Mrs Pomeroy contacted parents/carers earlier in the week with regards to the extremely sad news of the passing of Zaynab Bhula in Year 10. This has come as a massive and mind-numbing shock to staff and students alike, but of course in particular for Year 10, and has been most intensely felt by those students who were friends with Zaynab and those that sat with her in lessons.
As a school, a year group and as the individual Head of Year involved, I/we are committed to ensuring we mark Zaynab’s tragic passing with an appropriate and long-lasting series of actions.
On Wednesday this week in school, we have held a minute’s silence for all students to reflect and if they knew Zaynab, to remember her. We are also planning to mark the occasion of her funeral with a further, smaller event in school that will involve her friends.
Numerous members of the year group have passed on cards and letters to me that I will in turn pass on to Zaynab’s family. If your daughter would also like to do this, she is welcome to do so.
Some members of both Year 10 and 11 have volunteered to take part in full recitals of the Quran to honour Zaynab. I would sincerely like to thank these girls for their involvement in this.
In the weeks ahead, we will keep Zaynab’s memory close to our hearts, and her friends will take the lead in plans for a permanent memorial here in school.
We have a school counselling service and have been offered access to bereavement counsellors through both the education authority and the Preston Muslim Burial Society. If you feel your daughter is in need to take avail of these services, please do not hesitate to drop me a line. We will continue to support each other as a year group and as a wider school community, while at the same time honouring the memory of Zaynab.
Year 10 Raising Achievement Co-ordinator
Given the tragic events of this week with the passing of Zaynab Bhula in Year 10, we have decided to dedicate this week’s newsletter to her. This issue has been put together with the help of her friends.
Zaynab was the most loving girl and was always willing to help us out. She was highly intelligent and had such a bright future ahead of her. She was more of a listener and supported us through difficult times. Zaynab was such a selfless and calm person who never had a bad word to say, and never made anything about herself. We will cherish the memories that we’ve made with her and it makes us smile every time we think of her. One memory that stands out to us, is when we used to face time together every week and do quizzes. She always won and got all the questions right! We will never, ever forget her and she will always hold a special place in our hearts.
Marissa, Nur and Fareesha
I have been friends with Zaynab since childhood. She was the most kind, caring and loving best friend I have had. She was a true gem. There is no one like her. She will be missed immensely and she will remain in my heart forever. I will always pray for her, as that is what she deserves and wish that everyone can do the same. Zaynab understood me better than anyone else and would always support me no matter what and I am so thankful for that. We made many unforgettable memories, which I will always treasure and I cannot imagine my life without her. She made me the person I am today and whenever I was feeling down, she would lift me high and put me back together, piece by piece. There was never a dull moment with her and we would constantly laugh about everything. Zaynab was a true friend who would treat me like gold and would listen to me whenever I needed to rant. Without her, I would not be as strong as I am right now because she is the reason for my smiles. I would like to thank her for making my life brighter and happier as she knew how to make my day, even during my darkest moments. I will always remember her and I will never forget her amazing, bubbly personality because she was one of the most warm-hearted girls I have ever met.
In years 8 and 9, I used to hang out with Zaynab and her friends. Although she was quiet, she always joined in with the jokes and the laughs and always seemed to be happy.
I also remember on the Year 8 passport walk up to Darwen Tower, that Zaynab was struggling with it physically but she just kept going and never complained and she made it to the top. She was always resilient when doing things even when it was clear that they were hard for her.
Zaynab was a very intelligent, funny and caring person who never failed to make us smile or laugh. When we first got to know her in year 8, we quickly realised how much of a kind and selfless person she was. One of our favourite memories was when we did group games nights. We always played ‘Among Us’ and had a good time. Nine times out of ten, Zaynab was the imposter which confused us and led us to believe that Zaynab’s smartness was enabling her to hack the game. We sometimes played with Zaynab’s younger brother and whilst doing so we had a great time. Thank you so much for these amazing memories, Zaynab. We will cherish them forever.
Keira and Eloise
Zaynab Bhula. A gifted, kind-hearted and valued young girl who meant the world to us. We first met her four years ago and whilst on the ‘passport walk’, we grew closer and formed a group. As each school year passed, our group of friends changed, but Zaynab always stayed close with us. She was the strongest and most loving person we have ever had the privilege of meeting; she lit up every room she was in.
