Ministry says hello to head

PUBLISHED: 17:33 04 April 2007 | UPDATED: 21:38 29 May 2010

Gill Hopkins celebrating the school’s Ofsted results surrounded by pupils - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

Gill Hopkins celebrating the school's Ofsted results surrounded by pupils - Pic: Sarah Lucy Brown

GREAT Easton Primary School were looking to the future as it said goodbye to the headteacher that has taken it from being a failing school to being classed as outstanding in a recent Ofsted report. Gill Hopkins joined the school as headteacher seven years

GREAT Easton Primary School were looking to the future as it said goodbye to the headteacher that has taken it from being a failing school to being classed as outstanding in a recent Ofsted report.

Gill Hopkins joined the school as headteacher seven years ago when the school was on special measures as, according to a report of the time, it was struggling to meet the needs of its pupils.

"Since she joined, she has turned the school around," said Stephanie Barry, member of the PTA. "It is now one of the best primary schools in the county."

She is leaving to take up the position of curate of the Wickford Team Ministry.

A traditional Easter service was held in Great Easton church last Thursday, during which, children gave a performance of Noah's

Ark, followed by their own, specially adapted version of the song Goodbye singing instead: "Goodbye-ee, goodbye-ee, teacher dear, wipe the tear from your eye-ee".

And Mrs Barry admitted it was a bit of a teary occasion. "Yes, there were a few tears," she said.

A presentation of a Waterford Crystal vase and bowl was made to Mrs Hopkins by Ann Howard and Sarah Cousins, chair and vice-chair of the PTA respectively. This had been brought with donations from a collection by parents.

The children made a card for her that all of the school signed writing their own, individual messages in," she said. "This was presented to Mrs Hopkins by two Year Six pupils, Joshua Willett and Abigail Cohen after the church service."

Sue Caulfield who teaches textiles at the school, presented Mrs Hopkins with a stole she had especially embroidered.

Sarah Cousins, deputy head teacher, said: "It has been an honour to work with her."

Mrs Hopkins, in a speech to say thank you said that she was sad to leave the school but she was also very excited about what she is going on to do.

Mrs Barry said that everyone was sad to see Mrs Hopkins leave the school but they all wished her the best of luck.

Mr Damien Pye will start as the school's new head master when the school reopens after the Easter holidays.

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