by Marty Taylor
At the end of the last school term, Colmers Farm Infant School in Rednal not only said goodbye to 2011, it also said a fond farewell to retiring head teacher Bev Archer.
With the emotions that the Christmas period brings, saying goodbye to such a highly respected and liked Head Teacher only added to this final school day. At an emotional final assembly, pupils presented Bev with special gifts they had made and a huge bouquet of flowers. After receiving a special recognition award for her long service to Birmingham Local Education Authority, she left the hall to three cheers and a standing ovation from children, staff and parents, clearly touched by the occasion. Bev spent 10 years as Head Teacher at Colmers Farm Infants, to quote her those 10 years were “happy and memorable”.
Not originally from Birmingham, Mrs Archer was born in Lincoln which is where she spent her first eleven years; after that she lived in various Lincolnshire parishes as her father moved around the diocese. Trained at Balls Park in Hertford and began her teaching career at the age of 24 in schools in Stevenage.
It was 1983 when Bev and family moved to Birmingham, Bev “it was a bit of a culture shock at first as we had been living in a Hertfordshire village of just 600 inhabitants! As it turned out Bournville was much quieter without early morning cockerels and tractors. We are still living happily in the same house.”
On arrival in Birmingham she taught at Nonsuch Primary for a term and then at Watermill Primary going on to Moor Green Infant School as Deputy Head Teacher. January 2001, Colmers Farm Infants find themselves a new Head Teacher.
As a head teacher Bev was a credit to her profession and an inspiration to any aspiring young teacher. As an individual she is kind, caring and a privilege to know. I would like to say that everybody only had good things to say about Bev, sadly this is not the case. One 5 year old boy who wishes to remain annonnymouse told us this: “Mrs Archer told me to stop rolling on Molly’s head on no picking your nose, so unfair”! (Disclaimer: This may not be true!)
We would like to wish Bev many happy days of doing whatever she likes!
Head Teachers like to have the final world, so we leave them to Mrs Beverley Archer.
“I think what I will remember most about CFI in the years ahead is the warmth and friendliness of the children; visitors always commented on what a ‘friendly school’ it was. Apart from the odd child on the odd day not wanting to be there, the vast majority enjoy school. Some of our families face really challenging circumstances but once in school children work and play together happily. Colleagues working in other phases will disagree but I think teaching infants is the best; you really see the children growing and developing independence before your eyes.
“I know I will miss everyone greatly but it’s time for me to follow my other interests now. I leave considering myself fortunate to have worked alongside such a great team of people who are committed to taking the school forward.
As for what to do now, I hardly know where to start; stacks of fabric is waiting to be stitched, piles of books are waiting to be read, there are exhibitions and places I want to visit (mid-week of course) and friends to meet and coffee to drink. (Please note housework doesn’t feature strongly!)”