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A tribute to Fleur Spore on her retirement

A tribute to Fleur Spore on her retirement

Fleur Spore has been a treasured member of the St Mary’s community for over 30 years and it is with great sadness that this year we will be saying goodbye to her as she prepares for a new chapter.  

Early career

Fleur has had a diverse and interesting past. She studied for a PCGE at the University of Cambridge, following her undergraduate degree in Geography there, and then began teaching at St Mary’s in 1983, having spent one of her teacher placements here during her course.

She fell in love with teaching and was amazed that you could be paid for having such fun!

Three years later, she helped to set up our Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme – and was still leading expeditions 33 years later! Indeed, she was recently recognised and thanked by Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, at St James’s Palace for her (more than) 30 years of service to the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

A passionate Geographer

Fleur’s boundless enthusiasm for her subject, and her endless support for our students, whether that be through organising activity trips to France, leading Duke of Edinburgh (D of E) expeditions in Wales, or assisting on Sixth Form trips around the world, is unparalleled.

Her dedication to St Mary’s and its students over her 36 years of service has been invaluable; however, not only has she dedicated much of her free time to enriching the lives of the girls at St Mary’s, but she also has also helped the wider community over the years as well; training teachers at Homerton College, Cambridge; helping other local schools to set up the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme; teaching swimming at Kelsey Kerridge; and co-writing Geography booklets, such as ‘People Count’ and the NSCA’s ‘Transport Emissions Assessment’.

Duke of Edinburgh studentsInspiring young people

Over her time at St Mary’s, she has taught thousands of girls. Her warm style of teaching, her wonderful sense of humour and her expert knowledge about Geography and wildlife have left lasting impressions on her students, several of whom have gone on to become Geography teachers themselves.

She brings her love of birds and wild-flowers to Geography trips and DofE expeditions, and is eager to share her appreciation of the natural world and the outdoors with others.

Her hobby of mountaineering – she has scaled mountains such as Mont Blanc, Chimborazo and Cotopaxi in her spare time – has certainly aided her in becoming an excellent DofE leader.

A large part of her inspiration for teaching and learning came from her grandmother, who had had to start working at 12 years old with no prospect of ever returning to education, but who nonetheless never stopped learning.

The students she teaches also constantly surprise and inspire her; she adores those “moments of sudden insight” when a student ‘gets’ a topic.

Fleur is immensely respected and valued by her colleagues, many of whom she has taught in some capacity, either at St Mary’s School or at Homerton College, Cambridge. As she approaches retirement at the end of this academic year, we look back at the immeasurable impact she has had at our school, and wonder how we will ever begin to fill the void she will leave behind.

Her laughter, warmth and expertise has touched us all.

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