PE Teacher celebrates 40 years service teaching

wet  High Trees Children's Day Nursery PE teacher Judy Wood.  (130410M1b)
wet High Trees Children's Day Nursery PE teacher Judy Wood. (130410M1b)

A Tadcaster grandmother is celebrating 40 years as a PE teacher and says she has no plans to give the job up.

Judy Wood, 74. will celebrate the milestone of teaching sport to children at High Trees Nursery in Clifford where she puts youngsters through their paces one morning a week.

The married mum-of-two, who started working at the facility in 1973, told the Wetherby News: “I do it because I enjoy it.

“It is like a family now, I know children’s children who I have taught there.”

Judy, a qualified PE teacher, started her teaching career at West Leeds Girls’ High School where she worked full-time teaching pupils from 11 to 18 years a range of sports including tennis, field sports and netball.

She said: “I still believe competitiveness is important, which is what sport teaches you and is a great all rounder.”

After leaving to start a family, she continued to work part-time taking on a variety of PE related positions in educational institutions in the area.

Following some retraining focusing on working with younger age groups, she visited the school twice a week showing children basic skills like throwing, catching, jumping as well as teaching tennis and organising sports day.

The mother continues to visit the nursery once a week and works with children from two to four years old, teaching basic sports skills in preparation for primary school.

The grandmother, who grew up in a sporty household and continues to play sport herself, including golf, also enjoys gardening and walking the dog.

Judy carries out her PE work in the nursery’s indoor ball pool area when the weather is too bad to be outdoors.

This room, originally the indoor swimming pool, acts as an extension to the garden area and allows space for playing Cat and Mouse and children’s running games.

Manager of High Trees Children’s Day Nursery, Anne Dickinson, said: “Judy is a loyal and enthusiastic member of staff who has worked hard for more than 40 years.

“She inspires children to do their best and gets involved in the physical activity.

“As far as we know, Judy has no plans to retire that we know of, which is fantastic.

“The children love Judy because she is so vivacious and bubbly.”

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