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Former pupil pays tribute to 'favourite teacher' Sam Rooks killed in Rochester crash

A former pupil has paid tribute to her "most favourite teacher' who died in a road accident on Friday.

English teacher Sam Rooks, who worked at The Victory Academy in Chatham, was killed in a crash in Maidstone Road, Rochester, when his red Suzuki Swift collided with a silver Volvo XC60.

Sam Rooks was an English teacher at The Victory Academy in Chatham
Sam Rooks was an English teacher at The Victory Academy in Chatham

Mr Rooks - who was 26 and from Maidstone - had previously worked at the Oasis Academy on the Isle of Sheppey, having got his PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church university.

On his Linkedin account, he described himself as "an education enthusiast who champions research and pedagogy" and used his Twitter account to further his own teaching and offer help to others with in the Teach First charity.

Paying tribute, former pupil Andreea Christinne, who was taught by Mr Rooks at the Oasis Academy in 2017 and 2018, said: "I want to remember Mr Rooks as exactly who he was for me, that one teacher you could’ve talked about anything to and he would’ve listened and understood you because he knew what it was like to be our age.

"He was the only one that has ever actually tried understanding my problems, as in why I was constantly talking, why I was always so snappy and moody, and god how much I regret that now, because the more we trusted him he trusted us as a class and we all formed a friendship - a bond where he made us all feel so comfortable and safe in his class."

She added: "Mr Rooks was more than just your basic employed teacher, he was a friend. He truly cared about us as human beings and was always trying to look out for all of us the best he could.

Sam Rooks, who was 26, died in a car crash. Picture: Twitter
Sam Rooks, who was 26, died in a car crash. Picture: Twitter

"I will forever remember you as my most favourite teacher, that made my last year-and-a-half at that school the best."

The Victory Academy has decided to cancel today's lessons to allow the school community to mourn the death of Mr Rooks.

Mandy Gage, director of education for the Thinking Schools Academy Trust, which leads The Victory Academy, said: “Our whole school and trust community is devastated by the news that a brilliant and hugely popular member of our teaching staff has tragically died in a road traffic accident.

“Sam Rooks was a senior member of the English department at Victory, where he inspired his students every day. He was a teacher utterly committed to helping young people do well, and he was enormously well-liked by them, by parents and by his colleagues. We all already miss our friend terribly.

“Our deepest thoughts are with Sam’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time, and we are providing support to all our students, their parents and our staff.”

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