A FIRE which ripped through a nursery left staff heartbroken and children asking ‘why?’

But their faith was quickly restored as people from Breightmet and further afield rallied round to help.

Now, just under a year on since the fire, work to repair and rebuild the classrooms at Red Lane Primary School is complete and youngsters have a bigger and better area in which to play and learn.

And while the builders were in, the school transformed the area so more children can benefit from the good education the school provides.

The opening of the nursery was part of a double celebration ­— for the school was also officially rated good by Ofsted.

Headteacher Rhian Driver said: “It was devastating for everyone, as a teacher you build up resources, you buy things for the children out of your money and they lost everything all the hard work.

“Coming in and seeing all the children’s work on the walls burnt was just heartbreaking. The staff did an incredible job because they had to grieve that very quickly pick themselves up and we were closed for just two days.”

Children in reception were able to be accommodated elsewhere in the school but the very youngest had to go off-site.

Now they are glad to be back.

“They love it,” said Mrs Driver, “and are really glad to be back with all the other children and when we told all the other children in assembly they were back they all cheered, they were so happy.”

The area now has a kitchen for the youngsters and a new play area, which leads straight from the classroom. Security has also been tightened with shutters closing off the area ­— where the fire started last year ­— in the evening.

Mrs Driver said: “The generosity of the community, across Breightmet and from across Bolton, was overwhelming, their donations meant families were not losing out because of the fire.”

She added that staff who work in the department also had a say in the design of the classrooms.

Ofsted during a recent inspection reported: “The strong relationship between the school and the community was tested during a recent fire, which seriously damaged large areas of the Key Stage One building and destroyed the early years provision, including all resources and equipment.

“Parents, neighbours and local groups rallied round to help leaders to rebuild and refurbish the building.”

Inspectors further found that leaders have “created a safe learning environment at the heart of the community” in which pupils aspired to “believe, achieve and succeed”. Teachers are said to have created a “nurturing environment.”