If you have a story call our newsdesk on 01722 426511 or email us. To advertise call 01722 426500.
Tributes paid to popular teacher Chris Goodchild at St. Monica's School in Southampton
TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular Southampton teacher, who died of an apparent heart attack.
Tearful pupils at St Monica Infant and Junior Schools were told in a special assembly of the sad news of Chris Goodchild’s sudden death.
The fun-loving 57-year-old collapsed while horse riding in the New Forest on New Year’s Day.
Youngsters have been encouraged to share their memories of Mr Goodchild, who had worked as a supply teacher at the two schools for several years, but was this term taking up a permanent role teaching Year 3 children.
In an email sent to parents, school leaders described his sudden death as “a huge shock to the whole school community”.
A permanent memorial to Mr Goodchild is being planned in St Monica Junior’s memorial garden, while there will also be a service held to remember him “in due course”.
Angela Paris, head teacher at St Monica Junior, said: “Chris will be sadly missed by everyone at St Monica Junior School.
“He supported so many children and their families, as well as colleagues, with dedication and enthusiasm.
“Chris was so full of fun and all the children always said that lessons with him were a fantastic experience.
“His death is a tremendous loss to our school community, and our thoughts and best wishes go out to his family and friends.”
Parents praised the schools’ approach to tragedy, and said the teacher had been very popular with their children.
Mum Donna Fenton, whose daughter Tayla had been taught by Mr Goodchild at the infant school as well as the juniors, said the news had upset many pupils as well as some parents, but said the school had helped the youngsters “brilliantly”.
She said: “Talking to the other parents, everybody said their kids loved him.”