Buxton PE teacher says goodbye after 37 years in the classroom

A PE teacher from a Buxton secondary school - who only planned on staying for one year – is retiring after 37 years.

Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 4:32 pm

Christine Barnes, joined St Thomas More back in 1985 but had her last day with the school last week and says she is now looking forward to her retirement.

She said: “It is time to hang up my trackies, spend more time with my family and friends, and improve my own fitness and I will be taking time to plan ski holidays without pupils!”Christine accepted the post of teacher in charge of girls PE and Needlework at the age of 22.

She said: “I remember thinking I would stay only one year due to the size of the school, as it was around 260 pupils, it had poor facilities and cold weather.

Christine Barnes has retired from St Thomas More after 37 years of teaching. Pic submitted

“However, what I had not bargained for was the opportunity to work with such kind, caring and supportive colleagues. I very quickly became sucked into what is the family of St Thomas More.”

At first lessons proved challenging for Christine who said the playing fields were frequently invaded by cows and sheep and ‘Do It Now’ activities often included re-gathering stray cattle.

The indoor facilities were also very cramped but she says lessons were fun, popular and option groups well subscribed.

She said: “The new Sports Hall, built in 2008 was a game changer. The updated facilities had a massive impact on opportunities for all pupils, teams were successful and the hosting of events became possible.

"It was at this time I realised there was nowhere else I would rather teach than here at St Thomas More.”

Reflecting on her career Christine added: “I am thankful for the opportunity I have had to observed pupils grow in confidence, develop new skills and foster the love of sport.”Headteacher David Redfern said goodbye to the much loved PE teacher on behalf of all the staff and students at the school.

He said: “We would like to thank Christine for her 37 years of hard work and dedication for our school and wider community and wish the very best in her retirement.”

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