‘A true asset of the school’ – Royston teacher retires after 37 years

PUBLISHED: 12:01 03 August 2019

Jillian Graves collecting her teaching award from former Greneway headteachers Sue Kennedy and Laura Rawlings. Picture: RSAT

Jillian Graves collecting her teaching award from former Greneway headteachers Sue Kennedy and Laura Rawlings. Picture: RSAT


A Royston teacher who devoted her entire career to Greneway School has retired after 37 years.

Jillian Graves, pictured with form 1LT in 1983. Picture: RSATJillian Graves, pictured with form 1LT in 1983. Picture: RSAT

Jillian Graves started at Greneway in 1983 as a Year 5 form teacher - at the time Microsoft Word had just been released, 'True' by Spandau Ballet was the UK Number 1 and 'Return of the Jedi' was the most popular film at the cinema.

In her leaving speech to the school, she said: "I always remember coming home from my first day at school, aged five, and saying to my mum 'I want to be a teacher'.

"I was fortunate to achieve my goal and this is all I have ever wanted to do. I hope that everyone can find something they love doing as much as I have with teaching.

Jillian Graves'  teaching awards. Picture: RSATJillian Graves' teaching awards. Picture: RSAT

"It has never felt like a job at Greneway. I will miss teaching and learning and the people but I am ready for the next chapter in my life. I wish the King James Academy all the very best".

Mrs Graves - who was formerly Miss Lait - has shown her talents, versatility, professionalism and commitment through a range of successful roles over the nearly four decades, including, leader of Year 5 and 6, English, ICT, Year 7 Wales School journey and latterly with senior leadership team whole school organisational roles.

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Mrs Graves was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the National Teaching Awards in 2018 and was presented with a Service to School Award by Greneway in her final assembly.

Former Greneway headteacher and RSAT deputy headteacher, Laura Rawlings said: "Jillian has been a true asset of the school.

"She is a great team player and leader whose legacy is at the core of the Greneway TEAM spirit.

"Jillian's teaching philosophy has been to enable all to enjoy, achieve and feel valued - she always believed that every child matters before it became a mantra and proves that high quality teaching and learning really does matter and makes a difference to all."

Former Greneway assistant headteacher and member of the RSAT leadership team, Allan Gee said: "Jillian Graves is an outstanding teacher and leader - and a highly respected professional.

"We wish you every happiness for the future and thank you for all you have done. We're going to miss you."

King James Academy headteacher Gordon Farquhar added: "I know that you have done masses for the young people of Royston, not just through your teaching, but through your contribution to wider school life".

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