Dear Parents and Carers,

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. He was an exceptional teacher of Ethics and Philosophy, Health and Social Care as well as Citizenship, PSHE and Humanities. 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 was an incredible teacher and a wonderful person. Optimistic, positive and blessed with the ability to instil in students and staff alike, a love of learning and a love of life.

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.

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. Mark also volunteered with his church and had been instrumental in supporting the local community throughout his life and in response to the recent crisis.

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.

I would be grateful if you could share the contents of this letter with your son or daughter, as unfortunately in the current circumstances we are not able to explain this very sad news to them directly in an assembly.  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.

There is a link HERE to a leaflet from Northamptonshire County Council with advice which may be helpful to you in discussing this terribly sad event with your children.

At Wollaston School, we remain available to support in any way possible, and if you or your son or daughter have anything you would like to talk about or have any worries or concerns, please contact your child’s form tutor, Head of Year or Mr Beeby (Deputy Headteacher).

In the days ahead, we will give details of how we will arrange for messages of condolence to be given as well as providing further support to our entire school community.

Thank you, as always for your support of our school and 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.

Yours Sincerely

Mr James Birkett

Headteacher of Wollaston School & CEO of the Nene Valley Partnership