WHEN a heartbroken five-year-old missed her birthday in school due to underlying chest issues, her class filmed a special message to cheer her up.

Penny Whatmough, who attends Great Sankey Primary School, was treated to a rendition of 'Happy Birthday' by kind-hearted pupils and staff on their last day in school.

The youngster often gets a persistent cough, affectionately known by family and friends as the 'Penny cough'.

Mum Laura, of Great Sankey, explained: "When she started coughing on Wednesday night I checked her temperature and followed the advice.

"I knew with everything going on at the moment that no temperature, no fever, and no other symptoms meant this was just her Penny cough.

"But, I didn’t want to put any additional stress on her teachers at Great Sankey Primary, who have been totally incredible throughout this entire difficult period.

"We kept her off, then learnt on the Thursday that schools would be closing anyway so decided to keep her off again."

Penny was devastated to find out her birthday would fall on the last day of term, brought forward to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Her Build-a-Bear birthday party was also cancelled, meaning she would not be able to see her friends.

Laura said: "She’s been so excited because the class in reception make a really big deal about birthdays and I had a special sparkly badge made for her.

"I felt awful for her and she got a bit upset about it all on Thursday evening, so I reached out to the school and asked if they could possibly send her a message on their class Twitter page."

Penny's class and teacher came together to film a message and sing Happy Birthday, ensuring her they would see her soon.

Laura added: "Penny was so happy and couldn’t believe it.

"She said it made her whole day and when I shared it to my Instagram, I received more than 10 replies from friends and family saying that given what’s going on in the UK at the minute, the kindness and innocence of the kids in the video made them cry too.

"I’m just so grateful to the school, on what I know will have been such a hard day anyway, for making some time to send the video and make her feel special.

"She only started Great Sankey Primary in September and honestly they’re just fantastic.

"Their kindness and love towards the children deserves all the praise in the world."