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Head happy to unwind after 39 years in Croydon schools

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A HEAD teacher who has devoted most of her working life to education in Croydon is standing down after a decade at the helm of a unique school.

Janet Godfrey has been head at Winterbourne Junior Girls, in Thornton Heath - the only all-girls state primary school in the country - for the past 11 years.

Her retirement brings to an end a teaching career which spans 39 years, most of which have been spent in Croydon.

She came to Winterbourne in 2003 after serving for three years as head of Anerley Primary School, where she was instrumental in lifting the school out of special measures.

Before that she taught at a number of schools across the borough including Gilbert Scott Infants in Selsdon, Hayes Primary in Kenley, Rowdown Primary in New Addington, Spring Park Primary in Shirley and Forestdale Primary.

Miss Godfrey said: "I came here because I needed a new challenge and the school wanted somebody who had already been a head teacher."

It is a decision she has never regretted.

Miss Godfrey said: "The school is very multicultural, we have children from all over the world here. It is also very much part of the community and has a lot of tradition; grandmothers, mothers and now their daughters have all come here."

One thing Miss Godfrey has taken a particular pride in is developing technology teaching in the school, which now boasts two computer suites for use by the pupils.

She said: "It is known that in a mixed school girls don't always have the same opportunities to have a turn on the computers as the boys do.

"Overall though you forget about this being a girls school.

"The children here are just pupils and we are working with them to help them achieve their best.

"We try to do everything for the good of the children, we want them all to reach their full potential."

Miss Godfrey said retirement was a big decision but one she is comfortable with.

She said: "I am going to miss the children and the company but am now 60 and I just thought it is my time to step down."

Miss Godfrey said she intended to keep busy after leaving the school and one of her first priorities is to travel.

She has also booked up a Baltic cruise and trips to Boston and Iceland.

Miss Godfrey be helping out at Addington Methodist Church, where she already teaches in the Sunday school.

Head happy to unwind after 39 years in Croydon schools


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