End of an era as senior teaching assistant retires

Janet Fogerty with children at Morpeth First School's nursery. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Janet Fogerty with children at Morpeth First School's nursery. Picture by Jane Coltman.

Pupils and staff at Morpeth First School gave a much-loved early years assistant a fond farewell.

A retirement buffet for Janet Fogerty took place before the end of term. A number of former staff and ex-pupils and members of the Parents’ Committee came along to acknowledge and celebrate her many teaching gifts.

She has been a valuable member of the Early Years Team at the Goosehill school for 19 years.

Initially, she moved from the Sunshine Playgroup to set up and manage the very successful Goslings Pre-school. She worked closely with the Parents’ Committee to offer excellent provision and supportive relationships.

When the Morpeth First School pre-reception opened, Mrs Fogerty became an important part of the team and she was appointed senior teaching assistant when the school nursery was later opened.

Headteacher Elaine Reay said: “Janet is loved by the children and parents alike.

“She is wonderful at encouraging very young children to take their first steps in school with confidence – supporting their emotional development fully.

“Hundreds of parents have been grateful to Janet over many years for her wealth of knowledge about child development. She has nurtured so many young children and reassured lots of parents.

“‘Janet will be a great miss at Goosehill. It is the end of an era.

“She has been the anchor of our nursery provision for years, with her empathetic understanding and reassuring manner. She worked so hard to set up excellent provision in this area.

“Both the children and parents adore her and she will, indeed, be a great act to follow.

“Janet always goes that extra mile and it has been lovely to receive so many good wishes and testimonials.

“We wish her all the best in her well-deserved retirement.”

Mrs Fogerty thanked all those who have given her good wishes and testimonials and said it was a real privilege to work with “such wonderful parents, children and staff in a lovely area and school”.

She added: “I will miss the interaction with small children and it has been a pleasure to help them onto the first rung of the ladder on their school journey.”