Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Seeing students grow was a joy, says departing head

THE outgoing head of the Robert Piggott junior and infant schools in Wargrave has thanked students, staff and parents.

Executive headteacher Sally Ann Akers, who was in the role for more than 10 years, will be replaced by Elaine Hughes when the new term starts next month.

Mrs Hughes has been head of the infant school in Beverley Gardens for the past two years.

Mrs Akers said: “It has been an absolute joy to see the children of the village grow and learn and to hear about their successes as they have moved on to secondary school, university, the world of work and, in some cases, starting their own families. I have been very fortunate to work with some brilliant and talented teachers and teaching assistants and have many fond memories of art projects, science fairs, parent workshops, concerts, church services, sports days, school trips and romps in the woods.

“I have always maintained that the children come first and have had wonderful staff who have always gone the extra mile to ensure children know that we love them and that how they do matters to us as we work in partnership with their parents to pave the way for future success.”

The infant school remained open during lockdown for the children of key workers, while teachers continued to offer lessons digitally to the other pupils.

Mrs Akers said: “I can safely say that I thought I had pretty much experienced all there is in headship but then along came covid-19 and, literally, everything changed.

“I would like to commend the staff for the way in which they completely changed the way they worked practically overnight and for their continued commitment to delivering learning opportunities to all the children in very difficult circumstances.

“The senior leadership team have worked tirelessly to follow the guidance and do the very best that they could under the current circumstances. Our office teams have continued to work flat out, whether at home or at school.

“I am so proud of the schools and will miss the children and staff more than words can say. There is nothing quite like hearing children sing. I am so lucky to have heard the wisdom that children share when you really listen to them.

“The governors have reliably informed me that there will be an opportunity to come together so that we can say goodbye properly next summer.”

Mrs Akers, who lives in Earley, hopes to do consultancy work in the future.

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