One school’s loss is another one’s gain

Teacher Mary Morris and teaching assistant Jackie Holt with year six pupils at St Francis School before leaving
Teacher Mary Morris and teaching assistant Jackie Holt with year six pupils at St Francis School before leaving
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It will be all change come September for two village primary schools after a headteacher, a teacher and a teaching assistant said farewell.

But as Chris Stringer leaves her post as head of Chipping St Mary’s to move to Holy Family, Ingol And Goosnargh St Francis’ teacher Mary Morris, is leaving to take up St Mary’s headship.

Also at St Francis’, Jackie Holt, who has been a teaching assistant for many years, is leaving to accompany a child onto St Cecilia’s High School.

Mrs Stringer described her time at St Mary’s as “wonderful”, having started there nine years ago as a teacher, later becoming acting head and finally head in 2010.

“I have enjoyed it from start to finish; there is community at St Mary’s in its truest sense – the children are full of enthusiasm for their learning, parents are supportive of the school and its ethos, as are staff – the staff are unique! Dedicated, full of innovative ideas and with a great sense of humour.

“Last year the staff, parents and governors worked together over a couple of weekends to create a storytelling garden the children designed, plus an outdoor classroom.

“My philosophy of teaching is underpinned by my faith: above all else, our first duty as educators and fellow human beings is to the 
children’s needs and wellbeing.”

She said St Mary’s would hold a very special place in her heart.

At St Francis’ School, headteacher Janet Wilkinson said they were all extremely sad to say farewell to Mrs 
Morris and Mrs Holt, but 
also extremely proud of both as they took up new challenges.

A great believer in moving staff on in their careers, Mrs Wilkinson said during her time at St Francis’ two staff members had taken up deputy headships before Mrs Morris being appointed St Mary’s head.

“I think that says a great deal about our small primary school for teachers to do so well,” said Mrs Wilkinson.

She said Mrs Morris had been a “fantastic teacher” for the year fives and sixes for the last four years and would be particularly missed for her musical and drama skills.

Mrs Wilkinson also spoke highly of Mrs Holt, who had been with St Francis’s for 10 years.

“She is a very talented and organised person who has worked throughout school. She is also a good friend of all the staff,” said Mrs Wilkinson.

The new teacher at St Francis’ next term will be Robin Colpman.