Friends who stopped to help an 81-year-old are “like the good Samaritan” according to their headteacher.

Epping St John school pupils Jack Burrows and Louie Russo-Brownlie came to the aid of an elderly woman who had fallen in High Street, Epping, yesterday.

The boys reported finding the pensioner leaning against a wall holding her arm having fallen when walking with a friend who had apparently landed on top of her.

The year seven students took charge of the situation and called an ambulance ensuring the woman, they know as Maureen, stayed awake and alert by asking her questions.

Jack, whose grandfather passed away recently, said: "We didn't really know what to do at first, it was quite shocking.

"I helped because I thought if that was my nan or granddad I would hope someone would do the same.

Louie added: "We didn't know what had happened but we knew it was important to keep her awake so we kept asking her questions.”

Headteacher of the Church of England school in  Bury Lane, George Yerosimou, said: “It is very similar to the story of the good Samaritan.

“It goes to show young people still have the care, compassion and respect for older generations.”

Mr Yerosimou reported the school had received emails praising the two students and the paramedics had said they were “exceptional”.

The pair will be recognised for their efforts in an assembly on Friday.