One of the most prominent memories that we have with Zaynab would be the Darwen Tower walk in year 8. Although a while ago, that day has stuck with us. We remember how much we all laughed that day, trekking up a hill (which we were all slightly unprepared for) and seeing a new side to our friend. We took some silly photos and laughed until we were red-faced under the June sun.
The small memories, such as chats before a lesson, meant equally as much to us as days out. She gave us the best advice and we will sorely miss her laugh and smile; it meant more to us than she ever thought and we wish we could tell her this. Although not here in person, the memories last forever.
Ruby and Emma
Staff memories of Zaynab
Zaynab was a quiet, yet conscientious and diligent pupil. Although shying away from the limelight, it was nonetheless clear to those of us who taught her, that she was an intelligent young woman who was driven to do well. She showed a particular flair for the Sciences and was predicted to achieve highly across the board. It is a testament to her kind-hearted nature that she had a very close-knit circle of friends from a variety of backgrounds, who will miss her dearly and remember her fondly. I have smiled at her memory often this week, and will continue to do so.
Zaynab had a compassionate and kind personality which was obvious to those who knew her. She was an intelligent girl with quiet confidence and was a peaceful and reflective person.
I got to know Zaynab both in and out of class over the last few years and she always adopted a positive and welcoming approach to others. We will fondly remember her friendly and generous spirit in our community, she will be sadly missed by us all.
I had the pleasure of teaching Zaynab Science for 3 years at PGHS. She was always very kind and always greeted me with a smile. She always gave 100% and was a great Scientist. In the last year, I was also lucky enough to have Zaynab in my form; she was a valued member of 10H and will be sorely missed.
Zaynab, you were a gentle soul. Always quietly contemplative, you never missed a thing which was evident in the insightful work you produced. Never one to complain, you battled through your challenges with private determination and admirable courage. You were unassuming and conscientious; a valued member of our school community and you will be deeply missed by all who knew you. Shine bright, sweetheart.
I remember visiting Zaynab in her primary school just before she started here at Penwortham Girls’. As I do with all students, I told her about my motto, ‘Try your best in everything and be kind to others.’ Zaynab really did embody this motto; she quietly but determinedly tried her best to succeed. I have fond memories of her playing the keyboard in music lessons, and she really was kind to everyone.
I started teaching Zaynab when she was in year 9 for French and Life Skills. It took a while to get to know her as she was a particularly quiet and reserved student; however, her knowing smile confirmed she was taking everything in and was enjoying learning. She was a lovely, hard-working, polite, bright and gentle student who was gifted in this subject. She was very humble and (I hope she wouldn’t mind me saying it) quietly achieved the best mark in last year’s French exam. I am so sad that she is no longer with us and will miss her very much.
Zaynab was a quiet, articulate and thoughtful student. I thought I would give her the opportunity to talk to you today by reproducing an extract from an opinion piece of writing she completed in English:
“Teenagers and young adults are like the seeds of our planet. We are the roots, the stem, the leaves. Treat us correctly; let us unleash our skills, independence and our truth. Why do you insist on questioning and challenging the future which is rightfully ours? Let us grow, flower, flourish and demonstrate our true potential.
As young people grow and learn, we develop a sense of what is right and wrong – our moral compass evolves. To have a moral compass is to accept what you know is right, to refuse what is wrong. As a plant grows, it adapts to its surroundings; we do too. We learn as we grow; developing morals and a sense of right that we believe in. Remember that a child learns what they live from the adults around them.”
Cards or letters for Zaynab’s family
Numerous pupils have already passed on cards and letters to school that they would like to go to Zaynab’s family. Those who have experienced great loss often find some comfort from such messages. If you would like to send a card or letter, please ask your daughter to pass it on to any member of staff.
Honouring Zaynab through faith
Faith was an important part of Zaynab’s life. To mark and honour this, some members of both Year 10 and 11 have volunteered to take part in full recitals of the Quran. This is seen as a both a gift to Zaynab and a way of expressing condolence to her family. We would sincerely like to thank these girls for their involvement in this. If your daughter would like to volunteer to recite a chapter and has not done so already, she can do so by speaking to Mr Bowles.
A lasting memorial to Zaynab
Staff and students will work together on a permanent memorial to Zaynab here in school. Planting a cherry blossom tree has been put forward already; she used cherry blossom as her social media profile picture and its blossoms each year will remind us of Zaynab.
We are also planning to fundraise in her name and donate the money to a charity that builds wells in less developed parts of the world. The well that is built would be dedicated in Zaynab’s name.