Stevenage's Marriotts School has paid tribute to their "lovely, happy and vibrant" Year 7 student Julia Blackham, after she passed away on Thursday last week.

%image(15620612, type="article-full", alt="A Marriotts School spokesperson said: "Julia was a happy and vibrant member of our school community."")

Floral tributes, messages, personal gifts and mementos have been laid at the entrance to the school following her tragic death.

Julia became unwell at school last Thursday and, despite the efforts of the emergency services, sadly passed away in hospital.

A spokesperson from Marriotts School said: "This tragic loss has left our whole school community devastated and in shock, and our thoughts and prayers go out to Julia’s family and friends as this very difficult time.

%image(15620614, type="article-full", alt="Floral tributes have been laid outside Marriotts School, Stevenage, after the passing of their Year 7 student Julia Blackham on Thursday")

"Marriotts was closed on Friday and staff have worked tirelessly across the weekend to ensure that appropriate support is in place to help both students and staff come to terms with their terrible loss.

"Julia was a happy and vibrant member of our school community and her family said that she loved coming to school.

%image(15620615, type="article-full", alt="Julia Blackham, a Year 7 pupil at Marriotts School in Stevenage, sadly passed away after falling unwell at school last week")

"Julia loved her family, friends, rainbows, unicorns, cats, and the colour pink. Rainbows are a symbol of hope and solidarity, and as a school we are trying to reflect this.

"A condolence room has been set up where students and staff can go for quiet remembrance, and where a large, laminated rainbow has been placed on the wall for students to attach their own personal messages to Julia.

%image(15620616, type="article-full", alt="A room of condolence has been set up at Marriotts School, Stevenage, where students and staff can pay their respects to Julia Blackham, who passed away last Thursday")

"Julia’s family visited Marriotts on Friday to thank the staff for everything they had done to help Julia. Her family are united and dignified in their grief and are taking great comfort from the many tributes and reading the lovely messages that have been left."

Headteacher Bethany Honnor added: “Julia’s family said how lucky we are to have such amazing students and staff and that I should be proud of them all, which I am. It was very, very brave of Julia’s family to come into school, and our thoughts are with them all.”

In discussion with Julia’s family, Marriotts will be looking at other ways to remember her. The next school newsletter will be dedicated to Julia, and will contain memories, poems and pictures.

%image(15620617, type="article-full", alt="In tribute to Julia Blackham, Marriotts School in Stevenage has put up a rainbow display in their condolences room as a symbol of hope and solidarity")

"Julia’s family and all at Marriotts would like to thank the Stevenage community for all their kind words of support, condolence, the many tributes left at the school and for their donations," the spokesperson added.

"Just as at the end of the rainbow, there will be brighter days ahead, and until then we will continue to support each other and help Julia’s family through this very difficult time."

A GoFundMe has been set up in Julia's memory, and to help cover the costs of her funeral. You can donate here.