Retiring headteacher ‘amazed’ at garden restored in her honour

Lindsay Hanger, 61, on the day of her retirement as headteacher at Northgate Primary School in Great

Lindsay Hanger, 61, on the day of her retirement as headteacher at Northgate Primary School in Great Yarmouth. Picture: Sarah Young. - Credit: Archant

A retiring headteacher at a Great Yarmouth school has expressed her gratitude and surprise after staff restored a garden in her honour.

Lindsay Hanger, 61, has retired after ten years at Northgate Primary School - and to mark the occasion and provide a haven for children returning to school after the lockdown, staff and their families worked together to restore the school’s sensory garden.

The project had been kept top secret from Mrs Hanger who said: “I feel very honoured and surprised and I’m grateful for having worked with such lovely people at Northgate.”

Sarah Young, assistant headteacher, said: “It’s been a real team effort with staff and various family members pulling together to lend a hand.”

She added that the school is very grateful for donations of plants from Moulton Nurseries near Acle and B&Q.

Speaking on the day of her retirement (July 22), Mrs Hanger said: “It doesn’t really feel that different yet, it will hit me when I don’t come back in September.”

She started her career in education 35 years ago in Gravesend in Kent before moving to Suffolk in 1994, where she taught in Beccles for 17 years.

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Moving to Northgate was the best thing she ever did, she said.

“It is the best school in Great Yarmouth, everybody here works together. It has been the best ten years of my life,” she added.

Her best memories are of the school becoming a full primary and when it got an extension.

Retiring in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic has been strange, she said.

“It’s possibly the worst scenario you could end a 35 year career on. The worst bit of last year has been not being able to do proper goodbyes with the children.”

Among the challenges she had faced at the school was the level of “pupil poverty”.

“There are a lot of children who really have quite difficult lives,” she said.

Mrs Hanger said she will miss “being in control”.

“That’s going to be hard, not to be coming back being the person driving it all forward,” she said.

Not that she has left education entirely - Northgate Primary is joining the Waveney Valley Academy and Mrs Hanger has been appointed to its board of trustees.

She also expressed her best wishes to new headteacher, Michael Collins.