Information | 30.05.2018 | By Paul Simpson

Isabel Gibson retires from St John’s School, Boston Spa July 2009

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This summer, the staff and pupils of St John’s said goodbye to Isabel Gibson, who retired after twenty three years at the school.

It was in 1986 that Isabel initially joined St John’s to ‘help out’ in the Science department. She very quickly revised the Science curriculum, significantly raising standards by introducing the study of three separate sciences and establishing the department as one of the key strengths of the School.

The focus of Isabel’s work has been curriculum development and she has tirelessly led many exciting innovations that have been a significant part of the School’s evolution. Two of the most important of these have been a new differentiated special needs curriculum and the very successful Post 16 enrichment curriculum.

Most recently, a large part of Isabel’s time has been devoted to the School’s bid to achieve status as a Specialist Special School. This was awarded in 2007 and has already enriched the experience of St John’s pupils, by raising achievement, particularly in speaking and listening, and by providing inclusion opportunities with our local partner mainstream schools. Thanks to Isabel, the staff at St John’s have been enthused to think creatively about developing the curriculum and the pupils are buzzing with ideas about exciting, new extra-curricular activities.

The motivating force behind all of Isabel’s work has been her unfailing commitment to support pupils and colleagues in achieving their very best. It was with this aim that, in 2003, having taken on the role of Assistant Head Teacher, Isabel also undertook a research project funded by the Mary Grace Wilkinson Scholarship. Her published study, ‘Teaching Strategies used to Develop Short-term Memory in Deaf Children’ has been of great practical help to Teachers of the Deaf, both within and beyond St John’s.

Isabel will be greatly missed by everyone connected with St John’s: she will be remembered as an outstanding professional whose drive and enthusiasm have been inspirational, and she has always been ready to offer support and guidance, working selflessly to do the best for others and with others.

We all wish her a long, healthy and very happy retirement

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