A fond farewell for long-standing headteacher

Head teacher Marika Mears is retiring from St Martin's Primary School, Shouldham. Also pictured are

Head teacher Marika Mears is retiring from St Martin's Primary School, Shouldham. Also pictured are Magnus Thomas (9) and Bronagh McAnulty. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

The Bishop of Ely was among the special guests who paid tribute to Marika Mears, who is retiring after 15 years at the primary school in Shouldham, near King's Lynn.

Mrs Mears has been the head of St Martin at Shouldham Church of England Primary Academy, near King's Lynn, since it first opened in September 2000.

To wish her a fond farewell, a special Thanksgiving service was held where pupils sang, staff delivered readings and prayers were said.

The Bishop of Ely, The Rt Rev Stephen Conway, also attended and is the Church of England's lead bishop for education in the House of Lords.

He said: 'Mrs Mears has provided long-term leadership at this school as it has gone through various elements of expansion.

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'She has created an environment where the ethos and quality of teaching and education is wonderful.

'Parents from all around want to send their children here because the standards are so high.'

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Mrs Mears came to Norfolk from an inner city school in Moss Side, in Manchester.

She said: 'When I first arrived, it was so strikingly different to what I was used to. But children are children, and every child deserves the best start in life.

'It takes a team to build a lovely school; it's important to support staff appropriately, work with parents and also involve the wider community – and Shouldham does have a wonderful village community.'

Colin Manning, the mayor of West Norfolk, added: 'I can tell Mrs Mears is going to be missed. I wish her all the best for her retirement.'

How is your school celebrating the end of term? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk

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