Driffield News

Kilham Primary School teacher says her goodbyes after 20 years of teaching

‘I couldn’t think of anywhere better to be’ was the reaction of former Kilham CE Primary School teacher Elaine Dean who retired from her role last month after 20 years.

Elaine, founder of Wolds Gymnastics Club in Driffield, has been a Key Stage 2 teacher at the school since 2003 after two years working as a supply teacher.

After being part-time since 2019, she was given an emotional week-long send off by staff, pupils and all associated with the school.

“To see the children grow is lovely and some have even become adults and enrolled their children at Kilham Primary too.”

Elaine Dean

During her time at Kilham, Elaine was the sports lead, taking teams from all sports to various competitions both locally and nationally.

In 2019, the school’s hockey team reached the North Finals of the England Hockey Under 11 Schools In2Hockey Championships, whilst in 2016, the boys football team reached the National Football Championship Under 11 final.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Kilham Primary School,” Elaine told the Wolds Weekly.

“I couldn’t think of anywhere better to be.

“Kilham has a really good family atmosphere and we use the hashtag #teamkilham.

“The staff are a team, the pupils are a team, as are the parents too.

“I’ve had some great times there, particularly as the sports lead, taking children all over the country to all sorts of events.

“To see the children grow is lovely and some have even become adults and enrolled their children at Kilham Primary too.”

Elaine was reduced to tears on 18th July when pupils sang Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now in assembly, a personal favourite of hers and former teaching assistant and friend from Kilham Primary School, Kate Nellar, who passed away in January 2021 after a battle with cancer.

Wednesday saw an afternoon tea hosted with previous headteachers Elaine worked under, as well as current and former staff.

Her final day, 22nd July, saw her presented with a piece of glass art from parents and governors, as well as a voucher for an art course.

She also received a Leonardo Da Vinci rose, two pairs of walking trousers, a leavers’ hoodie, hat and a driving experience, whilst a plaque was erected in the den area of the school field, christening it ‘Dean’s Den Building Area’.

“The final week was lovely, if a bit emotional at times,” Elaine said.

“In the Monday assembly, the children presented me with cards from each class and also sang Don’t Stop Me Now for me.

“I love Queen, as did Kate Nellar and we always said we’d retire together, but sadly we never got the chance.

“It was a very poignant moment for me and I was also presented with my own leavers’ hoodie, similar to how the Year 6 pupils are, but mine included Kate’s name too.

“The afternoon tea was lovely, as was the pie, chips and peas I enjoyed with staff at The Old Star after my last day.

“I had no idea about the gifts or the plaque and they were lovely gestures, especially the art, something I have always had an interest in.

“A mural I created on the wall in the school is a legacy I have left and is an art project which is going to be carried on.

“The driving experience at Elvington is something I am looking forward to as well.

“I’d love to have a go in a Lamborghini as it was founded the year I was born.

“On the Friday, in our Year 6 leavers’ assembly, the pupils traditionally leave a gift for the school and this year they got a circular metal bench, so I bought a tree to be planted in the centre of it.

“I cannot describe how grateful I am for the many gifts and good wishes from parents, staff and children at Kilham Primary School.

“Everyone has been extremely generous.”

Elaine, who will work half-a-day a week from September as Kilham School’s SENCO, has worked in education since 1986 when she completed a PGCE, a year after earning a sports science degree.

Before Kilham, she taught PE at Bridlington School and Pindar School, set up Wolds Gymnastics Club in 1995 and re-trained for primary teaching.

Elaine said she currently hasn’t pencilled in any plans for retirement, adding: “I will be spending some time looking after my grandchildren.

“My son Will, is soon competing in the 2022 Europe Triathlon Championships in Munich, so we will go out there to watch him, as well as when he travels to Bilbao in September for the 2022 European Aquathlon Championships.

“Other than that, I’m not sure what I am going to do.

“My husband Steve and I will go on more walking holidays and I’d like to spend more time doing art as well.”

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