Tuesday, 09 August 2022

Children sing au revoir to teaching assistant after 23 years

A TEACHING assistant has retired after 23 years at Peppard Primary School.

A TEACHING assistant has retired after 23 years at Peppard Primary School.

Heather Brealey, 63, of Redhouse Drive, Sonning Common, worked under seven headteachers as well as numerous interims.

She first started working at the school when her daughter Kate, now 32, was in year four and Jack Holt was the headteacher.

She had previously been a volunteer who helped set up the library and its Dewey decimal system.

Mrs Brealey, who has retired due to ill health, said: “My role became more official, so rather than just helping out I was getting paid instead of doing it for free. In that first year, 1993, I was working with a particular child who had quite severe learning difficulties.”

To mark her retirement, a special service was held at All Saints’ Church in Peppard attended by about 200 current and past pupils, parents and staff.

Children in years four, five and six sang in French, the subject that Mrs Brealey had taught for the last eight years.

She said: “The children sang songs and read out some of their memories of their time with me. There were some prayers and the headteacher said a few words. I miss the children and doing the things I enjoy like teaching French, Latin and RE.

“We only started Latin last year and all the children did it apart from the foundation stage.

“I do not speak French but my daughter did it at university and I learned it for O-level.

“The school had a different teacher but the then head asked me to take it on.

“The lessons were always a lot of fun for the children. We would do a lot of singing and role playing.”

Mrs Brealey also organised the school’s harvest and Easter services at All Saints as well as enjoying the annual Christingle service. At the end of each summer term she would help children in year six in prepare a meal for staff and parent helpers.

“It was always a really nice way to finish their time at the school,” she said.

Headteacher Nick Steele said: “She has worked for seven headteachers and throughout she has had her own high standards of education.

“She has worked with every year group across the school and has taken on other responsibilities, such as organising church services and school trips.”

More News:

POLL: Have your say