THERE was excitement tinged with sadness at a school in York as the children celebrated the end of term - but also said goodbye to a beloved member of staff.

Annabel Gibb joined York Steiner School in Fulford 25 years ago while the founders, Michael and Joan Rose, were still in place.

Annabel has steered the school through major changes and several visits from Ofsted, which culminated in a rating of ‘Good in all areas’ earlier this year.

As well as taking centre stage for her official leaving ceremony on the last day of term on Friday (July 15), where the children performed a song written especially for her, Annabel took part in the week-long end of term celebrations.

Annabel said: "I have never worked anywhere with such a wonderful group of people, they are good fun, creative, interesting and so very committed.

“Parents, carers, grandparents and friends are a vital part of any Steiner Waldorf school and ours are no exception, supporting fairs and festivals as well as stepping up with all sorts of other contributions from class trips to bake sales, dragon boat races to bike rides.

“Of course, central are the children. I have been privileged to work with so many beautiful, interesting, spirited young people - and I will miss them more than anything.”

Along with multiple school plays and performances, all the children took part in a colourful sports day and a huge end of term concert in front of parents and friends of the school where they celebrated the contribution of the Class 8 pupils, who are leaving the school this year to take up places at All Saints and Millthorpe schools in the city.

Teachers still found time to fit in the usual lessons – arranging a day of special first aid training for the older year groups – and one of the most moving of all Steiner School traditions, the 'Jump The Rope' ceremony where the youngest kindergarten children run through a flower arch and jump into their new life in Class 1 in the main school.

In May this year, the school held a special fair with around 2,000 people in attendance. A range of children’s activities and games were on offer at the fair. But, the star event was the maypole dancing, where every class performed a choreographed display in front of the large crowd.

The school provides learning based on the ideas of 20th-century philosopher and reformer, Rudolf Steiner and offers age-appropriate teaching based on the needs of each child, without the use of SATs, grades or standardised testing. It received the second highest rating by Ofsted of ‘Good’ across all areas of activity in March this year.