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Popular teacher steps down after three decades at same school

PUBLISHED: 16:36 10 July 2020 | UPDATED: 09:52 11 July 2020

Headteacher Edward Savage and former pupil now teaching colleague James Day with Alison Johnson who is retiring after three decades as a teacher at Falcon Juniors in Sprowston. Picture: Simon Parkin

Headteacher Edward Savage and former pupil now teaching colleague James Day with Alison Johnson who is retiring after three decades as a teacher at Falcon Juniors in Sprowston. Picture: Simon Parkin

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A teacher who has taught generations of children at a Norwich school is leaving the classroom with tributes being led by a pupil from her very first class who is now a staffroom colleague.

Children at Falcon Junior School in Sprowston at the opening of the Bob Bruce building in 2019, named after the first headteacher Alsion Johnson worked with. Picture: Neil DidsburyChildren at Falcon Junior School in Sprowston at the opening of the Bob Bruce building in 2019, named after the first headteacher Alsion Johnson worked with. Picture: Neil Didsbury

Alison Johnson first arrived at Falcon Junior School in Sprowston as a trainee teacher in 1988 and became a full-time member of staff in 1989.

More than three decades later she is to retire at the end of this school year having touched the lives of thousands of pupils and achieved her childhood dream of being a teacher.

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Mrs Johnson, 56, who is originally from Leeds but moved to Norfolk to do teacher training at the UEA, said: “It was always my dream to become a primary school teacher ever since I first walked into a school aged five. I used to teach all my teddies and dolls how to read and write.

Former pupils reminisce over old photographs at Falcon Junior school's 50th birthday celebrations in 2019. Alison Johnson has taught there for 32 years. Picture: Neil DidsburyFormer pupils reminisce over old photographs at Falcon Junior school's 50th birthday celebrations in 2019. Alison Johnson has taught there for 32 years. Picture: Neil Didsbury

“Falcon has been a lovely place to work and I have been blessed with the headteachers and colleagues that I have worked with.

“There was just never a good reason to go anywhere else.

“I’ve taught all the year groups, I’ve taught in practically every classroom, full-time and part-time, so it has been varied.”

Headteacher Edward Savage and former pupil now teaching colleague James Day with Alison Johnson who is retiring after three decades as a teacher at Falcon Juniors in Sprowston. Picture: Simon Parkin Headteacher Edward Savage and former pupil now teaching colleague James Day with Alison Johnson who is retiring after three decades as a teacher at Falcon Juniors in Sprowston. Picture: Simon Parkin

Helping mark her long-service is James Day who was a pupil in her very first class but who is now a fellow teacher at the school.

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He said: “It’s crazy that over 30 years ago I was in her first class and when I joined the school as a teacher four years ago, having previously worked in banking, I remembered Alison very fondly.

“She says he remembers me from back then, which means I was probably one of the troublemakers!”

Mrs Johnson said: “It has been lovely to be working alongside him. He looks exactly the same to me as he did when he was 10.

“That’s also what it is like with a lot of parents who I have taught over the years who are now grown up with their own children at the school.”

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Mrs Johnson plans to move back to Yorkshire with her husband Nick who is also retiring after 20 years as a teacher at White Woman Lane Junior School in Old Catton.

She cannot quite kick the teaching bug though as she plans to become a teaching assistant.

During her time at Falcon she has worked for four headteachers, including Bob Bruce, the school’s first ever headmaster, Tony Waller and Richard Boyce.

Current headteacher Edward Savage said: “Alison has worked at Falcon for 32 years and is fondly regarded in the Sprowston community for her outstanding contribution to the life of the school and for her dedication to our families and children.

“She has taught across the school in every classroom over the years and will leave her mark on the school for years to come. We will all miss her tremendously and wish her an enjoyable and very well deserved retirement.”


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