Touching tributes have been paid to an art teacher described as the best the school ever had.

‘Potts’ Paul Spencer, who died on Monday, joined Aldenham School as a potter in residence but went on to become a mainstay of the art department with a lasting influence on many pupils.

Hundreds of former students have reacted with sadness to his death online. Comments from those he taught describe him as the best teacher the school ever had.

Watford Observer:

Headmaster James Fowler said: “Everyone at Aldenham is deeply saddened by the news of Paul Spencer’s death at such a young age. Having spent more than 30 years at Aldenham, Paul contributed immensely to the life and activity of the school, especially with his remarkable talents in the art department.

“He used his gifts to bring about the creativity of so many pupils in so many ways. There are countless pupils whom he influenced with his talent and his kindness. He is sadly missed.”

The pottery created by the teacher known to many as ‘Potts’ has been spread around the world; former students recall hiding small clay noses around the school and even everywhere from Cuba to Everest because of the teacher.

Watford Observer:

Mr Spencer with former students at annual dinner collecting for charity

Former pupil Akshey Shah said: “Potts was the legend that made me pursue a creative career in architecture design.

“I remember his many charitable endeavours and still have one of the pots he helped me to make, adorned with his iconic fish stamp! He was indeed a mentor and a member of staff that represented the Aldenham academic ethos.”

Watford Observer:

Mr Spencer at a potter's wheel with a pupil

Another former pupil, Victoria Chu, said: “I am truly heartbroken by the news, and I will deeply miss Mr Spencer’s positive presence at Aldenham. On my first day, I was greeted with such warmth and kindness by Mr Spencer. It soon became apparent that he was just one of the kindest souls on earth.

“His presence would always brighten the room, especially when you felt a little under the weather. His thoughtfulness and the time he gave to help make others smile was wonderful to see, and I hope that I too can learn how to be so selfless.”