Pupils sur­prise head teacher as she re­tires from role

Evening Express (City Final) - - UK & Abroad - By Jodie Molyneux

A HEAD teacher who had hoped to re­tire qui­etly from her post has been hon­oured with a sur­prise as­sem­bly from her whole school.

El­rick Pri­mary School in Westhill ig­nored head teacher Louise Mal­colm’s plea for “no fuss” as she bowed out from a ca­reer span­ning more than 20 years.

The school’s 490 pupils laid on a spe­cial show, in­clud­ing a per­for­mance by the choir of one of Mrs Mal­colm’s favourite songs – On My Own from Les Mis­er­ables.

As Mrs Mal­colm, 62, sat in a chair adorned with tin­sel, young­sters pre­sented her with po­ems and art­work, which said their head teacher “al­ways lis­tens to us” and is “magic”.

Mrs Mal­colm said: “It is a very emo­tional day and it was def­i­nitely not ex­pected – I did ask for no fuss but I’m so pleased. I’ll be re­ally sorry to leave, let­ting go of the kids and staff will be hard. “It’s been a great plea­sure.” Mrs Mal­colm, who lives in Stone­haven, stud­ied at the Uni­ver­sity of Aberdeen be­fore join­ing Kin­neff Pri­mary School for seven years. Look­ing back on her ca­reer Mrs Mal­colm ad­mit­ted she had seen changes in how ed­u­ca­tion is de­liv­ered.

She said: “Chil­dren are much more en­gaged now, they are more in­volved in the lessons and the for­mat is less ‘teacher at the front’.

“We like to teach the chil­dren life skills from the very start, such as tak­ing turns and mak­ing de­ci­sions, and the chil­dren are much more ar­tic­u­late now.”

Look­ing to her re­tire­ment, Mrs Mal­colm says she doesn’t see her­self trav­el­ling too far from work­ing with chil­dren.

She said: “I would like to stay in the loop with ed­u­ca­tion, maybe do some vol­un­teer­ing in my com­mu­nity. I also can’t wait to spend more time with my four grand­chil­dren.

“I love be­ing out­doors too, and hope to get bet­ter at golf.”

Deputy head teacher Leah Robin­son said: “She has built a pos­i­tive ethos in the school by mod­el­ling strong re­la­tion­ships, know­ing the staff and chil­dren as in­di­vid­u­als.

“She’s a nur­tur­ing per­son. “She is in­cred­i­bly busy, but al­ways makes peo­ple feel like she has time to lis­ten to them, sup­port­ing and giv­ing valu­able ad­vice.”

Un­eX­peCTed: The pupils at El­rick cre­ated po­ems and art­work to present to Mrs Mal­colm.

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