Farewell and thank you Mr and Mrs Jones

Here’s a tongue-in-cheek look at a Day in the Life of the Headmaster of St Andrew’s Prep, Gareth Jones.

The film formed just part of a surprise for Mr and Mrs Jones who were lured off-site for a decoy breakfast so that the whole school, and parents joining via a livestream at home, could assemble for an emotional thank you and farewell event this morning. Mr and Mrs Jones appeared overwhelmed as they were cheered and clapped onto the field where Deputy Head, Mr Shouksmith, led the tributes saying,

“As Mr and Mrs Jones start a new chapter in their lives up in Warwickshire we would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of all the children here today and the many Androvians who have benefited from a St Andrew’s education over the past six years under Mr Jones’ leadership…A lot has happened …  The sports hall had just been completed when Mr Jones arrived and the pavilion has been completely refurbished thanks to generous donations from many parents and sponsorship from Mr Jones’ swimming escapades.  But buildings and facilities are only a small part of what makes a successful school and it is much more about the pupils and the staff. Mrs Jones has coached many of you for hockey as well as covering lessons and introducing you to Dexter and Ottilie, their sausage dogs. Mr Jones has overseen the introduction of the Bridge Curriculum and the St Andrew’s Prep Community Award alongside lots of other things, many of them unseen by those gathered here today.”

Ellie Kashani, Chair of the Friends of St Andrew’s spoke on behalf of the parents, saying, “Mr Jones, your genuine care for our children has been clear from the very beginning and you have always gone above and beyond our expectations in so many ways. During lockdown your hide and seek assemblies were not only great fun but provided our children with a  sense of belonging when we all felt a little lost.  And we will never forget you braving the waves for 64 days, not only to raise money for the pavilion, but also to teach us about taking ourselves out of our comfort zones in order to achieve great things.  

“We also want to say a huge thank you to Mrs Jones. Jemma, you have been the driving force behind the injection of passion for hockey in our school. You have always been so involved in school events, been such a positive influence to the Friends committee and you have put so much of your own time and effort into school life and the St Andrew’s Prep community.” 

A second film included warm words from pupils past and present about Mr Jones and the whole school joined together at the end of the event for a flashmob “You Are Our Hero”, words adapted from “Holding Out For A Hero” by Bonnie Tyler.

The Head Boy and Head Girl presented Mr Jones with a beautifully bound book which contained original comments or pictures from every child in the school.