Bognor head says goodbye to school

Katherine Amaladoss, the head of St Mary's Catholic Primary School, left last week
Katherine Amaladoss, the head of St Mary's Catholic Primary School, left last week

ONE of the longest serving headteachers in Bognor Regis has said goodbye to her school.

Katherine Amaladoss ended her second period at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School on Tuesday – 27 years after she arrived there.

Her past 17 years at the Glamis Street school were as its head. She was among three heads around the town with a similar length of service.

She said: “It’s been my life and my family’s life as well, my two daughters came here. I’m now seeing children of the children I taught when I was first here.

“I shall miss our connection with the church and getting to know the children really well and seeing them over a long period of time.”

Mrs Amaladoss, 52, will be starting a new role in September as a special education needs officer around Crawley and Horsham. “Special education needs is a real passion of mine and I’m looking forward to focusing on it for a period of time,” she said.

It was 30 years ago Mrs Amaladoss became a teacher in Upminster, in Essex. She moved to the Bognor area when she married her husband who was then a doctor at St Richard’s Hospital, in Chichester.

She began teaching at St Mary’s and became its deputy headteacher before she left after seven years to spend four years at St Wilfrid’s Church in Angmering.

She returned to take charge of St Mary’s in 1998. The school has since undergone major changes in its pupil mix and numbers and buildings.

“It’s a much more international school now,” she said. “Our pupils speak 22 different languages. When I started, it was probably one or two.

“We have children from all over the world. It makes it a very vibrant and exciting place to be. We have got to make learning as accessible and interesting to everyone as we can.”

The school has grown from 210 to 271 pupils – a rise of 30 per cent – and seen its number of buildings increase to accommodate them.

Technology has advanced rapidly as well. But same things have stayed the same.

“Children still get a sense of excitement over new things that happen,” she said. “I don’t think that will ever change.”

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