Harpenden schoolboy dies in accident

Staff and students have been rocked by the death of a funny and popular schoolboy who was killed in a tragic accident over the Christmas break.

Simon Satchwell, a Year 10 pupil at Sir John Lawes School (SJL) in Harpenden, died in the United Arab Emirates (UEA) on Monday, December 30.

The teenager had a twin brother and has been described by his headteacher, Claire Robins, as an “exemplary” student who had a passion for science and had recently won a commendation for his contribution to the school’s Go4SET engineering project.

In a letter to parents Ms Robins said: “We are all extremely saddened and shocked by what has happened. Simon was a delightful young man and a highly valued member of the school community and he will be greatly missed by all at SJL.”

She continued: “We have opened Remembrance Books for students to record their thoughts and memories and in due course we will consider how we can remember Simon as a school community; in the meantime our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Extra staff have been drafted in this week to provide counselling and drop-in facilities for Simon’s classmates as they come to terms with the news.

His friends have also taken to Twitter to pay heartfelt tributes. Cameron Butterworth wrote: “RIP Simon Satchwell, such a kind and lovely boy! Only in year 10, gone but not forgotten!”

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Ben Henderson also posted: “RIP Simon Satchwell, you were funny kid in media this year, I wish we could have been better mates, my condolences go out to your family.”

This is the second tragedy at SJL in a matter of months, following the passing of Year 9 pupil James Peck soon after he returned from a school trip. The circumstances of his death are still unknown.

Another schoolgirl commented on her Twitter page: “It’s such tragic news to hear that another pupil from SJL has passed away. Condolences to Simon’s friends and family. Pensive face RIP x.”

A spokeswoman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said they are providing consular assistance to the family.