Headteacher given a fond farewell by pupils at Hempnall, Hardwick and Shelton schools

Miriam Elston is retiring as head of the primary schools for Hempnall and Shelton with Hardwick scho

Miriam Elston is retiring as head of the primary schools for Hempnall and Shelton with Hardwick schools - Credit: Archant

A headteacher with 35 years of the experience in Norfolk classrooms is set to retire.

Miriam Elston is retiring as head of the primary schools for Hempnall and Shelton with Hardwick scho

Miriam Elston is retiring as head of the primary schools for Hempnall and Shelton with Hardwick schools - Credit: Archant

Miriam Elston will step down as the headteacher of the south Norfolk federated schools of Hempnall Primary School and Shelton with Hardwick School at the end of August.

Mrs Elston, 60, started teaching in Norfolk in 1981 and became headteacher at Hempnall in 1996 and then took over at her other school in 2009.

Between them the schools have 132 pupils and they all gathered with teaching staff to pay a surprise farewell to Mrs Elston.

After holding a picnic they all presented written messages and drawings of the departing headteacher to Mrs Elston, who was also given a £500 voucher she will spend on a painting and handed a sheep-themed chair as she is fond of the animals.


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Mrs Elston, who lives in Great Moulton with her husband Peter, said: 'It was an absolutely fantastic surprise and it was wonderful.

'I have really enjoyed my time at both schools and of course I will miss the children, but I won't miss the paperwork.

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'There is a real family atmosphere at the schools and older pupils help the younger ones.

'Our philosophy is every child here is special.'

Mrs Elston trained in teaching at the Coventry College of Education, where she met her future husband.

Her first teaching job was in 1977 at Newham Colgrave Infant School in London.

The couple moved to Norfolk in 1981 after they used to visit it see friends.

Mrs Elston has taught at Manor Field First school, Tibenham Primary School and Saxlingham Primary School and did a secondment at Lakenham First School. She became deputy headteacher at Hempnall Primary School in 1992.

For her retirement plans Mrs Elston said her 'big intention was to my garden' and also to visit family in the Lake District and Canada.

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