Schools’ farewell as teacher retires

This Is Wiltshire: Chris Henley with Year 5 pupils on his final day in the classroom at Bishops Cannings Primary School Chris Henley with Year 5 pupils on his final day in the classroom at Bishops Cannings Primary School

DEVIZES primary school teacher Chris Henley has retired after more than 40 years in the classroom.

Mr Henley, 64, also bowed out at Bishops Cannings Primary School where he had worked part-time for 22 years.

Born and brought up in Devizes, Mr Henley started teaching in Amesbury before working at St Peter’s School, Devizes, for about 16 years.

He worked for the Young People’s Support Service teaching children who were not attending school before joining Bishops Cannings in 1991.

He also did supply teaching at schools including St Joseph’s in Devizes and St Nicholas in Bromham.

He said he had loved being a teacher.

He said: “I wanted to be a teacher when I was at school. I have enjoyed so many things about it – the interaction with the children and the look of absolute joy on a kid’s face when they get something right.

“One of the best moments of 40-odd years was a little girl of nine who rushed up to me with a model car she made. Her face was a glow and she said ‘It works!’ She was thrilled.”

One of the last classes he taught included the son of a woman he taught when she was a child.

Mr Henley, of Avon Road, Devizes, is looking forward to spending more time on his hobby of geocaching, an international treasure hunt using GPS gadgets.

He is also an ambassador for the Bloodhound project, which aims to break the world land speed record by driving a car at 1,000mph.

In his role Mr Henley, who has three children and five grandchildren, gives talks to schools and other groups.

He also runs an after- school Bloodhound club at Bishops Cannings, and a club at Holy Trinity School in Great Cheverell, teaching engineering and science.

One leaving present from Bishops Cannings was that his name will be printed on to the tail fin of the Bloodhound car.

Jonathan Barber, head teacher, said “Chris has been a wonderful servant to our profession and will be sorely missed by us.”

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