School’s out for Kesgrave teacher Richard Bevan after 42 years at Heath Primary School
The final bell has sounded on a dedicated teacher’s career as he waved goodbye to the school for the final time after 42 years of service.
Richard Bevan, 63, joined Heath Primary School, Kesgrave, in September 1974, helping out his sister Maureen – who had taught there for a decade – and yesterday delivered his final lesson to youngsters in Year three.
The children held a special assembly for the outgoing teacher on Wednesday, before 80 members of staff past and present celebrated his achievements with a special event in the evening.
“I wouldn’t have believed it, but I have loved every minute of being here and now looking forward to pastures new,” he said.
During his time, Mr Bevan had secondments including teaching school teachers about ICT and a stint as deputy headteacher at Cliff Lane Primary School, which he says kept it fresh.
But Mr Bevan cites his proudest moment as part of the Olympic Games in 2012 when youngsters from the school were able to go to the opening ceremony and be part of the guard of honour to salute the athletes, as well as having sports stars and Sebastian Coe visit the school.
Among the most challenging elements during his four-decade tenure were implementing results-driven government initiatives.
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“It’s now all about the results where I believe it’s the whole child you have to encourage,” he said.
“Every child is an individual, and they should be encouraged in whatever field or talent they follow.”
While the veteran educator is leaving school behind him, Mr Bevan has spoken of his intention to continue teaching – with a view to tutoring adults or small groups.
And despite the changes the school has gone through, Mr Bevan says its ethos has always shined through.
“It’s incredible how things have changed in terms of computing, in use of ICT – we’ve gone from blackboards, to whiteboards and now interactive boards,” he said.
“But the friendliness of the school and Kesgrave in itself is wonderful. I am teaching children of mothers I taught 20 years ago, and have been for quite a number of years, which is quite emotional.”
The school’s headteacher Sue Bowditch said: “Mr Bevan is part of the fabric of Kesgrave. He has touched the lives of generations of Kesgrave residents and will be warmly remembered.”