Henry Aylett




All of our family were devastated at the news of Mr Aylett’s death as he truly was a remarkable person. He taught two out of the three of us and Anika, our younger sister is really sad she didn’t get taught by him. He was an inspiring and amazing person and we will never forget his warm and positive attitude and on-point sense of humour.  

Lots of love from Maia, Ria and the whole Westphely family.


I was in Mr Aylett’s math class for 2 years, in 2020 and 2021 and I could confidently say that Mr Aylett was the funniest, kindest teacher in the world. He was the kind of clever person who loved to help others and when he could’ve been anything he wanted, he became a teacher. He influenced everyone he taught, whether it was 50 hours every week, or just in maths every day. I don’t think I ever saw him without a smile on his face, as he taught us everything he knew. He always had something new to show us, a funny video or a new dance. Mr Aylett was the one who encouraged me to try my hardest and not to be scared of exams. I loved all our maths lessons, especially the ones where we went outdoors to work. He was really kind and strived to save a bee one of these times, but ended up drowning it in lucozade. We could see how much he loved his children, which reflected back onto us as I always said that one my favourite moments of year 5 was when Casper gave me a high 5. Mr Aylett taught us lots of new words, among other things, and one we saw in action a lot was ‘digress’ as we always talked about loads of different things in maths. One of these was a cartoon that we created about the numerator and denominator. In one “maths” lesson we covered history, music, art, science, geography and even philosophy.  

Mr Aylett was always rhyming my name with things and he thought it was funny how my name rhymes with hiya and my twin sister Ria’s, with see’ya. He always told me how I should create a kite company with the slogan “nothing goes higher than a Maia”. He was really encouraging and encouraged me to challenge myself in the school play. He was the best director and added in all the little comedy moments. Thanks to him I got a major role and have tried out for a lot more plays recently. I am so glad that I had him for maths for 2 years and Marshgate without Mr Aylett wouldn’t be the same.

Maia xx


Mr Aylett was my teacher for two years. I was in his year five and six classes, math set and English set. I am glad that I had him for the longest possible time. During those two years, I think it’s safe to say that I had the more fun than during any other years at Marshgate. Not only was Mr Aylett a gifted and incredibly smart teacher, he was also tremendous fun in every single subject. He had these little ideas that spruced up the class so much, like dancing on the tables with a friend on your birthday, the deeply unfair Friday Lottery, and just generally his sense of humour. 

He was the kindest, most empathetic teacher I ever had and likely will ever have. He really understood me, could see where I was going wrong and always knew how to fix it. Although he was really really smart he used his brains to transfer his knowledge to children who needed it. I remember in year five I was really stressed and lost it over a maths question. Mr Aylett sent everyone outside and sat me down he told me that I was probably in the top one percent percent of people in the country academically. When I asked him where he was he modestly answered 5%. He might have been 5% academically but he was definitely in the top 1% of teachers and always will be. He was the reason that I got into Saint Pauls Girls school and my resolve wasn’t crushed on a question about money conversion. There are lots of random memories about him that I think it would be a crime to forget. For instance if he could that you were extremely proud of a piece of work, he would always take care to praise it.  He always gave constructive criticism and valued positivity.

He had a list of favourite songs, including a rap that I can’t remember the name of, Thursday by Jess Glynne (to which he would do emotional dancing every Thursday in maths) and Head and Heart (for which he invented his own special dance).  My friends and I compiled them and made a dance at the end of year six in his honour. He was the best director for our Year 6 play. It wasn’t hard to audition in front of him as he wasn’t scary in the slightest and when it came to doing the play he was marvellous. It ended up being amazing.

In maths once we had the door open and a squirrel came in. Mr Aylett went over and calmly shooed it out. However, someone in the back row said they had seen  him kick it. He became “the notorious squirrel kicker” and at the end of the year someone got him a toy squirrel. The first thing he did with it was kick it.

His jokes they were hideously bad. Like hideously terribly awful dad jokes.

We had done a reading comprehension about saving dying bees with sugar water. We had just saved a bee in the playground, and that same day another one turned up. Mr Aylett didn’t have any sugar water so he used Lucozade. The bee drowned.

His love for Casper and Archie was infectious. This meant that the entire class was in love with them too. Barely a day would pass without him sharing the newest story or lovingly showing us the latest photo. When they came into school it was clear that he love them so much. I remember telling my friends afterwards they have the best Dad that anyone could hope for.

He was such an interactive teacher he actively joined in with whatever we were doing whether it was laughing at the newest SPaG acronym or letting us write him into stories as a villain; he was always involved.

He nailed the zip line at our PGL trip.

He was 100% the best teacher we ever had. I’m going to miss him so much and I know that Marshgate will never be the same without him.

Ria xx







Maia and Ria Westphely

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