Monday, July 24, 2006

Mrs Nicholls retires from Wray School

Many tears were shed on the night of Wray School’s Annual Prize Giving, and Mrs. Nicholls’s Retirement ‘Do’, as it sunk in for many that Mrs Nicholls really was leaving Wray School.

The evening was held in the garden of the George & Dragon Pub, and began with a collection of musical talent, with flute and recorder players performing their well rehearsed pieces to an audience of more than one hundred past and present pupils, teacher and parents.

Natasha Halsey began with ‘Speed Bonny Boat’, followed by Tamsin Seed with ‘Oh Soldier Soldier’, both played on flute.

The audience were then treated to a rendition of the following songs by Wray School Recorder Group (Mary P., Megan D., Megan T., Anna W., Tara G and Amy H) who played three songs: ‘Land of the Silver Birch’, ‘Woofenbackers Boogie’, and ‘Cascudura Beguine’.

The music really boosted the evening, and got everyone in the mood for the anticipation of Prize Giving.

Prizes were awarded to Years One, Two, Three, Four and Five, followed by the Special Awards; the Handwriting Trophy was awarded to Edward Price and Tara Gurjal; the Sportsmanship Trophy was awarded to Ben Wallbank and Lois Reece; and the Football Trophy was awarded to Simon Dwight.

These Awards were not for one particular achievement, but instead being for what each pupil had achieved throughout their whole school lives.

After these Awards were presented, the Year Six Awards were finally given out, starting in alphabetical order from ‘W’!

Mrs Nicholls said some lovely comments on how all the pupils had changed over the years. The pupils looked shocked by Mrs. Nicholls’s stories, as Mrs Nicholls reminisced and remembered each pupil from so long ago.

Mrs. McFadden then led the pupils into song – and actions! – for ‘La Cocharacha’ and ‘Island in the Sun’., there was a Caribbean thread woven through these songs, and whilst it was obvious Mrs. McFadden and the pupils of Wray School had worked very hard to ensure the songs and actions were perfect, this was a perfect ending for the evening’s first interval where parents, teachers and pupils were able to grab refreshments and have a chat.

Part two of the evening’s Retirement ‘Do’ kicked off with a moving speech given by Brenda Mickle – Chair of Governors. It was obvious how much Mrs. Nicholls would be missed, and how much she is a highly valued and special friend, not just as one of the many unique Head Teachers Wray Endowed has ever experienced. Brenda also had some very nice words to say about the School’s current P.T.A. and pupils.

This speech was followed by a flute duet, performed by Natasha Halsey and Tamsin Seed, playing ‘Bertie’s Blues’ for the final time, stayed on stage and were joined by their fellow Year Six students who recited their speeches about Mrs. Nicholls aloud. Some heartfelt things mentioned, Mrs. Nicholls still did not shed a tear!

When all were seated once again, child representatives of the P.T.A. (Robs Whiteley and Natasha Halsey) presented Mrs. Nicholls with an array of gifts, including books and a watch (waterproof!), to name but a few. Teachers, friends, parents and pupils (past and present), all raised their glasses in a toast to Mrs. Nicholls in honour of all her hard work.

It was then that the children got on stage, and seized their chance to shine for the last time. Firstly, they sang S. Club’s ‘Reach for the Stars’, with soloists Megan Taylor, Lois Preece, Lizzie Robinson, Tamsin Seed, Natasha Halsey, Mary Perrins and Steph Allison. The children then moved on to sing ‘Wherever You Go’, by which time Mrs. Nicholls had seated herself before the stage. Soloists this time were Lois Preece, Natasha Halsey, Tamsin Seed and Lizzie Robinson. Written and composed by one of the School’s Music Teachers, with Sue McFadden, Singing Tutor of Wray School, leading pupils in song once more. When the song was over, the group had succeeded in making Mrs. Nicholls shed several tears., parents and pupils also found themselves crying!

The Supper was ready., everyone made sure to grab a plate of the delicious snacks on offer, provided by the parents and guests of Wray School’s pupils, and laid out beautifully by Mr. & Mrs. Taplin and staff of George & Dragon Pub.

The music then began to play, and the drinks continued to flow, as everyone enjoyed having a dance on the stage to Musical Entertainer Dave Carling. Mrs. Nicholls et al looked to be really getting into the swing of things and enjoying themselves together, as the closeness of the School and community as a whole was apparent.

It appeared all were having a good time, and when the fireworks were set off shortly after ten o’clock (by which time I had had to leave!), everyone had enjoyed a fantastic night.

We will all miss Mrs. Nicholls, and she will be long remembered for the great influence she has had on Wray School, her colleagues, pupils (past and present), and the community as a whole.

Missed – but never forgotten.

We wish you, Mrs. Nicholls, luck in all your future quests, and your year long round the world trip.

Reported by: Tamsin Alix Seed, aged 11.

Comments welcomed:
"Everything was delightful; it was quite emotional. I will miss Mrs. Nicholls very much." (Lizzie Robinson)

"A heartwarming and moving evening; I felt very welcome." (Bjorg - Jolene's mum)

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