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So long, farewell

After 11 years as Head Teacher of Glebe, I have finally reached my final day and my last newsletter. It has been a real pleasure and a privilege to work at the school with such fantastic children, staff, governors and parents. I feel extremely fortunate to have been Head during a very exciting time for the school not least the new building and the expansion of pupil numbers. I hope that I leave the school in a strong position and well regarded in the local community and beyond. I certainly think the high intake numbers we now enjoy indicates that more and more parents are choosing Glebe as their first preference of school. Aside from the building I feel very proud of the rise in pupil achievement and the consistently good results we have achieved over a number of years. One of my proudest moments was in 2014 when we were in the top 4% of schools nationally for progress and attainment. It also earned us a place in the daily Telegraph top 1000 schools list. I’ve survived three Ofsted inspections the most recent in 2015. I still feel we were unlucky to not get an overall outstanding rating but was pleased that our early years did achieve this accolade. Completing the building after all of the trials and tribulations was also another high point along with our royal grand opening.

Above all else though it has been the people I have met which has made this a great 11 years. So many children have been through the school in this time and it has been a pleasure to see them progress and develop in both their work and in themselves. I have been lucky to work with the most dedicated of staff and it’s their fantastic work which has made Glebe the school it is today. As a parent (and I was a Glebe parent too until a couple of years ago and even ran in the parents’ race at sports’ day – never again) we really are lucky to have such a fantastic group of people caring for, nurturing and educating our children every day. They are a very welcoming group and it’s amazing how many new staff are overwhelmed by how friendly everyone is. It means that this friendly and welcoming atmosphere is conveyed to the children too. I can also reveal that there are a number of members of staff who have (as the children might say) a wicked sense of humour so we do laugh a lot here too! They have been great to work with and I will really miss being a member of staff at Glebe.

We have an excellent governing body who have been nothing but supportive of me and the school in my 11 years as Head. Mr Buckingham and the governors go about their work in an unobtrusive way but never cease to put the children of Glebe at the front and centre of all they do.

One of the things I will miss most is chatting to parents. I have been so fortunate to get to know so many of you and I really enjoy chatting to people on the school gate. While the idea of being out there is so people can talk to me about their children, it often goes beyond this and I’m just as likely to be talking football, Brexit, parking, holiday recommendations, the best pushchair to buy ….. you name it! I hope you’ve found me approachable and I haven’t bored you too much with tales of Plymouth defeats, why I don’t like dressing up or the latest update on how potty training is going at home! I will always been eternally grateful to the parents, staff and children who were very kind to me during the time of my parents’ illness and subsequent passing. It was a really stressful time balancing the job (particularly as we had just started the building project), travelling down to Devon to see my parents and keeping things going at home. The support and kindness I received from people at that time showed me what a fantastic and caring community we are.

Thanks to the many parents who help in school or have accompanied various trips and activities. Special mention to the FOG members for their work in raising money for the school and putting on different activities.

I must give a word of thanks for all of the presents, cards and kind messages I have received in the last few days. I was really touched that many of you came along yesterday afternoon to have a cream tea and chat and for the voucher I was presented with following a collection by the parents. Similarly thank you for the beautiful book which Mrs Heggie put together for me. Again the messages are so kind and I will really treasure it.

I’ve been very touched by the children in the last few days and all of their kind comments and messages. I will really miss them but I am sure they will continue to flourish in the future. They are a credit to you!

It just remains for me to say good luck to Mrs Penney for September. I am sure everyone will support her in taking the school forward in the future. I really wish her well and I’m sure she’ll be a very successful Head.

I hope you like the then and now photographs; that’s what 11 years of headship does to you! Thanks for reading the newsletter each week. I hope you haven’t minded my irreverent style. Hopefully it may have even made you smile from time to time! Schools are serious places but there should also be room for some fun and plenty of opportunities to celebrate all the great things that go on at Glebe. Have a great summer! Keeping working hard children! All my best wishes for the future!