My Burford - Mrs Shirley Sanderson - Home School Link Officer

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My Burford - Mrs Shirley Sanderson - Home School Link Officer

Mrs Shirley Sanderson

This My Burford profile is somewhat special, as it shines a light on Mrs Shirley Sanderson, our Home School Link Officer, who is retiring after being such an integral part of Burford School for five decades. She reflects on her roles and time at Burford as part of our new 'My Burford' series.

This feature series aims to shine a spotlight on the superb staff team at Burford who make it possible for us to offer 'the best of education' to our students.

I write this a few days before retiring from my role as Home School Link Officer. Whilst I know that my decision is the correct one, I have to admit that I’m experiencing some sadness as my association with Burford School goes back five decades.

In the mid 1970’s, I was a student here when it was not uncommon to sit in either a geography or history lesson, and have your eye caught by the sight of other students herding the school’s prize winning Guernsey cows along the lane to new pastures, or a tractor being driven by a 3rd year down to the farm to deliver some animal feed. Different times!

In the early 1990’s I became a member of Lenthall House boarding duty staff, and after several years, was appointed as Residential House Mistress. Once all the girls had departed to ‘top school’, my time was my own so I decided that I would like to be a Teaching assistant at day school. During this time, I was lucky to support students in many departments, with Design Technology becoming a particular favourite of mine. I could probably still turn my hand to a decent dovetail joint if I put my mind to it! Perhaps I could put this skill to good use and take up carpentry as a hobby.

I have been in my current role of Home School Link Officer since 2015 and during this time I have had the privilege of getting to know many of our families. Having been in post for 9 years, it has been lovely to see students following older brothers and sisters through the school, and to get updates on what those siblings are now up to.

I could not have been successful in my role without the support of colleagues, both at Burford and our neighbouring primary and secondary schools. The sharing of information and resources in order to support our young people is vital, with parents and care givers being integral to this. People lead busy lives but if there is one thing that I know for certain, it is that we as parents have to find a way to spend time with our children and to really listen to what they have to say. We might not always understand or agree with them, but their views matter. 

As I look out of my office window this lunch time across the sports fields, I can see groups of our students chatting, enjoying the spring sunshine and each other’s company before heading off for the final lesson of the day.  I hope that when the time comes for them to leave Burford school, they like me will think, how lucky was I to be a part of such a wonderful, nurturing school community.