Volunteers donned their overalls at the weekend to provide a much needed boost for The Castle School. Around 60 parents and friends of the Thornbury secondary school came together on Saturday to paint the sports hall, changing rooms and dance studio.

The event was organised by Castle School Friends, a group relaunched in November following the school's appearance on a BBC documentary which showed their struggle to cope with government funding cuts.

Writing on the Castle School Friends Facebook page, chair of the group Sara Iles said: "I feel so proud of our Castle School community.

"The turn out from parents, grand parents, parents of past students, ex pupils, sports teams who use the sports hall and local traders who have no connection with the school, has been completely overwhelming.

"I’ve been listening to the conversations going on between parents who didn’t know each other this morning, you could really feel the positivity buzzing around the building.

"Parents have given me a list of things that they want to do on our next day. I know that they’ll be done and to an incredibly high standard.

"Thank you for your hard work, focus and great team work."

Since the group was formed the school has been in even greater need of help after suffering a burglary and two arson attacks. On December 31 'extensive damage' was caused do the school during a break-in.

This followed arson attacks on an outdoor classroom at the sixth form on December 14 and a gazebo used by special educational needs pupils at the main site on Christmas Eve.