An infant school has been left devastated by the death of its headteacher.
Heather Orry, who was head at Leyland Methodist Infant School, lost her battle against cancer at the end of last month.
Pupils and staff at the Canberra Road school are said to be deeply saddened and upset.
The funeral will take place this Thursday, December 14.
Parents have received letters from the school informing them that it will be closed on that day.
In the school’s fortnightly newsletter on Friday, December 1, deputy headteacher Nicola Rogerson wrote: “Dear Parents, Carers and friends of our lovely school,
Thank you all so very much for all of the messages of support, emails, cards and love that we have received in the last few days.
“We continue to hold Mrs Orry’s family in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.”
In a statement to the Guardian, she said: “News of Heather’s death has come as a shock to everyone at the school.
“We are a small and close-knit community and are extremely upset.
“Heather was a highly respected headteacher, well-loved by us all, but especially by the children.
“Heather had a very caring and positive attitude to everyone, with a bright and bubbly personality, fun-loving with an infectious laugh.
“She was an extremely thoughtful, welcoming and patient person.
“Heather always had a smile on her face and spoke highly of everyone around her, as they did of her.
“We will miss her enormously. All our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends at this sad time.”
The Reverend Phil Gough, of Leyland Methodist Church, Turpin Green Lane, Leyland, who is a Foundation Governor at Leyland Methodist Infant School, said: Mrs Orry has been a very much loved and respected head teacher, an inspiring Christian leader for our Methodist Infant School.
“She served our school as deputy head teacher for a number of years, before serving as head teacher at St Chad’s, Poulton.
“Upon the retirement of Mrs Christine Cranfield, Mrs Orry successfully returned to Leyland Methodist Infant School as our head teacher.
“Everyone in the church and school community is deeply saddened by Mrs Orry’s passing, and we are committed to praying for her family, for all the staff in our school, who are a strong team, and for all the church-school family.
“We express our heartfelt thanks for all that Mrs Orry has poured into the life of our school - her influence, love and grace are evident throughout.”
Lancashire County councillor Matthew Tomlinson is a governor at Leyland Methodist Junior School.
He said: “As county councillor for this area, I’d like to say Heather was a long-standing and inspirational head teacher who ensured the infants school was an outstanding school in my division.
“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.”