We are sorry to announce the very sad news that Olivia Toubkin (30), English teacher in the Senior School, died suddenly on Monday morning after a very short illness. Olivia, who was Second in Charge of the English Department, had taught at Tormead since September 2006.  In her time here she held a variety of roles: she was a form tutor; the Oxbridge Co-ordinator; an editor of the School Magazine; she ran the Creative Writing Club and was an accomplished musician.

We will all miss her terribly and our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends. In due course we will hold a fitting memorial for Olivia and we will publicise details of that here, as well as in school.

Olivia Toubkin, who has died aged 30, was a loved and respected member of the Tormead School community. A graduate of the University of Cambridge, she taught pupils of all ages throughout the school, impressing colleagues and older pupils with her academic rigour but also inspiring younger pupils with her lively sense of humour and generous readiness to listen and praise.

Her evident love of English Literature was infectious and encompassed a wide range of writers but many pupils and friends can attest to her especial affection for the works of Keats and Shakespeare.

Olivia’s quick ear for the ridiculous and recognition of irony regularly resulted in instant, hearty, joyful laughter. Olivia’s intellect was recognised and appreciated by her pupils but this never made her critical or impatient with those who found lessons challenging: they were aware only of her patience and kindness.

Olivia was herself also a gifted musician, quietly contributing to the music of our community and of her church. This is a tragic loss of a young and promising life, but Olivia’s friends were aware of, and take comfort from, her firm belief that there was a place of spiritual fulfilment beyond the span of human existence.