An eyewitness to the hammer attack on a 15-year-old school boy has told of the ferocity of the attack on him.
The attack happened as children were leaving to go home
The boy suffered serious head injuries when he was battered with a hammer on Thursday afternoon.
The 15-year-old was initially treated in Swindon following the attack at Ridgeway School in Wroughton, then taken to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.
She told the BBC the men attacked the boy and then another got out a hammer and starting hitting him.
"He fell to the floor and asked them to stop, but they kept kicking him."
She added: "The boy tried to get up but they kept hitting him, then suddenly they all ran away."
A family statement released through the hospital said: "Our son has had major surgery to his head and he is in a stable condition.
"Our priority at the moment is to get him better."
In a letter to parents the school said the "extreme incident" was a challenge to the strength of friendship and community at Ridgeway School.
"It is important we don't give in to prejudice or accept rumour as truth."
Police have arrested eight male youths aged between 14 and 20 in connection with the incident.
The school's head teacher Steve Colledge called the incident "shocking" and said security was being reviewed.
"At the time of the incident the school gates would have been open to let the pupils out."
Parents are being invited to a meeting to discuss the incident at the school on Monday evening.
Ridgeway School has about 1,450 pupils aged 11 to 18.