PARENTS and pupils got a first look at their new school yesterday - and their old school sign - a week after their classrooms were destroyed by fire.

Since Middleton St George Primary School was wrecked by arsonists last Wednesday, teachers and council staff have been working to find a temporary home for pupils.

It was decided to reopen the old Firthmoor Primary School building, and yesterday parents and children from Middleton St George were invited to see how it had been transformed into a habitable school once more.

The move includes transferring everything from the fire-damaged school to Firthmoor - including the old school sign which has been given pride of place.

Parent Lisa Gibbon, whose daughter, Megan, and nephew, Alex, are at the school, was delighted with the building.

She said: "Megan was worried, but when she saw the sign from the school she was a lot happier.

"We were devastated about the fire but everyone has definitely made the best out of a bad situation."

Buses will collect the children and teachers from Middleton St George every morning so parents do not have to worry about getting to Darlington.

Janice Glarvey, whose daughter Emma is a pupil, said: "It will be strange not taking her to the school gate, but it is only for four weeks and it will be an adventure for them."

Acting headteacher Janine Gleeson was delighted with the open day, which will be repeated today.

She said: "It was lovely to see the children again and a few of the teachers shed some tears.

"We are a school who laugh together and cry together, and there has been a lot of both in recent days."

Police are still investigating the fire at Middleton St George and are following a number of leads.

Everything going swimmingly for classroom blaze survivor

PUPILS thought their pet goldfish was finished when fire swept through their school.

Shiny the goldfish was caught up in the drama at Middleton St George last week.

Staff and pupils thought their class pet had had its chips when fire swept through the school's roof.

But firefighters found the two-year-old fish and carried it to safety in its bowl.

Yesterday, Shiny was back in the classroom - in his temporary home at the old Firthmoor Primary School.

Acting headteacher Janine Gleeson said the children were delighted that Shiny had survived the blaze and would be joining them in their temporary home.

She said: "Shiny is the year three class pet and the children were so happy when they found out he was all right.

"He is at the new school now and will stay here until we move back to Middleton St George."

Shiny has been joined by the school's other goldfish, Orange, which was in a part of the building not affected by last week's blaze.