Anne Wilson, head teacher of Fircroft Primary School in Tooting, has paid tribute to pupil Imani Green, who was shot dead in Jamaica during a family visit to the country.
She said: "The entire Fircroft School community is deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news of the death of our pupil Imani Green. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family to whom we pledge our continuing love and support.
“Imani was a happy, playful child who was popular with staff and pupils alike. She suffered from sickle cell anaemia and we had to take great care to protect her from the cold, which could adversely and dramatically worsen her condition.
"She dealt with her illness very bravely and coped well with the special arrangements we had to have in place to support her.
"She had been given special permission to travel to Jamaica so that she could benefit from the warmer climate and we had been in contact with the local primary school she was attending whilst there to make sure she was receiving an appropriate education.
“We are now in the process of contacting all the families of children in the same year group to break this terrible news to them and we will be taking steps to offer support and counselling to all those children and staff who are affected by this terrible tragedy.”
An eight-old British girl has been shot dead while on holiday in Jamaica.
Imani Green, from London, was hit twice at a cafe owned by her cousin on the island's north coast.
Police said a gunman entered and opened fire following an argument. They believe it may have been a revenge shooting following an earlier attack.
ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:
(I am) devastated to hear the news of eight-year-old school girl Imani Green, a pupil at a Tooting primary school.
This is terrible news.
Detective Superintendent Steve Brown of the Jamaican police has said he believes the shooting that resulted in the death of Imani Green was "targeted" but that she was not the target.
He said that police are still pursuing a number of leads but that they do not suspect gang involvement.
Imani Green's neighbours in Balham, south London, spoke today spoke of their sorrow following the eight-year-old girl's death in Jamaica.
A friend of the family, who asked not to be named, said: "This is a close-knit community, so this is going to hurt us."
Another added: "Nobody wants to speak, she was just a little girl. This is all so sad. We're distraught."
Neighbours said members of the girl's family took a flight to Jamaica early this morning to be with Imani's mother.
Speaking to ITV News, Imani's uncle Mitchum Brown described her as a "quiet, lovely, friendly girl" who had only just begun to grow in confidence.
Mr Brown explained how Imani had sickle cell anaemia as well as a hole in her heart, and how she would travel to Jamaica every winter with her family because the warm weather helped with her conditions.
He says Imani was an innocent victim of Friday's shooting and believes the gunman was taking revenge over a dispute with the cafe owner, who is Imani's cousin.
The sister of Imani Green said she found the eight-year-old in a pool of blood after a lone gunman shot her twice in front of relatives in a cafe in Jamaica on Friday.
Janella Palmer, 19, told the BBC her sister was still breathing when she reached her.
We heard gunshots. We ran outside and shouted 'Imani, Imani, Imani'.
I picked her up off the ground and realised she was still breathing. I flagged down a car and they drove us to hospital. The rest is history.
Imani Green may have been shot dead in revenge for an earlier attack.
The eight-year-old had been visiting relatives in Duncans - a town in northern Jamaica with a relatively low crime-rate - since shortly before the new year.
Police are investigating the theory, along with several other lines of inquiry.
The Foreign Office said it is providing consular assistance to Imani's family, from Balham, south London.
The eight-year-old British girl killed in front of relatives in a shop in the town of Duncans inTrelawny, northern Jamaica, was shot in the head and shoulder by a lone gunman, local Radio station RJR News reported.
Imani suffered from the blood disorder sickle cell aneamia and was in the country to cope with the disease, the youngster's brother told Sky News. She died while undergoing treatment at a local hospital.
Three other people were injured during the shooting and remain in a stable condition in a local hospital.
The senseless killing of a young, innocent child must outrage all well-thinking Jamaicans, and cause us to join our security forces in an intensified effort to rid our communities of criminals.