I an hoping that the letter I am sending you is a premature one, however, I feel that it is important for me to say a few words to you at this time.
I really do hope we can get back before the end of the summer term but I would regret not putting something in writing to you if we didn't.
As we close our school gates for all but a small group of children and families tomorrow, I realise that we have to face the possibility we may not be back until September 2020. This may mean that after 12 years of leading our school I will be saying goodbye to many of you.
The realisation of this hit me on the playground today where I stood, leaning on the hand rail (it now bends to the shape of my ....) talking football, politics, philosophy and many other things with parents, grandparents and carers. I've dealt with moans and groans and pats on the back along with much banter over the course of my time standing there.
What I do know is this. WE HAVE A SPECIAL COMMUNITY. So many lovely children, parents and families not just now but last year and every year of my 12 years in charge From my first meeting with a child in September 2008 (Hayden) to the relationship I have with his family and his sisters. Dealing with families under hugely challenging situations with regards to critical illness and bereavement and hopefully supporting them and their children. Being in awe of how they coped and managed these situations and somehow come through these.
I have got to know members of our school community that I now consider friends and I'm always so happy to catch up with them. The Ross', the Jennings' , the Elson family the list is a long one.
In our current situation, I have been amazed by how many of you are so important to our area with regards to the work you do. Nurses, police, paramedics, social care and probation officers you really do make a difference.
It has been an honour and a privilege to lead our school, to be involved in your lives and watch your children grow socially and academically. I couldn't have wished for a better school to finish my teaching career in. From the little ones clinging to my legs shouting 'Mr Porter!!' from across the playground, right through to the eldest who are the butt of my jokes and mickey taking (sorry Heidi and Hollie!) your children are fantastic!!
Thank you for being so supportive over my time here and I really hope I see you soon either back at school or Merry Hill, The Hawthorns or the Lawnswood pub!
Best wishes and much love