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22 June 2020 20:35

James Furlong The Holt School

Former pupils of James Furlong ask The Holt school to rename building after teacher

Scores of flower bouquets have been placed outside The Holt School's entrance in Wokingham where James Furlong was a teacher. One mourner laying flowers can be seen being comforted by a police officer as they place flowers and another mourner can be seen pinning a poster to the school fence with what looks like images of Mr Furlong. Parents at the school recieved a letter explaining Mr Furlong was "tragically murdered in the terrorist incident in Forbury Gardens in Reading" on Saturday evening. A FORMER Holt School pupil is calling for a memorial to her teacher, after his death in the weekend attack at Forbury Gardens. The pupil, who left the school four years ago, has written an open letter to co-headteachers Katie Pearce, Anne Kennedy, and the board of governors, asking for the humanities block to be renamed in James Furlong's memory.

Mr Furlong, who joined the school in 2012, was the head of history and government and politics. In her letter, which has more than 150 signatures, Ms Webb wrote: "James Furlong was an exceptional teacher and colleague, and cherished by the Holt School community. His deep knowledge and love for his subject, his nurturing spirit, and his unfaltering kindness towards his students, are treasured by all who knew him. "The building was erected and first opened during his time in the department, and though future cohorts of students will never have the privilege of being taught by James, we firmly believe that he should be remembered and honoured by all that pass through its doors. The letter has been signed by more than 150 pupils, alumni, parents and friends of The Holt School.

FORMER pupils of James Furlong, a history teacher killed in the terror attack in Reading, are asking the school to rename a building after him to honour his memory. Mr Furlong was head of history, government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham and was one of three people killed during the attack in Forbury Gardens on Saturday. Around 200 former pupils and parents at The Holt School have asked the headteachers and governors to rename the school's humanities block in Mr Furlong's memory. In an open letter, the former students wrote: "His deep knowledge and love for his subject, his nurturing spirit and his unfaltering kindness towards his students are treasured by all who knew him. "Though future cohorts of students will never have the privilege of being taught by James, we firmly believe that he should be remembered and honoured by all that pass through its doors.

"We thank him for his patience, his gentleness and his sincere dedication to his students, colleagues, friends and family. The former pupil who worded the letter, who did not want to be identified, said it was important to memorialise the teacher in a "tangible" way. "He was deeply loved and valued and there are people that are going to carry with them the lessons that he gave us and the kindness he showed us, we'll carry that with us for the rest of our lives I hope, at least I will. More than 100 pupils attended The Holt School this morning to hold a moment of silence, with flowers laid at the school gates. Pupils were in tears today outside the school where James Furlong taught.

The teacher, originally from Liverpool, was Head of History, Government and Politics at The Holt School in Wokingham. Today pupils gathered at the school to lay flowers and pay tribute to their teacher. There were rows and rows of flowers placed by the school gates, with pupils and their parents visibly moved by the scenes. A red and white Liverpool scarf was also placed among on the school gates, in a nod to James Furlong's roots. One read: "'And remember, be safe, be careful, don't do anything I wouldn't do' your words Mr Furlong, we'll miss you, taken too soon, our hero, fly high." Staff and pupils at the Holt School also said Mr Furlong, 36, was a "wonderful" teacher who was deeply supportive of pupils and passionate about the subjects he taught them.

Former student Charis Waller, 18, remembered Mr Furlong as having a "lovely manner". "Always happy. Mr Furlong also taught at King David High School in Liverpool for four years, before moving on. In a statement shared with the ECHO today, headteacher Michael Sutton said Mr Furlong was a popular and kind member of staff who pupils remembered as being dedicated to their wellbeing both inside and outside the classroom. Mr Sutton said: "The King David High School Community was deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of former teacher James Furlong over the weekend. "James is well remembered by many staff as lovely, gentle man who cared for his pupils and colleagues. Former pupils of James Furlong, a history teacher killed in the terror attack in Reading, have paid tribute to the "deeply loved and valued" educator. Mr Furlong was head of history, government and politics at The Holt School in Wokingham. The 36-year-old was one of three people killed during the incident at around 7pm on Saturday in Forbury Gardens, Reading town centre. Around 200 former pupils and parents at The Holt School have asked the headteachers and governors to rename the school's humanities block in Mr Furlong's memory. Tributes have been paid to Mr Furlong, originally from Liverpool (Thames Valley Police/PA) In an open letter, the former students wrote: "His deep knowledge and love for his subject, his nurturing spirit and his unfaltering kindness towards his students are treasured by all who knew him. "Though future cohorts of students will never have the privilege of being taught by James, we firmly believe that he should be remembered and honoured by all that pass through its doors. "We thank him for his patience, his gentleness and his sincere dedication to his students, colleagues, friends and family. The former pupil who worded the letter, who did not want to be identified, told the PA news agency it was important to memorialise the teacher in a "tangible" way. The pupil said: "He was a deeply funny, witty man with a really dry sense of humour. "He was deeply loved and valued and there are people that are going to carry with them the lessons that he gave us and the kindness he showed us, we'll carry that with us for the rest of our lives I hope, at least I will. More than 100 pupils attended The Holt School on Monday morning to hold a moment of silence, with flowers laid at the school gates. Former student Charis Waller, 18, remembered Mr Furlong as having a "lovely manner". "Always happy. Lessons at the school were cancelled on Monday as many pupils and staff gathered to lay flowers. Mr Furlong, who was originally from Liverpool, also taught in the city before he worked at the Berkshire school. Katya Beaver, 24, was taught by Mr Furlong in 2011 at King David High School in Liverpool.