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Farewell message from Cathy

To all the lovely parents and children of Grange Park Primary School! 

It is with fondness and a full heart that I bring you the news that I will be leaving London at the end of this half term. I am relocating with my husband to Dorset to be nearer to my large and lovely family, to spend more time with them and to go back to my seaside roots! 

I have had such an amazing time at Grange Park, having arrived as Assistant head teacher in 2009 - so much has changed since then; I have seen and been a part of this school growing and developing to become the school that I love today. An enormous part of this incredible privilege has been work with students and parents, as well as of course with the amazing GP workforce, every single one of whom works tirelessly to give the children the best education possible to ensure they grow up into a world that they can contribute to, being the best they can possibly be. Thanks to you, parents, whether I have had one conversation with you, several, spoken with you every day, or only ever replied to an email or smiled at you in the playground – you have helped to make my time here so special. 

I have had so many great experiences at Grange Park, too numerous to encapsulate here – I remember with fondness the nativities I played piano for and directed, the Young Voices concerts I attended to at the O2 (never forget teaching all the kids the dances!), Reading (shouting) ‘Mr Noisy’ and dressing up on World Book Day, putting together the Grange Park Movie for parents and children, writing and performing the AOK rap with Debbie and Colin, pretending to be a tortoise, running School Council, then School Parliament, and each and every conversation with children and parents over the years, of which there have thankfully been many! 

Never have I worked in a school where parents are so supportive and so committed to the education and wellbeing of their children and I have built relationships with so many of you that have blessed me, whether it’s been talking about running marathons and sharing running training tips, or working together to sort out issues or barriers and finding solutions together, I would like to thank all of the parents from the bottom of my heart for always being so friendly and solution focused, hands-on and communicative in your exchanges with me. I’m going to miss you all so much! 

And as for the children, well I will take with me to Dorset so many special memories of children making me smile, creating displays with me, joining in circle time, playing the ‘What’s Wrong With the Chair’ game at the end of the day, astonishing me at times with their insight, emotional intelligence, integrity and joy for life – a joy they perpetuate within Grange Park, and will undoubtedly go on to share with the world, helping to make it a better place! 

I’m only sad that we cannot all really say goodbye properly, as most of us aren’t even in school at the moment for very much of the time. I hope and pray that the difficult times we have all experienced of late ease soon and that good health abounds in the future.

I hope you all enjoy my parting gift, the Grange Park Lockdown Rainbow, which I had the privilege of putting together with the other family leads of the time. It is made entirely out of found objects, including those sourced by other staff and was skilfully framed with recycled wood by my stepfather, down in Dorset! I enjoyed doing this so much; the process was a great way for me to remember and pay tribute to many of the special memories I have had inside and outside of Grange Park – such a fitting way to end my time here. It will be up on show as soon as it’s safe to do so! Bless you all! It’s been amazing. 

Take care out there. 

Cathy x