A TEACHER is hoping to inspire his class to love English and Maths after going on a hot streak on a popular TV show.

Ben Leyburn, a Year 5 teacher at Garland Junior School, appeared on six episodes of Countdown before he was finally beaten.

The former Theale Green School stalwart filmed the episodes back in May and his pupils have recently enjoyed playing along at home while watching him tackle conundrums and maths challenges.

He is hoping his appearance will encourage the children at the Burghfield school to become more passionate about Literacy and Numeracy.

Mr Leyburn said: “It is a really vibrant school. The kids are great and this is the perfect opportunity to enthuse them about learning.

“Parents are watching it at home with the children. I would love to pretend it was the plan all along, but it has just been a positive side effect.

“They are genuinely excited by it and to prove it is something they can aspire to is special.”

After specialising in English at Theale Green, Mr Leyburn decided to make the switch to teaching primary school children.

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As well as bonding with wordsmith Susie Dent over their mutual love of Arsenal FC, he was delighted to achieve a nine-letter word in only his second round and bring home the coveted teapot.

“Having a passion for English has helped,” he added.

“People assume that my background as an English teacher means I can’t be good at Maths, but I have always been good at mental arithmetic.

“I have enjoyed making the move to teaching primary school children. It allows me to teach all subjects, which means I am still learning as a teacher and I think it is a positive approach to have.

“The day we filmed was the day after Arsene Wenger got a new contract and I talked with Susie about it because she is a massive Arsenal fan.”

After guessing the crucial conundrum in the first five episodes, he was eventually knocked out by the word ‘bamboozle’.

However, he could be appearing on the show again if he makes it through to the finals as part of the top eight players from the series.