Farewell to Mrs Downing

Today was the last day at Bollington Cross CE School for  Mrs Downing after 14 years as Head Teacher. The pupils and teachers gave her a rousing send-off by singing…

Simply The Best

We knock when we need you. You open the door.
You smile then speak, it’s you we adore.
You are Our Head, give us everything we need.

Every day we try harder to do our best.
To reach our targets, complete our SAT’s tests
And all because we want “A Headteacher’s Award”!!

You’re simply the best
Better than all the rest
Better than anyone
Anyone we’ve ever met
We’re stuck on your heart
We hang on every word you say
Mrs Downing Our Head
You’re Simply The Best!

In St Oswald’s Church we follow your lead.
You are our sunshine and we are your seeds
Best double act seen – Mrs D and Rev V!


Our school is good and you are “outstanding”
Inspiration is your middle name
We will miss you but will never forget that
Mrs Downing …. you are the best!!!!!!!!


Blessings and Farewell to Mrs Downing!

I shall personally be very sad to say goodbye to Julie Downing, our amazing Head Teacher at Bollington Cross School, who will be retiring at the end of August this year. Julie was already well established in her post by the time I arrived as Vicar of Bollington (my fifth parish) in the Spring of 2007. Like my predecessor, I was immediately welcomed by Julie into her school community at Bollington Cross, the closest neighbours to St Oswald’s Parish Church. She and I quickly formed a professional bond of friendship and support, as we shared from time to time the comparable burdens as well as the joys of our respective roles. We have offered one another a listening ear and welcomed the different perspective on particular problems or opportunities, each respectfully offered by a colleague who shares a Christian concern for the wellbeing and flourishing of all people of our community, young and old.

For about 14 years Julie has been the highly skilled and experienced Head here at our local Voluntary Controlled Church of England Primary School, herself a committed woman of faith, and a discerning mentor to many others taking on responsibilities and challenges within the realms of education. She has latterly also served as a wise, stringent but empathetic Ofsted Inspector. In our everyday lives, both Julie and I are required to be visionary leaders and encouragers of others, and to work co-operatively with people of all backgrounds across our community. From the outset I have admired Julie’s constant drive for achieving excellence, encouraging others also to climb to greater heights and to reach their potential, this combined with her willingness to tackle (with persistent good grace) the ever-changing educational landscape dictated by successive Government Ministers. Julie has always kept at the forefront of her mind the needs and welfare of the children in her care, and successive “generations” of staff, parents and pupils have so many reasons to be grateful for Julie’s heartfelt dedication, her obvious delight in all her pupils’ achievements and her good-humoured and painstaking approach to the multifarious tasks set before her day by day, week by week and year by year.

She will be a hard act to follow – principally because it is never an “act” with Julie! She is one of the most sincere and genuinely kind people I have had the pleasure of working alongside, and I will miss her calming and cajoling presence in times of stress! However I do now look forward very much to welcoming Julie’s successor as our newly appointed Head Teacher from September, Mr Yenson Donbavand, whose aptitudes, skill, enthusiasm and energy for the tasks ahead certainly shone through during the intensive interview process carried out by the BX School Governors in April. I’m glad to know that Julie will be leaving Bollington Cross School in excellent hands, and we thank her very much for her enduring legacy of commitment to enabling holistic and truly aspirational education for all our children.


RIP Guy Wharton

Following the tragic death of Tytherington School science teacher Guy Wharton in a traffic accident on Tuesday, St Oswald’s will be open during the day for the next ten days (provisionally 8.45am to 6.45pm) as a place of sanctuary for all those who are mourning his loss within the community of Bollington and beyond.

A book of condolence will be available in the church from this afternoon.

The family have a close connection with both Bollington Cross School and our young people’s after-school group RiCH.

Our thoughts and prayers are with Guy’s family, friends and colleagues.

A Hoot for April…

Any guesses as to what this object is? Our artist Ann has captured its complexity and its shiny industrial beauty. It looks rather like a musical instrument but it isn’t, although it used to make quite a noise. In fact it is the actual old steam-driven factory hooter (or blower) from the Adelphi Mill in Bollington, which used to call the cotton workers to start their labours in the morning and get off home in the evening.

