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Farewell Miss Spence, Mrs. Walker and the Year 6 Leavers of 2022!

Wednesday 20th July 2022 was a day of immense sadness yet best wishes for the future at Bosbury CE Primary School, as we waved a very fond farewell to our Headteacher of nearly nine years Miss Maggie Spence, as well as a truly wonderful group of 26 talented and charming Year 6 Leavers.

 

 

Since taking over as Headteacher at Bosbury in 2014, Miss Spence had some extremely challenging acts to follow in the inspirational and visionary footsteps of both Acting Head Mrs. Sarah Smith and previous Headteacher Miss Elizabeth Farr, who had both secured 'Outstanding' ratings from OFSTED in 2011 and 2014.

Miss Farr's ten-year tenure at Bosbury saw huge increases in pupils' academic success as a result of higher-quality standards of teaching, with her strong musical partnership with Mrs. Smith firmly establishing Bosbury as a school known for its strong love of music.

Miss Farr's headship also saw a complete refurbishment of the school following the devastating floods of July 2007, as well as the addition of the brand-new nursery Jack-in-the-Box on the school site around the same time, privately run by proprietor Mrs. Jackie Barrett following a move from nearby Bishops Frome and offering an invaluable breakfast, after school and holiday club to enable our school community to offer the huge advantage of wraparound childcare.

Miss Spence wasted no time however in keeping such high standards going, achieving a third consecutive highest OFSTED rating very soon after taking the helm, and also achieving a SIAMS Church of England 'Outstanding' rating barely a year later.

Teaching and academic results continued to flourish at Bosbury under her leadership, and, with the appointment of new Deputy Head Mr. Lee Dunn, ties with the surrounding rural community continued to develop, with a link and visits being made between The Grove School in Handsworth in Birmingham.

Much development of the school's outdoor spaces also take place over the coming years, with a flourishing forest school area, new wooden decking areas, a brand new beautiful reflection garden on the Key Stage 2 playground, new PE, reading and gardening sheds, a new school greenhouse with planting beds, as well as brand new playground equipment on both playgrounds. Our most recent new Key Stage 2 play area equipment was even officially opened by Sheriff of Herefordshire at the time Mr. Nat Hone!

 

  

 

Mr. Dunn then left to be closer to his home over the border in South Wales, seeing the very lovely Mrs. McManus take up the role of Deputy as her great partnership with Miss Spence saw further fruitful years at Bosbury, with the biggest development probably being visits between our rural Herefordshire school and our new Tara link school in Rwanda as Headteacher Emmanuel came to visit us in between September and October 2019.

 

 

Oh, and Miss Spence and her new Deputy Head certainly weren't averse to getting involved fully involved in World Book Days and trying their hand at some aerial dancing either!

 

  

 

All was going swimmingly until the year that no-one talks about - 2020! As in most areas of life, the COVID-19 pandemic created many unique and exceptional challenges for schools across the country, with Bosbury being no different as Miss Spence was quick to adapt and take on such an unprecedented and ever-evolving situation, embracing home learning and ensuring that pupils' academic chances were affected as minimally as was practically possible.

Reflecting on such tricky times, Miss Spence commented:

"It was a very difficult time for families, and we all did our best in what was a very difficult situation. The children are now however back to their sparking best!"

From the start of 2021 onwards, the school was still dealing with the effects of isolated Covid outbreaks as pupils returned to the classroom, but, up to the present day, many much-missed aspects of school life began to return such as trips, visitors and parent readers, church services, concert performances, after school clubs, sports tournaments, the ever-popular Sports Day and a magnificent Key Stage 2 production of Dazzle!.

As you can see from the photo at the very top of this page, the school also very recently welcomed the addition of a brand new and very beautiful school pond, made a reality by the dedicated group of FOBS parents as well as local companies JH Landscapes, Get Logs, Jon Goodwin and Bavenhill.

