Forget the work and let’s have fun was the motto at one Carlisle school as staff and pupils marked the retirement of its headteacher.
Jane Hodgson, 59, left Upperby School on Friday after 14 years in the top job. She said the last week had been an “emotional rollercoaster” having attended assemblies with children, parents and staff.
Mrs Hodgson said: “I’ve been at the school for 18 years in total – I was deputy head for four years before I became headteacher.
“It’s been quite a journey but I wanted to sign off seeing the children having fun.”
A day of different activities was organised including sport, music and crafts. Some children also attended sessions at Carlisle Youth Zone while the younger ones enjoyed a bouncy castle.
Mrs Hodgson has also taught at Belle Vue juniors, Yewdale, Bishop Goodwin juniors and Upperby schools after starting out as a teacher in 1981.
She said: “It’s been good to work with some wonderful children. Some of them are not from the easiest of backgrounds and some have their challenges and it’s all about making a difference to those children.
“They are lovely children and some of them are real characters. It’s lovely to see how they have thrived in a place like Upperby School where they can be listened to.
“I’ve also got a great team around me. My staff and colleagues have been great.”
Mrs Hodgson has seen many changes in teaching since she started her career.
She said: “The pressures on teachers now are incredible especially in delivering the new curriculum.
“The expectations have been really ramped up. Children are not being allowed to enjoy their learning and their childhood. It’s quite sad.”
Mrs Hodgson held a retirement party for her staff and governors on Friday night.
She said of her retirement: “I’m going cycling in Holland for a few weeks and I hope to get to the gym more regularly.
“I’ll be spending my days in the garden, walking and looking after my first grandchild, which is due in August.
“I just want to be able to spend more time with my husband and my family.”
Petteril Bank Community School headteacher Jose Hodgkins will take over as head at Upperby after Easter.