IT WAS a bittersweet ending to the term for staff and pupils at SS Mary and Michael RC Primary School as they said goodbye to reception teacher Mrs Sheila Swarbrick.
Mrs Swarbrick, retiring after 26 years, closed the classroom door for the final time on Friday.
Known for her “distinctive sense of humour” and fun teaching style, Mrs Swarbrick has welcomed hundreds of children from the community and headteacher Cathryn Wilkinson said her teaching talents would be much missed.
“As reception class teacher Mrs Swarbrick has provided our youngest new pupils with their first experience of school, making literally hundreds of local children welcome into our community,” said headteacher Cathryn Wilkinson, “There will be so many people in the Garstang who value the support that Mrs Swarbrick has given to their children.
“She has played an important role in the team which has made our school so successful in recent years, consistently ensuring high levels of both progress and attainment within the groups of children she has taught, whilst providing them with fun and exciting learning opportunities,” she said.
Mrs Swarbrick’s departure was marked with a presentation at the school’s end of term Fun Night, attended by children, parents, governors along with colleagues past and present, who have worked with her throughout her teaching years at the school.
Mrs Wilkinson added the night was a “fitting tribute to a much loved member of the school team and an opportunity to wish Mrs Swarbrick all the best for a long and happy retirement.”
Mrs Swarbrick, who lives in Lancaster with her husband aims to spend more time, touring in their caravan, spending time with friends and enjoying good food.
After an internal school restructure fellow teacher Mrs Helen Bisby is set to teach in reception class from September with two new teachers, Mrs Deborah Morrison and Miss Rachel Lonsdale joining the team to cope with growing pupil numbers which has resulted in an additional class for 2011/12.