It has been acquired for St Oswald’s Church for use instead of the present Church bell. The plan is that the hooter will sound an hour before the time of our Sunday service to wake people up and allow them time for a quick breakfast. It will blow for a full 10 minutes before the actual start of worship at 10.30am. It is believed that the sound of the hooter will reach as far as the top end of Bollington and even Pott Shrigley and Prestbury with the wind in the right direction. Around the Bollington Cross area, it will be quite deafening but the Church Council is of the opinion that it will be welcomed as “a voice from the past reminding people of Bollington’s industrial heritage as well as being a joyful noise and a call to worship” and as the Bible reminds us “to wake up as the night is far spent”. It will be given a trial run (maybe) on the first of April.

Scrooge comes to Bollington Cross School!

It was revealed during the Key Stage 2 Christmas Play in St Oswald’s Church on Wednesday evening 12/12/12 to a shocked audience that Bollington Cross School had a new Scrooge-like Head Teacher who frowned upon any form of seasonal celebrations and had persuaded her staff to ban Christmas altogether!
However in the end the “mini” Mrs Downing was fortunately persuaded to change her mind when all the children of Key Stage Two rebelled and insisted on keeping Christmas as an essential part of their school life and traditions. Carols and songs old and new were enjoyed by all during this splendid performance, which complemented well the delightful Key Stage One Nativity Play as the children once again followed the star to Bethlehem.


Bollington Cross School Leavers’ Poems

Some of the poems written by Year Six pupils and recited at Bollington Cross School Leavers’ Assembly 20 July 2012

My Leaving Poem!

Teachers said, “Never give up a dream.”
I haven’t and I never will.
Teachers: some people don’t need them, but most do.
I need them because they helped me through.

Mrs Downing, can I just say thank you for everything you’ve done for me?
Miss B, you’re the one I’ll never forget!
Miss Bayliss, TIG! Now you’ll never get me back!
Miss Hughes, whenever I eat chocolate I’ll think of you!
Mrs Walker, you made me become this talker!
Mrs Foote, the first teacher I ever had!
And every other friend, you’ll never end!

Mum and Dad, thank you for bringing me to this school.
Bollington Cross, thank you!
For everything you’ve helped me through!

Bye Bye

The years whilst I’ve been in this school have been and gone too fast,
I wish that I could find a way to relive the past.
In year 3, the laughs and fun never seemed to end,
Meeting brand new teachers, meeting brand new friends.
In class 4, doubled were the trips and treats,
Miss Curtis I have to thank you for the shut-up sweets.
In year 5, PGL was the shining star,
Thank you Miss B for helping me this far.
In year 6, I don’t know what I dreaded more:
The horrid awful SATS or Miss B’s birthday roar!
Thanks to all the teachers who helped me all the way.
Thank you to Miss Downing, I just wish I was here to say:
Bolly Cross, you are the best!!!!!!

Leaving Poem

Bolly Cross is one in a million,
The teachers are too,
Thanks so much for coping with me – I know I can be a pain at times!
Miss B drives everyone round the bend,
But she’s still a good teacher!!
I’ve learned a lot of things like:
1 is not a prime number,
Henry the 8th had 6 wives, not 8,
A circuit needs a battery,
Don’t take a trip on the Titanic,
And do not mess with Boudicca!!
Miss Downing runs this fabulous school,
She’s got fantastic teachers,
And I’m not going to forget anyone here.
I’ve got one last question for Miss B:
Has the jam got bits in it?
Thanks Mum and Dad for sending me to this amazing school!

Moving On

Bolly Cross I’ll remember you,
‘Cause of Miss B’s singing which came out of the blue!
These past 7 years have been great:
They have helped me to decide my fate.
Lots of friends I will be leaving behind,
But they will always remain in my mind.
High School is the next step,
Primary gave me massive prep:
Bolly Cross you gave me dreams and hopes,
Which I’ll take with me when I’m climbing life’s slope.

Epiphany Experience 2011 056-001