WHEN Patricia Bulley started at the former Connaught Junior School, aged just seven, she never thought that she would one day become a teacher at the primary.
But now, decades later and with more than 38 years of teaching at the school under her belt, Miss Bulley is finally calling it a day.
But the year-six teacher admitted that she might pop back in to see old faces.
“At seven I never knew I wanted to become a teacher. I could never have imagined that all these years later I would be teaching here.”
The school, now known as the River Beach Primary School, threw a special celebration for Miss Bulley on Tuesday to mark her final days there. Year-six held a special Miss Bulley Day, with flags of her face being tacked outside their classroom.
They treated her to treats – the first being the chance to watch her favourite movie star in action on the classroom’s interactive whiteboard.
“I do have a bit of a crush on Johnny Depp so it was very nice to be able to watch one of his films,” she admitted.
Apart from one year spent teaching in New Zealand as part of an exchange programme, the rest of her career has been in Littlehampton where it is estimated she has taught more than 1,100 pupils.
During her time at Connaught, Miss Bulley has had a range of roles, from class teacher to year leader, and for one period, as acting deputy head teacher.
She had enjoyed every second of her time at the school and said she would miss all the children and her colleagues. She will leave with many treasured memories, including the time a sea king helicopter landed in the primary’s playing fields more than 20 years ago and the school’s centenary in 2000.
She is now looking forward to her retirement and is planning a trip to New Zealand to see members of her family.