Goodbye to Mr Coleby

YOUNGSTERS at Otley Primary said farewell to their headteacher as he retired after 27 years in which he has seen the school double in size.Suffolk-born Peter Coleby has spent all bar three years of his teaching career in the county - with just a short time in Germany working for British forces' education services, teaching children of soldiers at a base.

YOUNGSTERS at Otley Primary said farewell to their headteacher as he retired after 27 years in which he has seen the school double in size.

Suffolk-born Peter Coleby has spent all bar three years of his teaching career in the county - with just a short time in Germany working for British forces' education services, teaching children of soldiers at a base.

After Keswick teacher training college, he began his career at a school in Lowestoft before heading out to Germany, then back to Lowestoft before taking up the post at Otley in 1979.

During his time at Otley he has seen pupil numbers increase from around 30 to nearly 60. The buildings have been developed and three years ago a new extension was provided with a new classroom kitchen and admin areas.

When he first arrived, the school took pupils from five to ten years, who then went on to the now-closed Kingston Middle School. Now they stay until 11 before moving to Farlingaye High.

“It's been a challenging career with lots of changes over the years,” said Mr Coleby, reflecting on the pace of change in education under different governments.

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“One of the really nice things has been that the children at Otley are the children of the village - we have no buses bringing in children from outside - and it has been great to get to know the parents and establish relationships in a close-knit community.

“I will miss being here because I think you are bound to miss something which has been a big part of your life for such a long time, but I am looking forward to new challenges and experiences.”

Mr Coleby's wife Christine is retiring from Murrayfield Primary School in Ipswich after 22 years and they have already booked their first ever term-time holiday for September.

They are planning to do more walking together, which they enjoy, and he is to investigate the possibility of becoming a magistrate.

Also retiring from Otley Primary was Marguerite Kightley after 18 years teaching subjects including science and design and technology. She is looking forward to spending more time in her garden and birdwatching.

WEBLINK: www.suffolk.gov.uk/educationandlearning

Were you at Otley Primary and would like to pay your tribute to Peter Coleby. Do you know of a teacher who is retiring. Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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