Infants says goodbye in song

TEACHING assistant Janet Spence, pictured, retired from Ramsey Spinning Infants School on Friday with each class singing her a special goodbye song. Her colleagues also presented her with a book of photographs and poems capturing all the things she had do

TEACHING assistant Janet Spence, pictured, retired from Ramsey Spinning Infants School on Friday with each class singing her a special goodbye song.

Her colleagues also presented her with a book of photographs and poems capturing all the things she had done for the school.

Mrs Spence who had been at the school for 23 years, said: "I didn't know I had done so much until I saw the album at the farewell meal."

Mrs Spence began at the school as a mum helping out in the classroom and in 1983 was asked if she would help a particular child with special needs. She went on to become a teaching assistant giving extra help to her "reading friends", children who she says "just need an extra push to get them going".

Headteacher, Diana Cooling, said: "Janet does so much, I don't think we are going to know all the things she does until we come back in September and find they aren't done. Reading is her speciality and she has helped a whole generation of children - she is now teaching the children of former pupils and she remembers them all."

Mrs Spence, who moved to Ramsey from Wimbledon 30 years ago, was given a surprise presentation of garden furniture and garden vouchers on the last afternoon of term.

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She said: "I think it was supposed to be a surprise but the children kept telling me 'We're singing a special song for you.'"

Mrs Spence, who has had only one day off work in 23 years, said: "Working with the children has been lovely. They are always so cheerful. You might tell a child off in the playground but a few minutes later they come back to you full of everything. They never bear a grudge, they want to tell you what they are doing and they get so excited over everything."

Picture HELEN DRAKE 3252.