Not a dry eye in the house as pupils bid farewell to popular Honiton teaching assistant

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:03 25 April 2018

Teaching Assistant Jean Young of Honiton Primary School retires. Ref mhh 13 18TI 0366. Picture: Terry Ife

Teaching Assistant Jean Young of Honiton Primary School retires. Ref mhh 13 18TI 0366. Picture: Terry Ife

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A fond farewell has been bid to a popular teaching assistant who worked at Honiton Primary School for nearly 30 years.

Teaching Assistant Jean Young of Honiton Primary School retires. Ref mhh 13 18TI 0359. Picture: Terry Ife Teaching Assistant Jean Young of Honiton Primary School retires. Ref mhh 13 18TI 0359. Picture: Terry Ife

Retiring Jean Young was honoured at a special assembly held at the school, where her work was celebrated by teachers and pupils.

Mrs Young joined Honiton Primary School in 1989 when her daughter started in the nursery.

She then worked as a dinner lady, before becoming a teaching assistant in Year Two.

At the time, the school had a deaf unit, where Mrs Young worked for several years, supporting children from the foundation unit to Year Six.

Teaching Assistant Jean Young of Honiton Primary School retires. Ref mhh 13 18TI 0356. Picture: Terry Ife Teaching Assistant Jean Young of Honiton Primary School retires. Ref mhh 13 18TI 0356. Picture: Terry Ife

While working there, she also learnt British Sign Language.

At her special assembly, Joanna Rousseau, co-headteacher at Honiton Primary School, said: “Mrs Young has been here for such a long time that inside of her, to take away with her and think about forever, she has many memories of her time at Honiton Primary School.

“Some of the special memories she has, that she will carry away with her, are from the school trips she went on.

“She had many happy trips to Exmouth beach, always being buried in the sand and having to be a human scarecrow, scaring away the pesky seagulls so the children could have their lunch.”

Teaching Assistant Jean Young of Honiton Primary School retires. Ref mhh 13 18TI 0360. Picture: Terry Ife Teaching Assistant Jean Young of Honiton Primary School retires. Ref mhh 13 18TI 0360. Picture: Terry Ife

Later in her career, Mrs Young began working in class as a general teaching assistant.

She worked mainly in KS1, supporting the children with their learning.

Mrs Rousseau added: “Mrs Young has had lots of special times at Honiton Primary School going out on school trips - but she has also made just as much of a difference in the classroom every day, helping children to read and write - all the incredible important things that help to make every child’s day at school happier and more successful.

“We are going to miss her hugely - Mrs Young is what you call a ‘safe pair of hands’, ‘reliable’ and ‘trustworthy’ - the sort of person who brightens a school just by her presence.

“Schools need people like Mrs Young and it really won’t be the same without her.

“We felt that it was really important that she knows how much everyone at Honiton Primary School values here.

“She brought a unique kindness to our school.”

Pupils also prepared a song about Mrs Young, which they sung to her at the assembly.

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