Northampton primary school bids farewell to long-serving head teacher with fun talent show

A Northampton primary school held a talent show to wave goodbye to its long-serving and much-loved head teacher.

Sam Phillips bid an emotional farewell to Hopping Hill Primary School after 25 years, with 10 of those as head, on Friday (July 17).

Deputy head teacher Michelle White said the coronavirus pandemic ruined plans for something grander for the whole community but the talent show on Thursday did the job.

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“She loves dressing up and the talent show was brilliant, obviously it was limited the Covid situation and not being able to give her the send off we wanted,” she said.

“But all the staff and children that are here got together with social distancing, we had a singer, Irish dancing, lots of random things.

“Me and some of the other senior teachers sang Superman by Black Lace but changed Superman to ‘superhead’, and she did a modern dance to Let It Go [by Idina Menzel] dressed as Olaf from Frozen.”

Mrs Philips joined Hopping Hill as a newly-qualified teacher in 1995 and worked her way up to deputy head before becoming head teacher in 2010.

Hopping Hill Primary School head teacher Sam Phillips has left after 25 years

Ms White said staff, pupils and parents are sad to see her leave after working so hard for the school, especially during the coronavirus lockdown.

“As a teacher, she’s absolutely amazing, she’s such a caring head teacher and has created a family-orientated school,” she said.

Mrs Phillips does not have any plans yet for the next step in her career but plans to spend more time with her family and have a ‘well-earned rest’, Ms White said.

The Duston school’s departing head has also helped hand over the reins to her replacement, Jo Fantarrow, who Ms White said was in the same mould as her predecessor.

“We’re very excited to work with her, she’s from a very similar vein to Mrs Phillips, very family-orientated, and we’re looking forward to new challenges with her in moving the school forward,” she said.

The talent show was also a chance for the school to say goodbye to Year 5 and 6 phase leader Julie Stevens.

Northampton Chronicle and Echo