Search

School stalwart retires from Drake Infant, Thetford

13:00 05 April 2012

Teaching assistant Jill Sayer who is retiring after 25 years, pictured with some of the Year 1 children she works with at Drake Infant School. Picture: Denise Bradley

Teaching assistant Jill Sayer who is retiring after 25 years, pictured with some of the Year 1 children she works with at Drake Infant School. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

A popular teaching assistant has retired just days after her 65th birthday amid celebration and well-wishes from staff and pupils.

Jill Sayer, who turned 65 last week, left Drake Infant School in Thetford where she taught hundreds of children and supported numerous lessons since joining in 1991.

After 21 years at the school, on Fairfields, she now intends to take it easy and put her feet up.

Her last days were celebrated with a special assembly in which youngsters read out poems they had written especially for the occasion.

Mrs Sayer, from Bridgham, whose husband has also recently retired, said: “The time is right to move on. I was a bit emotional in our assembly but I’ve had some good years and it’s time for another phase in my life.” Her work over the years has included supporting numeracy lessons, teaching phonics, one-to-one work with the pupils and in particular helping create a garden in the school grounds which she helped the youngsters tend to.

Mrs Sayer, who was presented with a vase and year’s membership to the National Trust as a leaving gift, added she would return to the school to help the children continue with it.

She said: “I think the nice thing about retirement is you don’t have to plan. It’s very nice not to be tied down to the school holidays and I’m going to garden and walk.

“I want to stop the connection completely though and will still come back to visit - it’s an important part of my life.

“Things have changed a lot from when I started but teaching assistants have always been an important part of the team in this school - we’ve always had a hands on role. “It’s been a very happy time and it’s been a good experience. It’s a very inclusive school and you learn a lot from people around you and the teaching staff over the years and they’ve been very supportive.

“The school has also encouraged training so I could continue with personal development.”

Head Mary Bartrop said Mrs Sayer had been her teaching assistant when she started at the school 18 years ago, and added she was “incredible”.

“It’s a credit to her that she’s been here for so long and affected so many children’s lives,” she said. “She’ll be sorely missed. We wish her a long and happy retirement.”

0 comments

Other news

Firefighters cut a person free from a car after it overturned this morning.

Yesterday, 16:29
Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Two men who carried out a robbery at a Thetford bookmakers in which a member of staff was punched as he lay on the ground have each been jailed for two years eight months.

Yesterday, 12:32
Norfolk Constabulary vehicle.

A 19-year-old man has suffered a broken nose after he was punched in the face by a man he passed on the street in Thetford.

Yesterday, 08:00
Freya Barlow

A round-Norfolk run in memory of a young woman who died from cancer has trebled its fundraising target.

Most Read

Yesterday, 12:32
Norfolk Constabulary vehicle.

A 19-year-old man has suffered a broken nose after he was punched in the face by a man he passed on the street in Thetford.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:29
Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Two men who carried out a robbery at a Thetford bookmakers in which a member of staff was punched as he lay on the ground have each been jailed for two years eight months.

Read more

Firefighters cut a person free from a car after it overturned this morning.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Freya Barlow

A round-Norfolk run in memory of a young woman who died from cancer has trebled its fundraising target.

Read more
Tue, 08:10
EADT NEWS

CROWDS AT MILDENHALL AIRSHOW.  2001

PIC MICHAEL HALL.
EADT 14 02 03
EADT 12 08 04
EADT 22 01 05
EADT 14 04 05

One “last hurrah” for RAF Mildenhall could see the famed air show return, with hopes it will strengthen ties between the US Air Force and the community.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Thetford and Brandon e-edition today E-edition