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Former pupil and teacher at Borden Grammar School, Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne, calls it a day after 45 years

A secondary school teacher with a unique bond to his workplace has retired after 45 years.

Simon Robbins, who is originally from Reading but moved to the Sittingbourne area, has stepped down from his teaching role at Borden Grammar School in the Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne, where he also went as a pupil.

After passing his 11-plus the former Minterne Primary School pupil joined the grammar in 1970 where he completed his A-levels.

Borden Grammar School teacher Simon Robbins, now retired, and his wife Linda
Borden Grammar School teacher Simon Robbins, now retired, and his wife Linda

He had a brief stint at insurance company Sun Alliance before deciding to train as a teacher at St Paul’s College in London.

He met wife Linda, who was also training to be a teacher, before they moved to settle in Kent.

Mr Robbins then joined Borden Grammar School as a maths, PE and religious studies teacher in 1981.

Assistant head teacher and head of sixth form at the school, Chris Brinn, led tributes to Simon saying he holds a unique place in the history of the school and underscored how much Mr Robbins has contributed to the school as a teacher.

In his time at the school he has managed to rack up a list of achievements including being head of year across all key stages, introducing A-level sports studies as well as bringing in cultural activities such as adventure holidays to Europe and reintroducing the school pantomime.

He was described as being "unflinchingly committed to improving the lives of not only his pupils but also staff".

In his retirement speech, Mr Robbins reflected on his time at Borden, including an unexpected trip to a fish and chip shop while driving the school mini-bus back as children jumped off when the vehicle stopped.

Borden Grammar School in Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne. Stock picture
Borden Grammar School in Avenue of Remembrance, Sittingbourne. Stock picture

He recounted how the pupils sprang into action as the red traffic light came on, following a promise that they could get off if he had to stop.

Despite their fast exit, the youngsters returned with a portion of chips for the teacher.

He also emphasised the importance of relationships in the world of teaching with pupils but even more so with colleagues.

He continued by praising staff at Borden Grammar School for their sense of humour.

As well as current staff being present for his retirement speech, former colleagues and governors were also invited to wish Mr Robbins a long and happy retirement.

All three of Mr Robbin’s children have followed in their father’s footsteps by becoming teachers as well.

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