Northern Ireland

Tributes paid to student girl who died suddenly

wellington college motif
Image caption Sarah was a year 11 pupil at Wellington College

Tributes have been paid to a 15-year-old school girl who died suddenly at the weekend.

Sarah Booth died during a sleepover at a friend's house in east Belfast.

Counselling is being provided for pupils at Wellington College where flowers and tributes have been left for the year 11 pupil.

Acting principal of Wellington College Dr Ian Drysdale said Sarah was a very smart girl who was very much involved in the life of the college.

"She would have been involved in the college musical, she had a role in that and while on the surface she may have appeared a wee bit quiet, when her and her friends got to know each other, she was a young lady full of life and energy.

"The school is actually in a state of shock at the moment because the college in its 20 year history has never had the death of a pupil during term time, so it's been a very steep learning curve for staff, as we try to deal with this and address the issues."

The Belfast Education and Library board has sent a number of people to the school to help support staff.

A school counsellor has also been on site to help pupils.

Dr Drysdale said a special assembly was held at the Wellington College on Monday.

"We have a room set aside for time out if they're just struggling, as they go through the day and that room is manned the whole day."

Flowers have been left in the courtyard of the college.

Dr Drysdale said the students wanted to remember Sarah.

"Some of the children in this time out room are putting together a big tribute, a poster, just recording some of their thoughts and memories of Sarah.

"It's a very sad day for them and at the moment they're very much in a state of shock and from talking to the experts, that will take a number a days to work through before the real grief begins to kick in."