September 23 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, July 19, 2014
As the summer term draws to a close, a teaching trio will be saying a final goodbye to the classroom after devoting a combined 73 years to a Suffolk school.
Pupils and staff at Thomas Mills High School are bidding farewell to retiring head of English Bob Jellicoe and deputy head of PE Judy Kemp, and to music teacher and deputy head of sixth form, Laura Scott, who is moving to another school.
Reflecting on a 34-year teaching career at the Framlingham school, Mr Jellicoe said: “The school has always had a strong English department, delivering consistently over the years. That remains true today, with pupils continuing to achieve very high standards.
“Personally, I had the opportunity to teach many wonderful pupils. To see how the children grow and prosper is part of the joy of teaching.”
The 63-year-old, who was born in Southwold, has seen the assessment of pupils come “full circle” during his teaching career, with GCSEs set to move away from coursework and back to exams reminiscent of O-levels sat by pupils 1980s.
“When I first came to the school exams were linear, with 100% exams and no coursework,” said Mr Jellicoe. “By 2017 it will be the same again.”
The school has doubled in size since Mrs Kemp began teaching there 30 years ago. Not only has she taught thousands of pupils PE, but she also set up an annual school trip to Holland for year seven children. The 61-year-old said: “The amount of children now choosing to take PE at GCSE and A-level is fantastic. People appreciate it is a science based subject, and there is more emphasis on proving its importance in terms of exams and taking it further at university.
“I shan’t be retiring to my rocking chair. I will be keeping in touch with the school and finding out how the pupils are doing.”
Miss Scott is moving to Tudor Grange Academy, in Solihull, to take up a director of music role. In the last nine years at Thomas Mills, she has expanded choral music by increasing the size of the senior choir to more than 100 pupils and establishing the school’s chamber choir.
The 31-year-old, originally from Shropshire, said: “I’ve absolutely loved my time at Thomas Mills. It’s such a friendly school. I will really miss the children and staff.
“The level of musicianship is amazing. The choirs have performed concerts here and on tour in Prague, Paris, Tuscany and Salzburg. The performance at Menin Gate in Belgium was a really proud moment.”
Richard Hanley, director of music at the school, said that all three teachers had made a “fine contribution to the education, extra curricular activities and ethos of the school over many years”.
Were you taught by any of the the teachers who are leaving this week? Share your memories via email.