Primary school in Ipswich says goodbye to two long-running members of staff

Julie Collins and Gill Butcher are retiring from Sprites Primary School in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH

Julie Collins and Gill Butcher are retiring from Sprites Primary School in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Children and staff at Sprites Primary School in Ipswich have said a fond farewell two long-running staff members.

Pupils and head teacher say goodbye to Julie Collins and Gill Butcher. L-R Samuel, Zak, Julie Colli

Pupils and head teacher say goodbye to Julie Collins and Gill Butcher. L-R Samuel, Zak, Julie Collins, Jeniyah, Shaun Valentine, Georgina, Gill Butcher, Georgina and Jackson. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Pastoral support manager Julie Collins and nursery teacher Gill Butcher were given a special send-off at a school assembly yesterday.

The pair both had a close relationship with the school even before working there - each of them sending three children to the school.

Mrs Collins, who had worked at Sprites for 27 years, said there will always be a special place in her heart for the school.

“When I started I used to come in and listen to the children read,” she said.

“My children came here too - I’ve had three who went to the school.

“My role involved nurturing the children, listening to their worries and concerns and supporting their families.

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“They say ‘Once a Sprite, always a Sprite’ and it is certainly true.

“It is a lovely school to work for.

“I have absolutely loved my job but it time to call it a day.

“It is the children, the staff and the families that I will miss.

“For me they’ve been really supportive.

“There was a lovely assembly held this morning for us.

“It was a really lovely send-off.”

Mrs Collins said she is how planning to look after her own grandchildren in her retirement as well as taking some well-earned time for herself.

Mrs Butcher started working at the school 18 years ago, qualifying as a teacher a year later.

“I loved working here because every day is a new adventure with children,” she said.

“You never know quite what each day is going to hold.

“It is a wonderful school to be part of, it is a great community.

“I have also been involved in the forest school for the last ten years in Chantry Park.

“I will very much miss the place, it has been part of my life for so long - my children came here too.

“But it is time for a new challenge for me really.

“I’m now going to spend some time being a nana, looking after my family and getting involved in the church I am part of.

“I might do something for myself too.

“But I might take the next term off just to think.

“I have promised to come and help with the gardening club though and will help out with other things at the school.”

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