The Headteacher column – the final one from Mark Ronan, Pocklington School headmaster

I had an unforgettable morning gliding over the beautiful countryside.
I had an unforgettable morning gliding over the beautiful countryside.

As I leave Pocklington School, I do so with many cherished memories of my time here. Over ten years, I’ve watched pupils grow into accomplished young adults and shared teachers’ satisfaction in seeing hard work and dedication pay off.

I have also thoroughly enjoyed living in Pocklington – a small market town with a vibrant heart.

I’m a big fan of its wonderful range of independent shops, bars and eateries whose owners have shown impressive resilience following the financial crisis.

One of the jewels in the crown is the Pocklington Arts Centre and its delightfully diverse programme of events.

I’ve been impressed by Janet Farmer and James Duffy’s leadership in making it such a valued – and valuable – asset to the community.

Pocklington is rightly proud of its thriving rugby, football, cricket and tennis clubs.

Then there’s the Wolds Gliding Club, from where I had an unforgettable morning gliding over the beautiful countryside piloted by one of my pupils.

I’ll really miss living in this beautiful corner of East Yorkshire, in a bustling town with the peaceful Wolds on the doorstep.

Our bi-annual School Walk, when we snaked our way across 16 miles of fields and hills to raise money for charities, was one of the highlights of the School calendar.

Pocklington School places huge emphasis on mutual support, on caring for each other and on our responsibility to the community both within and beyond the School gates. The local community has reciprocated, being helpful and welcoming to our pupils, for which I’m very grateful. Thanks, too, to the School governors for contributing so much of your time and being a continued source of wisdom and advice.

Many Old Pocklingtonians (OPs) have remained or settled nearby and continue to champion the School.

They have donated generously to our fundraising, most recently for the new Art and Design Technology Centre. The wider School community of parents past and present have also generously supported our vision of providing excellent all-round facilities.

Our support staff are second to none and regularly go above and beyond to ensure pupils have a secure and pleasant environment.

When a burst water main cut our water supply, domestic staff swung into action to ensure the school remained open, ferrying buckets of water from the swimming pool to keep our toilets in working order.

When the “Beast from the East” descended in March, our support staff struggled in to school through the snow and ice to clear pathways, spread grit, keep corridors clean and feed us. The school simply couldn’t function without their dedication and attention to detail.

Undoubtedly the greatest reward of being part of Pocklington School has been the pupils themselves. All that they achieve, in the classroom, on the sports field, on the stage and in other co-curricular areas, is a testament to their strengths and drive.

The characteristic that sets Pocklingtonians apart – the Spirit of Pock – is hard to pin down but easy to recognise in the mutual support, respect, friendship, sense of fun and a quiet confidence.

I am very grateful to all the teachers who foster this spirit.

I hope that the Pocklington community within and beyond the school gates will continue to flourish.