School’s out for the final time for teachers

Brighouse High School retiring teadcher Martin Wolfenden.
Brighouse High School retiring teadcher Martin Wolfenden.
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A group of teachers who have been imparting their knowledge to pupils for a total of 120 years are bidding farewell to Brighouse High school.

The trio of Bev Barstow, Sue Thompson and Martin Wolfenden will sign out of the classroom for the final time as they head off into retirement.

Mrs Barstow started her career at Tong Comprehensive school before joining the PE department in the final year before the Brighouse school became a comprehensive.

On her time at the school she said: “This is a very good school to work in otherwise we wouldn’t have been here for so long. It’s the kids we will miss the most and the other staff members.”

Mrs Thompson began teaching in the east end of London before moving to Calderdale and started at the Finkil Street school 30 years ago.

“There is a very supportive staff management team where you are given the freedom to have individuality and teach things in your own way,” she said.

She will still be involved with the school becoming a governor and being involved with school trips.

Mr Wolfenden has worked at the Finkil Street school for 20 years as the special educational needs coordinator.

He began his career at Sowerby Bridge Grammar School before working in PE departments at other schools throughout Calderdale.

He said: “The special needs team has just grown and grown. When I came here there were three members of support staff. Now there are 61 members.

“I have been heading this ship for a long time but now is the right time to step off.

“It’s the humour of the kids I am going to miss the most.”

Mr Wolfenden will now spend some more quality time with his family and grandchildren in his retirement.

Before his departure and to ensure a smooth transition he has been working alongside the SEN team and James Summers who will be stepping into the leadership role.

Mr Summers has been head of PE at Brighouse High School for eight years and has undertaken the Postgraduate Certificate in Special Education Needs Co-ordination.