Parkside Primary head is sad to cut school ties
ASK any pupil at Parkside Primary School in Heathfield what they will most miss about their retiring head teacher and they would probably say his colourful ties.
Norman Wood will leave at the end of term after being head teacher for 15 years.
"It's always been a lovely school with vibrant staff and wonderful children with parents who care about their children's childhood and education," said Mr Wood.
He said his ties, which range from Pooh Bear to Scooby Doo and Donald Duck to Tigger, were a bit of a feature.
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"The children respond and like them. I wear a different one each day and have around 20", he said.
"I wore my football tie after England won one of the group matches in the Euros. I also have a chess tie which I use when I run the chess club. If the sun is shining, it's a beach tie.
"It's a bit of fun. They will probably miss me the most for the ties. "
For many years, one child from each class is chosen to meet Mr Wood where they tell him what they are learning and then have lunch with him.
"It is very important because the school is run on reward and encouragement. If they step out of line they know I know them. For that child I am not just a distant head teacher," said Mr Wood.
"I want them to feel involved and know they and their education matter to me."
Mr Wood was former head teacher of Hurstwood Primary School, where he stayed for eight years and before had been acting head of Sir Henry Fermor School in Crowborough.
The Uckfield father of two has been teaching for 24 years and said during that time there had been 12 ministers for education.
"Each new one wanted to make their own mark," he said.
"Education is great as it is despite the politicians. Teachers make it work."
After retiring at the end of term, Mr Wood will act as a volunteer helper at the Olympics.
"Having had many years of having a job so organised and pressurised it is important I get used to what life is like without the constant 'busy-ness'."
Mr Wood added: "There is constant happiness from both the children and staff and I'll have memories of great things which have happened."