Pupils go back to the security of their school

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The Independent Online

Yesterday, as it reopened for the first time since Thursday's atrocity, parents and pupils sought solace in its calm security. "My daughter was happy to go back today," said Toba Sylvano after dropping off his five-year-old at the gates. "It's great. It's nice and peaceful here."

Rakesh Deb, who was escorting his 10-year-old son, Ashim, and seven-year-old daughter, Onamaka, to school, added: "They stayed at home on Friday. They want to be back with their friends today."

The school was one of more than 150 in central London to reopen yesterday. The headteacher, Penny Spencer, held an assembly in the morning where the tragedy was mentioned - but the main purpose was to tell the children they were safe.

The playground chatter - 309 pupils speak a total of 27 languages - appeared to emphasise that. It was also evidence that the bombers' aim of setting culture against culture had failed.

"The thing we're most proud of here is that we have a big and very diverse range of cultures," said Ms Spencer. "We're a school that doesn't have the vast majority of its pupils as members of one particular ethnic group. It is a very harmonious school."