We’re saying “goodbye” to some much loved colleagues at the end of term.
Steve Allkins has decided that the time has come for a new challenge and is leaving us. Steve joined Strand as a fresh-faced NQT in 2002 and, following a number of years as a class teacher, took over the role of PE specialist when Buj Wretham retired. Since then he has been pivotal in the improvements in our PE offer, over the last few years leading teams to success in the borough football finals, cross country and Year 3 and 4 indoor athletics. The children will remember Mr Allkins for his passion for both reading and geography; Steve has an encyclopedic knowledge of capitals and flags and children in his class are guaranteed to leave keen readers who can all tell you the capital of Burkina Faso – which as everyone knows is Ouagadougou. Steve’s love of sport has enthused countless children at Strand and he can leave safe in the knowledge that he has left many sportspeople behind. Steve will be sorely missed by his colleagues too – not least for his BBQing skills, renditions of Mr. Brightside and the thorough PE lesson plans he leaves behind carefully and meticulously filed on the school network.
It’s not only Steve who is moving on from the teaching staff. Emma Hayward is relocating to Essex and is taking up a role as a class teacher and reading lead in a Junior school in Billericay. Emma too joined Strand as an NQT and has been with us four years teaching in Year 3 and 4. Emma is passionate about fitness and to help us achieve the 30/30 challenge she introduced the Daily Dash and Active AM sessions, encouraging staff to find time in their daily timetable for just a little more PE. Emma is a great colleague, with a quick wit and clever sense of humour; her Secret Santa gifts are renowned for their originality and personalisation. Emma loves to dance and whether choreographing numbers of the Year 6 show or performing herself. The Time of my Life is her signature tune – she lights up any gathering (with or without social distancing).
Lucia Reynolds from Otter Class will also be moving on this time to re train as a counsellor. Lucia has been a much loved member of the Swan team and her love of Forest Schools has enhanced provision in Otter dramatically – indeed all the key worker children who enjoyed building the mud kitchen in the Secret Garden owe Ms Reynolds a huge thank you as it was her idea!
We also have two members of the Strand Team who are retiring, Kate O’Brien from Cygnet Club and Pauline Russell from the LS team. Kate has been the organisational force behind Cygnet Club for the last 8 years and in that time has transformed it into a smooth running machine. An absolute whizz on an excel spreadsheet, her organisational skills are second to none but it is for her calm and unflappable manner that she holds her colleagues respect. Kate is unphased by any request and unerringly patient in her responses. Kate has held off retiring to make sure the Cygnet Club systems and finances are in tip top condition post lockdown and we are very grateful for this. Kate is going to use her well earned retirement spending more time with her family. And last but by no means least Pauline Russell. Pauline has been at Strand for 31 years, initially in the Infants school and latterly in the Juniors but always supporting individual children, working in Breakfast Club and as a lunchtime supervisor. Pauline’s patience and warmth are legendary, making her perfectly suited to her role, whether diffusing tricky situations in the playground, buttering toast in Breakfast Club or working with individual children Pauline is always smiling and never has a cross word to say about anyone. She is much loved by her colleagues and will, as will all our departing colleagues, be sorely missed.
As the children are not moving classes this year we are able to share next year’s plans for September earlier. Kay Richards will continue in her role as SENDCo. Gill Coulton and Tara Ristic will be without class responsibility and will be providing additional support throughout the school. Geoff Bonner will continue to teach music and Remi Murray will put his language talents to good use by teaching French throughout the school. Emily Smith-Stevenson will head up the PE team with two PE LSAs who we are currently recruiting. Wendy and Geoff Bonner, Sorcha Kennedy Alexander and Gemma Nosworthy will all be working four days a week. We have one new recruit: Jess Marron who joins us as an NQT. Ianta Archibald, Sheila Wigley, Robbie Ash, Denise Hewell, Kathy Dent and Fiona Heath will continue to provide individual support across the school.
|Learning Support Team
Sorcha Kennedy-Alexander / Rachel Habershon
Wendy Bonner / Andy Ingram
Catherine Rigby / Remi Murray
Gemma Nosworthy / Geoff Bonner
Year 4 Otter
Year 2 Kingfisher