North Walsham High School heads out on sponsored walk - and says ‘happy retirement’ to two long-serving teachers

North Walsham High School sponsored walk. Left to right, Molly Tilden, Charlotte Oakley, Jessica Bra

North Walsham High School sponsored walk. Left to right, Molly Tilden, Charlotte Oakley, Jessica Bradley, Megan Briggs, Declan Stallan, Jake Russell.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

School was out early for hundreds of North Walsham High pupils who left their classrooms for the day and enjoyed an 11-mile ramble in beautiful sunshine.

North Walsham High School headteacher Caroline Brooker (centre) with long-serving staff members Chri

North Walsham High School headteacher Caroline Brooker (centre) with long-serving staff members Chris Tooth and Anne Harper who are both retiring. Picture: SUBMITTED - Credit: Archant

This year's annual sponsored school 'walk' saw nearly 400 students take park - including 11 who ran the route with three members of staff.

Proceeds, which currently stand at just under £2,000, will be split between the school's five houses, and students will decide which charity they would like their house to support. The rest will be used to buy something for pupils.

Students headed along the Paston Way at Swafield, through Knapton, Edingthorpe and past Witton Hall, to Bacton Wood where they enjoyed a picnic lunch before returning to school via Spa Common.

Walkers included Connor Payne, 14, a lance bombadier with North Walsham Army Cadet Force, who wore his full army camouflage uniform, including beret and drill boots, despite the heat. He was donating his sponsorship to Help for Heroes.


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And teacher Simon Weal, who devotes much of his spare time to litter-picking, had his own willing army of volunteers to help him bag litter along the route.

Among other staff accompanying the walkers were Chris Tooth and Anne Harper, who are both retiring after a combined 71 years of teaching, 58 of which have been at North Walsham High.

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Ipswich-born Mr Tooth, 59, joined the school as head of history in 1987, became assistant and then deputy headteacher and was acting head from 2012-2013 while headteacher Caroline Brooker was being treated for cancer.

During his time, he spent a year at UEA training history teachers and ran more than 20 school trips to the First World War battlefields.

He is looking forward to more time with his first grandchild, travel, improving his guitar technique and supporting Ipswich Town FC - something which he said had caused him much ribbing over the years among the school's Norwich City FC fans.

Anne Harper, 56, followed her father Basil Moore, a former county PE teacher, into PE teaching, joining North Walsham High as girls' PE teacher in 1984. She is currently assistant key stage leader.

Mrs Harper has overseen pupils achieve success in events including the English Girls' Squash Championships.

She is chairman of the Norfolk Netball Association, a sport she still plays and umpires. She also hopes to spend more time with her grandchildren.

Mrs Brooker thanked both teachers, who had helped more than one generation of pupils. She added: 'They have shown incredible loyalty to the school and have always had the welfare and wellbeing of students at the forefront of their minds.'

? Do you have a retirement story? Contact alex.hurrell@archant.co.uk

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