A LONG-STANDING school veteran who is retiring having taught thousands of children has said she is sad to be ‘leaving behind her family’.

Linda Ravenscroft, of Wath-upon-Dearne, is taking an early retirement after teaching pupils in the foundation stage at Sandhill Primary School in Great Houghton for 25 years.

The 57-year-old had a special assembly and presentation at the school on Friday for her last day where she was given large bouquets of flowers and chocolates and was given a send-off by many of the children she has taught over the years.

Speaking about what it was like to be at the school for so many years, Linda said: “When we first started, the school was at the top of the village and the nursery was like a little block round the back so we were separate in a way.

“When I first started the children called us by our first names and I worked with a lady called Hazel so they called us Hazel and Linda and it was funny as one new member of staff thought it was one person and asked for ‘HazelLinda’. We thought it was hilarious.

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“Obviously when we moved to this school building we had to be referred to as ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs’, but I’ll always remember being known by my first name. During my time here I’ve seen parents who I used to teach coming back with their children.

“We’ve had lots of laughs and it has been an absolute pleasure to teach the children and look after them. The parents, children and teachers at this school make it a proper community here and it has been a second home to me for 25 years.”

Linda said she is taking an early retirement as she wants to spend time with family and visit her son who lives in Australia.

Headteacher of Sandhill Primary School, Cheryl Egginton, said: “Linda has always worked in foundation stage and she has seen lots of changes throughout the years.

“She’s a well-loved member of staff and adored by staff and children. She’s so well-known by everyone. It will be sad to see her go.”