Wollaston School has written to parents and carers today (Thursday, June 11) to inform them of the death of Mr Mark Wade, a teacher at the school.
Mr Wade taught Ethics and Philosophy, Health and Social Care, and Citizenship, PSHE and Humanities at the school.
In a letter to parents and carers, headteacher Mr James Birkett said: "It is with enormous sadness and loss that I write to inform you of the passing of our much loved and respected colleague, Mr Mark Wade, following a short illness.
"Mark had a huge impact on the lives of many at Wollaston School."
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Mr Birkett described Mr Wade as an exceptional and incredible teacher who could instil a love of learning and life in students.
He said: "Mark was also a fantastic form tutor – he really could do it all, and always with a sense of care, enthusiasm and joy. It is impossible to express how deeply missed he will be by the entirety of our school community.
"Mark would greet each day and each individual with a smile. Every conversation with Mark would leave one feeling hopeful and grateful. He brought comfort to those experiencing difficulties and inspiration to all in his kindness, good humour and commitment to others.
"Our school and our world was a better and happier place with Mark in it."
Mr Birkett said Mr Wade had been actively involved in the school up until last month, he said: "It is testament to Mark’s character and outlook that his priority was always to look out for others.
"He was always willing to take on responsibility and had been active at Wollaston School in supporting our continuing provision for the children of critical workers and those who need additional support until shortly before May half term."
Mr Wade had also volunteered with his church and had been supporting the local community during the current crisis.
The headteacher said: "There are countless students and colleagues who have benefitted over the years from Mark’s warmth, generosity and excellent teaching. Mark was a true friend to our entire school community.
"We will miss him more than words can say and we send all of our love and condolences to Mark’s wife and family."
Mr Birkett asked parents and carers to share the news with students, as the school cannot explain the sad news to them in an assembly. He said: "Please do explain to them that there will be a range of feelings that they are likely to experience and all of these are completely normal."
The school remains available to offer support to families and linked to a leaflet from Northamptonshire County Council with advice to help discuss this sad event with children.
Wollaston School will be arranging for messages to condolences and will give more details about this soon.
Mr Birkett ended his letter by thanking families for their support of the school and said: "I am sorry to write with such sad news.
"I know that all of our thoughts will be with Mark’s family at this devastating time."