 

  

 

Miss Spence's departure was marked by a very special surprise assembly for her on the penultimate day of the school year, where she received some lovely gifts from the pupils, an emotional song with personalized lyrics written by Mrs. Dark sung by the staff themselves with Year 6 pupils providing the accompanying percussion, a photo slideshow of her nine years at Bosbury (despite managing to largely dodge the camera lens over the years, Mr. Ponter was still quite surprised at how many photos she appeared in as he was trawling through seven years' worth of photographs for the Year 6 Leavers' book and assembly!), and, a glimpse into what those cheeky children (and adults!) get up to at Bosbury when she is attending training or a meeting. Naughty pupils... and staff!

 

  

  

 

When asked about what her fondest memory of Bosbury School will be, Miss Spence said that it will be the creativity of the pupils and their confidence which she has seen grow over the years and particularly since Covid.

She also added that she will miss the "fantastic team of teachers and teaching assistants" at the school, adding:

"Bosbury is a wonderful school, full of wonderfully-talented and caring adults who put the very most into everything they do. I also wish to thank our PTA FOBS, who have made the school pond a reality."

Miss Spence will be leaving us to take up an exciting new post as schools improvement administrator and executive Headteacher at the Diocese of Worcester Multi-Academy Trust, where she will have the opportunity to work with and help support multiple schools across Worcestershire.

Miss Spence sent the below letter to parents in her final special Bosbury Telegraph weekly school newsletter as Head, summarizing her feelings on leaving as:

"I will enjoy watching Bosbury from afar. Thank you to all the parents and children who have been at Bosbury since April 2014 when I joined. I wish the school an exciting future."

 

 

Of course, as mentioned right at the top of this article, there were some other very important people leaving us this summer as well - our lovely, confident, creative and talented Year 6 Leavers of 2022!

 

 

This lovely group of 26 young people have simply amazed us with their sheer confidence, articulate manners, amazing creativity, impressive sporting prowess and marvellous musical talent over the years, and we are going to miss them all immensely as they embrace their next chapters at secondary school in September.

Of course, they were given their own chances to reflect on their experiences at Bosbury School since 2015 in a special Year 6 Leavers assembly on the last morning of term, attended by parents for the first time since 2019. Lots of heartfelt, touching and funny anecdotes were shared, with each pupil receiving a special piece of framed word art reflecting their personality and, for the first time, a professionally-made yearbook to treasure courtesy of a very hardworking parent - thank you very much Quin's mum!

 

  

  

 

And we can't just leave it there without saying a more partial but equally fond and heartfelt goodbye to our outstanding Class 4 and specialist music teacher Mrs. Sue Walker. Mrs. Walker has been utterly instrumental (pun fully intended!) at keeping music at the heart of Bosbury School through her impeccable and knowledgable music teaching, also being the driving force behind many, many Key Stage 2 productions, church services and concert performances from our amazing school choir - now numbering over sixty children which is testament to how much our pupils love music at Bosbury under Mrs. Walker's tuition.

Mrs. Walker has also been responsible for the formation of Bosbury School's first ever adult choir, who have wowed at Christingle performances just before and after Covid with their beautiful singing, with their joint performance with the school choir always sounding truly magical!

 

    

  

  

Mrs. Walker is (sort of!) leaving us so that she can have more time to continue to pursue her career in music teaching, but we are absolutely delighted that she has chosen to continue teaching music with us every Friday from September.

Our thoughtful and generous Year 6 Leavers even gave Mrs. Walker a truly delightful new wooden xylophone complete with commemorative plaque as a 'leaving' present, which makes such a beautiful sound!

 

 

GOODBYE TO MISS SPENCE, MRS. WALKER AND OUR LOVELY YEAR 6 LEAVERS OF 2022 FROM ALL OF US AT BOSBURY SCHOOL - WE WILL MISS YOU BUT WISH YOU ALL THE VERY BEST OF LUCK AND BEST WISHES FOR YOUR NEXT EXCITING CHAPTERS!