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25th Jan, 2022

'It's been my passion' - Diana retires after 40 years teaching in Redditch

Ross Crawford 21st Jul, 2019

A REDDITCH teacher is hanging up her lesson plans after 40 years in local schools.

Diana Holt did her teacher training at Worcester College of Higher Education – now Worcester University – and hitchhiked to her job interview at the original Ipsley First School.

Along the way she was given a lift by the parents of one of the children she would end up teaching.

“They were different days then!” she laughs. “They’ve knocked the school down since then and now it’s Harris Close, named after Miss Harris, the first headteacher.”

Diana spent 10 years at Ipsley before doing an exchange to teach in Adelaide, Australia before returning to the Harry Taylor School, now Crabbs Cross Academy, and then Astwood Bank Primary, where she retired on Tuesday, July 16.

In between she also raised a family.

“I have loved teaching, it’s been my vocation, and although it’s a time of change I’ve been lucky enough to have headteachers who have allowed me to teach to my strengths and passions,” she said.

Much of her career has been spent teaching Year 3s and Year 4s.

“Although there have been many new initiatives in education over the last 40 years I feel that eight year-old school children are essentially the same: curious, joyful, eager, kind, respectful, and competitive.

“I am glad the children have experienced maps, cooking, sewing (clothes!) and can identify wild flowers and name trees.”

She’s also passionate about English country dancing.

“The value of country dancing should not be underestimated,” she said.

“Why have we almost lost it? It is our heritage, and such a joy to take part in.

I believe music is a portal to learning, all kinds of learning.

“Every day in the classroom my classes have sung together, along with my trusty guitar ……”

A member of Hopwood Ladies Cycling Club, Diana now hopes to discover more of the world by bicycle and on foot.

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