Final school bell rings for Holy Trinity head

There wasn't a dry eye in the house when Holy Trinity First School staff and pupils got together to pay tribute to retiring headteacher Dawn Groves.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 8:52 am
Holy Trinity First School retiting headteacher Dawn Groves. Picture by Jane Coltman

However, many of the tears were triggered by laughter as colleagues reflected on Mrs Groves’s 12 eventful years at the Berwick school.

At a special assembly, deputy head Nick Shaw read from a book of quotations collected from pupils about their headteacher, which included gems like: ‘Please remember, even though you are retired, there are still lots of things you can do.’

Another said: ‘We will always remember you even when you are not here, your happiness will be in school.’

Former deputy head Mary-Rose Blythe took a tongue-in-cheek look at A Day In The Life of Mrs Groves, complete with mocked-up photos featuring a dressed up small person.

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There were further anecdotes from school advisor and former Holy Trinity headteacher David Wilson and Diocesan Director of Education Paul Rickeard, while Diana Smith thanked Mrs Groves on behalf of governors and parents, past and present.

One of Mrs Groves’s proudest moments at Holy Trinity was securing lottery funding to pay for a set of steel pans and the Berwick-wide Mango Music Project.

Every year, she has enthusiastically taken part in the steel pans project – an annual collaboration with the Sage, Gateshead – as a member of the staff band.

Musician Wendy Doyle, who led the project, sent a funny and touching video message which was especially well received by the audience.

She said: “The world needs more people like you in it, Dawn: People who set up marquees and host sleepovers in them; people who play hide and seek in the school after dark; who demand the highest standards for children; who roll up their sleeves and get involved; people who get excited about things, who laugh loudly and give great hugs.”

Mrs Groves is retiring after a 37-year teaching career which began in inner-city London. She has recently become a grandmother for the first time and is looking forward to spending more time with her family and pursuing her love of photography.

Speaking before the assembly on Wednesday, she said: “I’ve absolutely loved being head at Holy Trinity, it’s been a real privilege to have been a part of the life of this school; the staff here are committed to doing their best for the children and go the extra mile and the children are amazing.

“I’ll miss them all but I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life.”