Inspirational Toothill Primary head teacher of six years Martyn Cowell is set to make a return to the classroom from September, when he moves to Red Oaks Primary, to get back to doing the job he loves in teaching children.
Leaving Toothill after 21 years working his way up from teacher to head is likely to be hard, but Martyn has some cherished memories. He said: “I’ve had a fantastic time at Toothill and I’ve learned an awful lot, watching two generations of pupils come through the school.
“Having Kevin McCloud come to open the new school building in 2008 was a real personal highlight, because all the staff and pupils had a big input into the design and we created a school to be proud of.
“But there’s so much going on in education, and I’m keen to get back to doing what I’ve always been passionate about.”
Famed for dressing up as characters as widely different as Henry VIII and Inspector Clouseau, with the odd Greek warrior and buccaneer thrown in for good measure, Martyn reflected on the legacy he leaves behind at Toothill, and said: “It’s all about making learning fun and bringing the curriculum alive.”
Year 5 pupils Jasleen Bharj, Georgia Ockwell and Kareen Bains said they will feel sad to see him leave. They said: “Mr Cowell is very kind. If anyone gets hurt he leaves everything and rushes over to help. He’s always funny and he tells you off in a nice way.”
Keiran Coombs from year 5 said: “He’s the best head teacher in the world and was my favourite football coach.”
Jack Tilling also from year 5 said: “Mr Cowell has taught me about determination and courage and now I’m determined to do my best in school.”
School administrator Helen Huby thinks Martyn’s return to teaching is a fantastic move, but said she’ll be sorry to see him go: “All the staff will miss his exuberance, leadership and compassion, and we wish him all the best in his new role.”
Toothill Primary is keen to hear from former pupils who might be able to help them with their aspirational assemblies, demonstrating to the children how people from their school have gone on to be successful in their lives. They have recently heard from former pupils who have gone on to join the police force, or become lawyers, teachers and even an ice hockey player. Contact the school on 497250 if you’re a former pupil with an aspirational story to tell.