A PASSIONATE PE teacher has hung up her whistle after 40 years working at a Kidlington school.

Debbie Green has reflected on a career spanning four decades at Gosford Hill School, having retired just before the summer holidays.

Miss Green joined the secondary school in 1979 and has been there ever since, except a one-year teacher exchange placement in Canada, and is the longest-serving staff member among her colleagues.

She said: “It was my first job application and my first job interview.

“Right from the age of 11 in primary school I loved netball, and that carried through to secondary school.

“It’s all I have ever wanted to do - I never really had to have a career interview. I was very lucky.”

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The teacher grew up in Oxford and went to Milham Ford School in Marston Road, which has since closed.

During her time at Gosford Hill she has taught PE to girls in years 7-13, and has also been an integral part of Kidlington Gymnastics Club.

She said when she started teaching, there was no Ofsted, no National Curriculum and Margaret Thatcher had just come into power.

Oxford Mail:

Miss Green, who lives in Kidlington, added: “The biggest change really is the technology, from iPads to phones to Google Drive and AirDrop.”

There is at least one thing that has stayed constant, however.

She said: “The kids are still exactly the same.

“I definitely have an advantage as kids do like PE, and luckily I love it as well. I’ve still got that passion.

“At Gosford our head is very supportive of inclusivity and particularly PE - we do as much as we can for the kids.

"You often find kids can shine in PE who maybe don't in other subjects. It's good fun to work with kids who are more challenging and get them on side."

She said she would like girls to be able to get involved in netball and football, adding: "We spark that enthusiasm and want clubs to support us."

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Miss Green said she will miss the job and the pupils, but now hopes to spend more time travelling and keeping fit.

She said: "Being a PE teacher is always busy, it's non-stop fixtures, parents' evenings, reports and meetings.

"I'll miss the daily routine, the bells and having a busy life.

"All the staff are so supportive and I've made long-term friends."

Asked if she would recommend teaching, she said people should 'just go for it.'

She added: "If you're going to do teaching you have to be passionate about your subject, because if you don't, when it goes wrong or gets hard, you can easily get swallowed up.

"Teaching is a fantastic career - I don't regret a minute of it. If I was 20 or 30, I'd do it all over again."

"You're never going to earn millions but you get so much back from the kids and from the community."

Oxford Mail:

A piece in the school's July parent newsletter said: "After 40 years of service, dedication and commitment to Gosford Hill School, we say goodbye to Miss Green as she retires from teaching PE in school.

"Miss Green has not only been a significant member of the PE team, teaching generations of students that have been through the school, but she has also led many extracurricular clubs, trips and fixtures.

"Many of you will remember her for the gym club aimed at students in our primary schools.

"We wish Miss Green a long and happy retirement and we know that she will keep in touch with us in school."