APS News No.25

www.abingdon.org.uk/prep 17 Goodbye and Thank you The end of term sees us sending our best wishes to the lovely members of staff who are leaving us. We thank them, and wish them all the very best. Keep in touch! Clare Dicks - School Office and Accounts Assistant Clare Dicks has been a member of staff at Josca’s and then Abingdon Prep for 18 years. Since she started here in 2002, Clare has worked in a variety of roles in the school office, but is perhaps best known for sorting the accounts for everything from school trips, book and stationery orders to bills! So many people have written or spoken about her good humour, warm presence and kindness, as well as her efficiency and expertise in her role. She has always been welcoming, ready to listen, and never less than thorough in helping staff or boys to sort out any problems. Clare leaves us to devote more time to her family and travel and we wish her all the best in her future, at home and on her trips abroad. Jo Allen – IT Coordinator The idiom ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’ needs to be re-written for Jo Allen who has proved herself to be master of very many trades during her six years at APS. As IT Coordinator she has supported staff and pupils in all areas of technology both in school and more recently during online learning. From sorting out Other Half sign ups, setting up reports and parents’ evenings, supporting boys in lessons, leading her coding clubs and helping to run the School’s database, Jo has been at the heart of our IT. However, prep schools are all about being involved in areas beyond your own role and Jo has embraced this to the full, going on Bushcraft trips, undertaking the all-important tasting in our annual Bake-Off, serving milkshakes and looking after boys who feel unwell. Jo has done all of this with good humour, a keen sense of calm, and kindness. These are the skills that will serve her so well as she embarks on her training to be a midwife. Whilst I cannot think of a better response than that given by one of my colleagues when they found out Jo was leaving: ‘Nooooooooooooooooooo’, we know that she will be outstanding in her new career and that so many young lives will be enhanced by seeing her welcome them into the world. Thank you, Jo, for your gargantuan contributions over the past six years. You will be greatly missed. Penelope Codner - School Nurse Penelope joined Abingdon Prep in April 2016 as our school nurse and after four wonderful years, she has decided to retire (for the second time in her career!). If any of you were lucky enough to get to see her in action, you could not have failed to notice her boundless enthusiasm and amazing ability to understand children and offer them the right care. Some of the boys liked visiting Penelope so much for a chat that we did sometimes wonder just how bad their ailment was, but they always returned from her care much happier and able to get back into their work. Penelope has played a vital role in caring for all the children at APS and she will be sorely missed by all of us. We wish her all the very best with her retirement and hope that she will stay in touch. Henry Muller - Gap Student Henry has only been with us a year, but I am sure pupils and staff would all agree that he has certainly made an impact. By the end of his first day, I knew Henry was going to be an excellent gap student. How? Henry had offered to make every one he came into contact with a cup of tea, by the end of the first week he knew the orders by heart. He was going to do well! Since then, Henry has thrown himself into every situation with confidence and enthusiasm and he has been willing to complete any task sent his way with a smile. His positive attitude is infectious and his boundless energy was certainly well received in reception PE lessons this year. He has played a pivotal role in the sports department, supervising on the sports field, encouraging the boys, providing first aid and being the best cheerleader APS could ask for! This year Henry could often be found in the CDT department supporting pupils of all ages and patiently teaching them new skills. He was also an excellent help with the Junior Section production of Hoodwinked and the Senior Drama Club. Although it had not exactly been the year Henry had planned, he has taken everything in his stride. He has inspired the boys and staff with his positive outlook on life and we will certainly miss his cheerful disposition. On behalf of everyone at APS, I wish Henry the best of luck at Royal Holloway in September. We will all be watching out for you on the stage or screen in the future! Anna Whitham - Year 3 Form Teacher and Head of Phonics Anna joined the APS community in September 2015 as Anna Fitzmaurice, soon to become Mrs Whitham when she married Pete later that year. She was a breath of fresh air with her cheerful disposition, kindness and contagious enthusiasm. Anna began her time as a Year 1 class teacher. With her understanding of up-to-date teaching methodology, excellent knowledge of subject matter and her natural ability to engage and interact with young children, she proved to be an outstanding addition to the Pre-Prep Section, soon taking on the additional roles of Head of Phonics and After School Club and Gap Student Coordinator. In 2019, when a position became available in the Junior School, Anna made the transition to Year 3 and took on the additional challenge of working towards an MA in Education at Oxford University. In just a short amount of time, Anna made a true difference to the boys in her charge and the colleagues that she worked with. She is a genuine team player. Anna is resourceful and adventurous. She had a whole breadth of additional skills that she brought to our school, coming up with good ideas and often creating something from nothing. She would always have the most flamboyant of costumes on our school theme days, a favourite being Mary Poppins! She is a very confident swimming teacher and coach for all ages on the games field. Anna embraced the ability to offer numerous extra-curricular activities and organised a variety of new trips including to Hill End and the Railway Museum. Anna and Pete are moving to their lovely cottage in Yorkshire and Anna has accepted a position at Queen Mary’s School, Thirsk. This is most definitely their gain and our loss.