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Miss leaves school for the last time

PUBLISHED: 22:00 22 December 2001 | UPDATED: 11:04 03 March 2010

WHEN Ann Catchpole first started her teaching career there was no national curriculum and discipline was the name of the game.

Since that time, 38 years ago, there have been many changes in the profession, but the primary school teacher from Handford Hall School in Ipswich has loved every minute of it.

WHEN Ann Catchpole first started her teaching career there was no national curriculum and discipline was the name of the game.

Since that time, 38 years ago, there have been many changes in the profession, but the primary school teacher from Handford Hall School in Ipswich has loved every minute of it.

And it was with a heavy heart that she left the school where she has taught for 33 years, when she retired on Thursday.

Both the pupils and staff were intent on making it a special day and certainly one that she would never forget.

Each class put on a concert for her either performing singing, dancing or drama.

Miss Catchpole said: "It was lovely, they even wrote me a school report.

"I got good for everything except for ICT because the children know that I am not that good with computers."

Friends and colleagues were certainly not going to let her retirement pass quietly by and managed to keep a surprise party under wraps since September.

Miss Catchpole said: "Three of us were supposed to be going out for a meal but they said that the alarm had gone off at the school so we had to drop the school keeper off to investigate it.

"When we got there they opened the doors and there were all the staff there from the present and lots from the past – it was lovely."

Her career started in Bristol and she has also taught in Potters Bar and at Sprites Junior school before moving to Handford Hall.

At that time the school was still in the old Bramford Road building which closed in the late 1970's.

However the 60-year-old still recalls when the new school in Gatacre Road was burned out and they had to move back to the old school for a while until it was rebuilt.

Miss Catchpole is a person who really loved her job and especially all the people that go with it.

She said: "I think my favourite part must be when I find I am teaching the children of kids that I used to teach. I am teaching one little girl at the moment and I used to teach both her mum and her mum's partner.

"It is lovely to hear all about the success, when a child leaves at 11 and then hear what they are doing later."

But now retirement is here, Miss Catchpole said she has plenty of things planned .

She has already got a three-week holiday to India planned and is going to buy a border collie puppy when she gets back.

No matter what she does though, her memories of the school will never be very far away as the pupils presented her with a book with their names and pictures they had drawn of themselves.


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