The headteacher of a primary school attended by all three victims of the Killamarsh tragedy has paid an emotional tribute to the youngsters.

Lacey Bennett, 11, John Paul Bennett, 13, and 11-year-old Connie Gent all spent their early school years at Woodhouse West Primary in Sheffield.

Lacey and Connie had not long left the primary school to join Year 7 at Outwood Academy City.

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The two girls were best friends and Connie was having a sleepover at the time.

The bodies of the three children were found by police at a house in Chandos Crescent, Killamarsh on Sunday, along with the body of Lacey and John Paul's mother Terri Harris, 35.

The devastating discovery has left the community shell shocked and has led to a huge outpouring of grief from locals, many of whom have been laying flowers and other tributes at the scene.

Hundreds also attended a candle-lit vigil, which was headed by a local pastor.

Connie Gent, 11, who was a victim of the Killamarsh tragedy
Connie Gent, 11, who was a victim of the Killamarsh tragedy

On Tuesday headteacher of Woodhouse West Primary School Anne-Marie Bailey, said everyone associated with the school are "shocked and saddened by recent devastating events".

In a heartbreaking tribute to the three youngsters, she said: "Lacey and Connie, both new to Y7 (sic), will have been excited by moving on in the next phase of their education. Their potential, hopes and dreams have now been cut tragically short.

"Lacey is remembered by her teachers as a kind and helpful girl with a wonderful imagination, who loved to dance. Her smile brightened everyone’s day.

"Connie was a gentle girl who cherished her friends and enjoyed writing creative stories. She was generous of spirit and had a big heart.

"John Paul was a member of the school several years ago and staff remember an enthusiastic, popular boy who enjoyed sports and entertained everyone with his fabulous sense of humour."

Watch: the tragic scene at Killamarsh

Mrs Bailey added: "Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of all the children and Terri Harris who lost her life alongside her son and daughter.

"As a school and a community this has come as a crushing blow and it will take time for everyone to come to terms with this loss.

"We are also mindful of colleagues and pupils at Outwood Academy City who have been as equally affected and appreciate their support.

"Woodhouse West Primary closed on September 20 after receiving reports of the serious incident. The coming days ahead will be challenging.

"We are working together with partners including the police, Sheffield City Council, the local Church and from within Sheffield South East Trust to provide support to staff, pupils and the community. We are grateful for their help.

"It was a privilege to have known Lacey, John Paul and Connie all of whom were special in their own way and left their fingerprints on our hearts."

Lacey Bennett, 11, John Paul Bennett, 13, who were victims of the Killamarsh tragedy
Lacey Bennett, 11, John Paul Bennett, 13, who were victims of the Killamarsh tragedy

Lacey, John Paul and Connie all went on to study at Outwood Academy City in Sheffield.

Police have confirmed that brother and sister John Paul and Lacey Bennett, aged 13 and 11, died at the home in Killamarsh

The school also fondly remembered the trio today, saying: "We are all devastated at the loss of three of our students; John Paul Bennett, Lacey Bennett and Connie Gent.

"Our hearts are broken after this weekend's tragic news, and we would like to offer our deepest sympathies and condolences on behalf of everyone at Outwood Academy City to the families of those affected.

"The children had bright futures ahead of them but sadly none of us will get to see this. The school community will remember them fondly."

The tribute said that the two girls had "just embarked on their secondary school journey with us and already made a positive impression on everyone they came into contact with."

And the school has also remembered 13-year-old John Paul as a "popular and polite young man, well liked by staff and with a close knit group of friends".

The school tribute continued: "It is difficult to process the news, but the memories we have of John Paul, Lacey and Connie will live on forever at the school.

A man leaves flowers at the scene in Chandos Crescent in Killamarsh
A man leaves flowers at the scene in Chandos Crescent in Killamarsh

"Our school community is shocked and we are all grieving together. Specialist support is available in school for anyone who needs it and we are thankful to the support we have received from the Police, Sheffield City Council and the wider community.

"We are working closely with Woodhouse West Primary who have been equally as affected by this tragic event and wish to thank them for their support.

"We will remember John Paul, Lacey and Connie fondly and the significant contributions they made to Outwood Academy City in their time with us.

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"Our community is hurting right now, but as we often say, we are a family at Outwood Academy City and we will be doing everything that we can to support our students, staff and families during this traumatic time."

One man has been arrested in connection with the four deaths and remains in police custody at this time.

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