Guard of honour for Gillian

Gillian Kneebone, centre, escorted through her guard of honour by students Rory Harrison and Jessica Kaur Gill as the school sings an Irish blessing.

Long serving St Peter’s Catholic School teacher Gillian Kneebone was farewelled with love, laughter and tears on her last day at the Cambridge school.

After 32 years as a teacher – 26 of them at St Peter’s – Gillian has retired.

St Peter’s principal Anita Asamudu said three things stood out about Gillian. They were music, dedication and fun.

“Gillian can’t help but bring music into everything she does. It’s normal to hear her class singing their maths, rhymes and prayers and is part of woven into all lessons helped stimulate the students in a memorable way.”

Gillian leads the music for St Peter’s Catholic Parish, and this competence served the school well over the decades as a piano accompanist for school liturgies and masses.

She also oversaw the itinerant music teachers who go to St Peter’s to teach students.

At her farewell, Ryan Fisher spoke on behalf of his family, who left after 17 years’ association with the school.

“I remember your lino well Mrs Kneebone. Many a time I sat on that cold surface to have some quiet thinking time! Mrs Kneebone, that time served its purpose and really helped my ability to reflect and improve my behaviour and achieve well – so thank you for that,” he said.

Staff said Gillian never got flustered and her calmness helped her remain dedicated until retirement.

Finally, there was the fun, said Anita.

“Children in Gillian’s class remember fun times. De Bono’s learning hats, funny wigs, big books and poem cards. Brain breaks outside, bucket drumming and tititorea stick games were part and parcel of learning with Mrs Kneebone.

“The skill to make learning fun came naturally to Gillian and will remain in the minds of children forever.”

Students and staff compiled a book of memories which they presented to Gillian while parents, the board of trustees and staff gave her a travel voucher.

Working within Covid restrictions, Gillian Kneebone was farewelled with a bunch of flowers, a guard of honour under the school’s native trees and an Irish blessing followed by a morning tea with colleagues.

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