In the last week of term the hall at Sherston School was packed with parents, friends, staff and governors for an assembly to celebrate Nick Bowditch’s twenty-four years as head teacher. It was a moving hour of singing, poetry, reflection and prayers, led by the children.
Each class thanked Mr Bowditch. Oak, Ash and Birch classes spelt out his name, giving each letter an appropriate significance.
Give us an “M” – Marvellous Musician
Give us an “R” – Recorder Player
Give us an “B” – Bird Lover
Give us an “O” – Outstanding Teacher
Give us an “W” – Wildlife Warrior
Give us an “D” – Dragonfly Watcher
Give us an “I” – Inspiring Leader
Give us an “T” – Train Spotter
Give us an “C” – Cracking Pianist
Give us an “H” – Hooray for Mr Bowditch!
Chestnut sang a beautiful rendition of “See the Birds”, Beech Class sang an African song “Senwa Dedende”, and wore bobble hats to read a poem. Bobble hats and red jumpers were a recurring theme as Nick’s favourite items of winter clothing! Debby Liddle, who was Deputy Head for twenty-one years out of Nick’s twenty-four, was given a warm welcome and gave Nick a new woolly hat for a future trip to Antarctica! Those who know Debby will remember that she has her own extensive hat collection!
There were some clever limericks and a class poem from Sycamore. Willow did a touching version of “My Favourite Things”. Staff took to the stage for an entertaining rendition of “Who put the bird seed in the feeder” to the tune of “Who put the colours in the rainbow”. The KS2 choir sang beautifully, finishing the assembly with a song from the musical ‘Joseph’, which was apt as Nick Bowditch performed it when he was at school in 1975!
Ms Willoughby (deputy head) pointed out that Mr Bowditch must have touched the hearts of thousands of pupils and their families and signed three and a half thousand end of year reports! She said he made our school the warm, friendly, motivating and sought after place it is today.
Many people from the village came to say their personal goodbyes to Nick, write in a book, and admire a cake – a train with many carriages – made by staff and parents.
School governor Steve Harvey said: "I would like to thank Nick for all of his hard work over so many years to ensure Sherston has been a successful school but also a very happy one. His dedication to the School is unprecedented and his ability to relate to all the children has been a real strength. The Governing body wish him well in his retirement and any planned future ventures.
John Pettit, whose four children went to Sherston School, said ‘It was always very welcoming and friendly, they were happy here. Even when the school moved to its current site, the culture stayed the same, it felt the same. Nick had a very relaxed presence, he knew all the kids, I’m not sure many heads could say that.’ His daughter Millie said ‘I can’t imagine the school without him now’.
Nick will spend the early months of his retirement travelling and singing in Jersey. His message to the young pupils he leaves behind; ‘Go and live your dreams and travel the world’.