ASSISTANT head Ruth Southall, pictured with pupils, retired after 21 years at Crosshall Infants in St Neots saying that teaching small children had gone full-circle since she started in 1973. Teaching is very cyclical and particularly the teaching of ver
ASSISTANT head Ruth Southall, pictured with pupils, retired after 21 years at Crosshall Infants in St Neots saying that teaching small children had gone full-circle since she started in 1973.
"Teaching is very cyclical and particularly the teaching of very young children. When I started, the emphasis was on early development in a wide sense, then the National Curriculum was introduced and numeracy and literacy instruction were made more formal and other things that are really important were put on one side.
"Now the teaching of the whole child has come back again."
She added: "This school has always had very high standards and we have been able to maintain them throughout the changes."
Mrs Southall, who has been assistant head at Crosshall Infants for four years, says she and her husband, Bob, an engineer, both in their 50s, are taking "a gap year" to go round the world.
"Our sons travelled and we decided we wanted to. We want that time we didn't get as students. We are planning to go to the United States, China, New Zealand and all round the Continent. We will go away for a few weeks at a time and come back to see how things are."
Mrs Southall said she hoped to return to teaching as a supply teacher and would keep in touch with Crosshall.
"It's a really happy school. I have worked under three heads. They all brought a different ethos to the school and they were all excellent to work for. This has been a difficult decision but we decided that we wanted some time for us."
Picture: GEOFF DURRANT