Tuesday, 03 August 2021

Influential head retires after 11 years

THE headteacher of Crazies Hill Primary School says she is “going out on a high” as

THE headteacher of Crazies Hill Primary School says she is “going out on a high” as she retires after 11 years at the school.

Eileen Holmes stepped down on Wednesday, the last day of term.

Mrs Holmes, who had been a teacher for 30 years, specialised in music and was a PE subject leader before joining Crazies Hill.

She presented pupils with a “rainbow bench” for the playground on Tuesday and received a bicycle as a leaving present from staff at the school.

Mrs Holmes, who lives in Wokingham with her husband Brian, said: “I’ve had the most fantastic headship here, it’s been an absolute delight.

“The parents, children and governors have been very supportive and I shall have many, many happy memories. I’ve had the most fantastic time and I feel I’m really going out on a high.

“I think it’s one of the most incredible places I’ve taught. It’s very much the centre of the community and a very cohesive group of parents and staff.

“I’m very excited about things to come but obviously I shall miss everybody.”

Mrs Holmes’s career began at an independent school in south London. She then moved to The Priory School in Slough before going to Bearwood Primary School in Wokingham, where she spent 13 years, the last four as deputy head.

During her tenure at Crazies Hill, the number of pupils has increased from about 60 in 2005 to more than 90. She has also overseen several extensions to the school building and the creation of a new computer suite.

Mrs Holmes has a daughter, 31, who will be getting married in September, and a son, 33. She has a Caribbean cruise with her husband planned for November and another in the Indian Ocean in April.

She says she is also hoping to learn the lap harp, a retirement gift from her family, and play more golf.

Mrs Holmes said: “I’m proud of the way the school has grown. That’s the endorsement, that so many parents come here by recommendation. We’ve done lots of development at the school, we funded the extension ourselves and also spent money on drainage in the field to make it usable all year round.

“We like to think we are part of the bigger community in Crazies Hill. We have lots of association with residents, we use the village hall and invite locals to functions.”

Mrs Holmes added that she is looking forward to travelling and exploring during her retirement.

She said: “It will be really nice to spend more time travelling, which we love, and go outside term time! I’m very excited and one of the gifts I got from the school was a bike which I can’t wait to get out on.

“I’d love to pop back to the school now and again, I will miss it so much but I have so many fond memories which will stay with me.”

Mrs Holmes will be succeeded by Philippa Chan, who will be moving from Willow Bank Infant School in Woodley.

David Wyatt, who chairs the board of governors at the school, said: “Eileen’s done a very good job and she will be missed. She’s left the school in a great place for her successor.

“It’s a physically bigger school than 11 years ago, it’s in great shape and the standards of teaching are great as well. You can’t ask for a lot more than that.”

More News:

POLL: Have your say