Dereham Neatherd pupils remember “inspirational” teacher

Hundreds of students past and present have gathered for an emotional service held in memory of an 'inspirational' teacher.

Mike Cripps, head of science at Dereham Neatherd High School, died just days after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July.

The popular 52-year-old, who lived in Wymondham, had a passion for his subject and is remembered for his infectious enthusiasm and inventive lessons.

A Facebook page set up shortly after Mr Cripps' death was inundated with touching tributes and it was standing room only at a memorial service held in the school sports hall today (Thursday).

Students and colleagues shared their memories of the keen astronomer, played songs and read poems, including some written by Mr Cripps himself.

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One pupil said: 'We hope that wherever you are, you can see how many people you affected in such an inspiring way.'

Another said: 'He was not just a teacher, he was an inspiration and a friend and one of the most interesting people I have ever known.'

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A member of Mr Cripps' astronomy club said: 'I remember when he took us outside and showed us the wonders of the universe - he showed us Jupiter and many more stars. We learned so much from a man who had so much to give.'

Mr Cripps had been at the school for ten years after joining from Framingham Earl High in 2001.

He had been feeling unwell for a number of months and had missed work for the final half of the summer term.

But it was not until his birthday in July that he was finally diagnosed with advanced and terminal cancer. He died peacefully during the night a few days later.

The school, in Norwich Road, plans to continue the astronomy club and annual science fair in his memory.

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