PUPILS and teachers said an emotional farewell to a successful Portchester headteacher who has retired after more than 14 years of service.
Dorothy Fane was showered with tributes and gifts on her last day at Northern Junior Community School.
It was an emotional day for the mum-of-two, who held the conviction that school was not just about academic excellence, but creating well-rounded individuals with the tools to succeed in later life.
She helped the school achieve its Ofsted rating of good with outstanding features.
She was also the driving force behind a major development of the award-winning school grounds which provide children with an outdoor space to learn, garden and grow vegetables.
Mrs Fane said: ‘This school has gone from strength to strength. Over the years we’ve built up a real sense of community as well as working on teaching and learning.
‘My priority has always been making children rounded individuals, and ensuring they go out into the world and make the most of their lives.’
She added: ‘I will miss the children very much – they are my reason for being in the school. But it is a good time to move on. The school is in a very strong position.’
Mrs Fane was surprised with a special assembly, during which pupils read out favourite memories of her before enjoying a tea party with the adults.
She was given two presents – a teddy bear in uniform and a painting of the view of the sea from her office window.
And by good luck, her final day coincided with Northern Junior’s official accreditation as a Rights Respecting School – which recognises its commitment to children’s rights and strong relationships between pupils and adults.
Mrs Fane said: ‘The day was wonderful, it was pitched just right.
‘The things the children said in assembly were so thoughtful and I am grateful to everyone who has made my leaving so special.
George Green, seven, said ‘Mrs Fane is a fantastic headteacher because she encourages us and that helps us to do better work.
‘The whole school will miss Mrs Fane and I would like to say to her – thank you for everything you have done.’
Deputy head David Tatnall will lead the school until a new head is appointed next year.