This week’s whole school Senior Assembly was a special assembly dedicated to King’s Hawford Head Mr Turner, who retires this week after 15 years. The assembly included a number of Old Hawfordians who gave their own special reflections on Mr Turner, a ‘special, kind, generous and lovely man.’
Mr Doodes began the assembly with a reflection on his first meeting with Mr Turner:
I first met Mr Turner in November 2019 and was struck by his effervescent enthusiasm for life, for education, for Hawford, for Worcestershire, for King’s, for pigeons, for ducks, for chickens, for birds, for teepees, for open spaces, for canoeing…but above all, for children. Walking around the school there was so many smiles, waves, positivity, affirmation, laughter, jollity and fun. His passion was infectious. This week, therefore, marks the end of an era. An era that has been defined at Hawford by Mr Turner. An era where Hawford has grown, developed and strengthen.
We wanted to commemorate this moment by hosting a special assembly, one where Mr Turner could enjoy reflections from generations of Hawford pupils, led by our senior pupils. So, in a special reflection on an extremely special, kind, generous and lovely man, I hand over to my pupils.
I’m therefore really proud to introduce Millie (L4), Dan (U4), Caitlin (LR), Anton (UR), James (FF) Charlotte (L6) (piece read by Louisa) and Olivia (U6) – Head Girl who will say to Mr Turner what he would be moved to hear from children, not from adults.
Mr Doodes finished off by addressing Mr Turner:
Mr Turner, Jim, you’ve made an indelible mark on King’s and on Hawford. You’ve been an inspiration to many pupils and staff. You’ve given an enormous contribution to the Foundation.
Mr Turner then addressed everyone with his final speech:
“Well, it’s difficult to know what to say after all that but thank you very much to everybody here for your very kind words. Last week I went to speak at the funeral of Douglas Garrad, who founded Hawford in 1955. Without a doubt, Hawford is Douglas Garrad’s Hawford and I have simply been the custodian of the school for the last 15 years.
I’ve loved every minute by the way. I’ve loved being with you. The key thing about Hawford is the children, their willingness to engage in all of the things that we do as you’ve heard. Whether you’re getting out on the canal or working hard in the classroom but remembering all the time that the important thing is to treat everybody with consideration, with courtesy, with respect, and I feel that from the comments we’ve heard today that that is the case so well done to all of you for speaking so well. It was incredible, it was very very moving and humbling.
I feel humbled by those words but can I say also thank you for the comments about the ‘good morning, eye contact and a smile’ because it’s something which has been part of my assemblies right there through the 15 years I’ve been at Hawford, you always start your day by greeting people properly with a big smile and make their day. You never know what they’re thinking about when they come into school but you can make a difference by the things that you do. You can also make a difference by seeing every single challenge as something that is not overwhelming not insurmountable but if you give it your best shot you can achieve whatever you do achieve and you can be proud of that. I’ve been proud to work for King’s School for 15 years, it’s a brilliant place to be. I love Worcester that’s why I’m staying here and I love Hawford and to be honest to have been head of that school for 15 years is just a privilege and an honour so thank you all for your kind words.
I hope you have a great final week of term and a brilliant Easter break and you come back to the summer term and enjoy every minute of it. You can influence today and make today count, don’t worry about yesterday, you can make plans for tomorrow but the only thing you can do is to make today the best day. Work hard and make the most of your talents.
Thank you very much for those very fine wonderful comments and I wish you all well as we move forward into the next challenge in life.
Thank you, Thank you very much.”
You can view last weeks important and relevant Senior Assembly here.
During this week’s Senior Assembly Monitor Bethan reflected on what Mr Doodes brought to light through his address last week following the heart breaking murder of Sarah Everard and the conversation of gender violence and the surrounding issues that have continued to live through discussions in the media and at school. You can view Bethan’s address here.