafted arty creations for their St Helens Park counterparts, while the school also donated various learning supplies.

Some of the messages from Thomas Acres Public School. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)

Some of the messages from Thomas Acres Public School. Picture: St Helens Park Public School (Facebook)

A GoFundMe page was also set up to help the community fund the purchase of classroom items, however, after raising more than $600 towards the $1000 goal, the campaign was closed and all money refunded "due to unforseen circumstances and responses".

Ms Sessions provided the school community with an update on the fire damage shortly after school resumed.

"All four classrooms in this block will be out of action for some time as smoke damage is across the roof," she said.

"We are relocating students in the available structures that we are lucky to have until the end of term.

"We are also fortunate to have the support of our locla schools that are also sending staff so that new classroom spaces and resources will get together quickly.

"We would also like to acknowledge the work of our police and fire brigades who worked swiftly to resolve [the fires]. We are thankful for their actions."

Fire damage inside one of the classrooms. Picture: FRNSW

Fire damage inside one of the classrooms. Picture: FRNSW

The Department of Education did not allow the Advertiser to speak with anyone from St Helens Park Public School, however a spokesman provided the following statements.

"The school thanks the local community for their support during this difficult time," he said.

"The school has remained operational since the incident with students continuing their learning.

"The is testament to the outstanding professionalism of school staff.

"The Department of Education is on track to refurbish St Helens Park Public School.

"Works have started on site and impacted classes have been temporarily accommodated pending the installation of demountable classrooms.

"Following the fire, four demountable classrooms will be installed as an interim solution.

"The new refurbishment will reflect current educational infrastructure standards."