A POPULAR headteacher and respected member of the community has retired.
David Littlefield has called it a day after 17 years in charge of the King’s Junior School in Tynemouth.
The 60-year-old, who lives in the village, began teaching in 1974.
He spent five years as headteacher of Christ Church Primary School in North Shields before taking over the helm at King’s Junior School.
David is a local magistrate, president of Tynemouth Priory Theatre, group leader of 6th Tynemouth Scouts and president of local choir In Accord.
His send off was carefully orchestrated by staff, pupils and parents, being kept as a surprise until the bell rang for the final assembly.
David said: “I was stunned when the pupils began singing gang show numbers with lyrics commenting on some of the things I do and say.
“They even arranged to bring along my pet dog Toby. It was a wonderful occasion and a great honour.”
Among the many farewell gifts from pupils and parents were a garden bench and theatre tickets.
David added: “I am immensely grateful for the generous gifts and for the hundreds of cards and messages from children past and present and their parents.
“I’ve loved working in King’s Junior School and I’ve enjoyed helping out with senior school musical productions.
“But I’m particularly proud that King’s Juniors were rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted in our last inspection.
“I’ve been very happy personally and professionally at King’s.
“There is a real rapport and sense of shared responsibility between parents, staff and pupils that has remained a constant source of support and stability through shifting fads and fashions.”
Deputy headteacher Miss Kate Benson will take over as headteacher in the Junior School from September.