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Goodbye to Mrs Fuller and wishing her a happy retirement

Just wanted to say a big thank you to the Oakfield family on my retirement.

I’ve been in teaching for 40 years and it doesn’t seem like yesterday when I started at St Anne’s RC Primary, Whitechapel, London in 1982.

Teaching has changed so much since those days. When I began you could teach what you wanted, when you wanted with nobody breathing down your neck! I loved the freedom to teach the things I enjoyed! (The problem with this system was the odd lazy teacher could get away with doing very little!)

I’ve seen the National curriculum introduced with its 12 folders. They all ended up in a skip!

Then the Literacy and Numeracy hours came and went.

‘Baker days’ when we lost a week of our holidays.

‘Directed Hours’ because they couldn’t trust us to work hard.

SATs. Gosh I remember those arriving and the fear they induced!! Sadly those are still with us! (I live in hope)

I got involved with SEND at St. Joseph’s South Woodham Ferrers in the early 90’s. In those days there was very little structure, but I’ve seen it develop in Essex and was lucky to have access to the free training and all the fabulous time in the 2000’s when Essex pioneered SEND support with massive innovations. Great times! Sadly, all being slowly eroded away at present.

I’ve been privileged to be Senco/Inclusion Manager at Oakfield for 14 years. I’ve worked with many wonderful children over the years and been delighted to see them progress and go off to Secondary school with confidence and pride in themselves. I remember every single one and am always glad to hear news of them.

I’ve been lucky to meet such wonderful parents who have fought tooth and nail to get the best for their child and I’m proud to have been able to support then to do this.

And I’ve worked with amazing staff. Teachers who want the best for the children and support staff who work tirelessly to support them. Thank you to all of you.

I must just mention my 1:1 ladies, some of whom have been ‘recycled’ several times and do a marvellous job. I’ve seen them tolerate the most difficult of situations and they always have a smile! They actually really care for and love the children they look after despite many difficult challenges. You are AMAZING. Never forget that!

An unforgettable highlight: Lynn Bailey chasing a child round the playground, pretending to be a mummy, wrapped in yards of toilet paper, as a reward for the child finishing his work.

I am so grateful to you for making Oakfield such a wonderful school for SEND children. Never give up and keep up the excellent work.

Love to everyone

Alison Fuller.