A POPULAR headteacher at one of Basingstoke’s largest junior schools has left a lasting legacy as he looks forward to a new chapter in his life.
Ian Burrows, who has been head at Hatch Warren Junior School since 2001, retired at the end of the latest term on December 21.
He said he would miss working at the school, in Gershwin Road, adding: “The children, the staff and the parents are fantastic.”
The 59-year-old, who has been a teacher since 1976, plans to spend time volunteering, potentially with disabled cricketers at Hampshire County Cricket Club’s Rose Bowl headquarters, near Southampton, and also aims to take up golf.
Mr Burrows, from Chandler’s Ford, has left the school something special to remember him by – a mosaic which all of the children and many of the staff helped to create.
He said: “I wanted to give everyone a leaving present which meant something, rather than just buying a gift.”
He said the mosaic was created after all the children put forward their ideas around the themes of ‘hopes for the future’ and the 2012 Olympics.
These ideas were taken on board by an artist who created a design for the mosaic, which hangs in the entrance hall, and all of the children and some of the staff were involved in actually realising the design.
Mr Burrows said: “I’ve really enjoyed working here. The strongest memories I will take away will be the little moments – when a child has been struggling with something for a while and you see them finally get something, or if you know you’ve been able to help a child who has been having a difficult time at home.”
Current deputy headteacher Andy Finklaire will be acting head for two terms before governors appoint a permanent replacement.
Mr Burrows celebrated his retirement with a tea party at Dummer Golf Club which was attended by colleagues from all of the different schools he has taught in since the 1970s – including the teacher who was his mentor when he was a student.