School’s finally out for Finsbury Park head

Parkwood Primary headteacher Pat Cardis

Parkwood Primary headteacher Pat Cardis - Credit: Archant

School’s finally out for a primary school head teacher after a teaching career spanning 44 years.

Parkwood Primary headteacher Pat Cardis with a group of year six pupils

Parkwood Primary headteacher Pat Cardis with a group of year six pupils - Credit: Archant

Pat Cardis retired yesterday from the helm of Parkwood Primary School in Queens Drive, Finsbury Park.

The dedicated head has worked at the school continuously since starting her career there at the age of 21.

Ms Cardis said: “I’ve never worked anywhere else. It feels like I’ve worked in lots of different schools because so much has changed over the years, and all the systems have changed.

“When I started there was no national curriculum but now we have one”, she said. “The school got an outstanding rating during the last Ofsted inspection.

“The make-up of the area has also changed. It has become a lot more affluent. It was quite mixed when I started. We had a lot of short-term and temporary accommodation in the area.

“There were quite a few Bangladeshi families waiting to be rehoused.

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“Since then they have stopped temporary housing.

“We have now got 40 languages represented here. We have got a huge mixture including Russian, Spanish, Congolese, Nigerian, Lithuanian. It’s a real melting pot and nice to have such a big group. The children all get on here. It’s great.

“Despite the change in demographics, there are still people from some of the original families in the area. A few people who are former pupils have grand-children coming to the school. “We have a staff member who went to the school. Her children came to the school and now her grand-child is about to start.”

Ms Cardis admitted she was sad about leaving although she will be coming back to support the transition. She said: “It will be hard to retire. I’m very attached to the school.”

Staff have held a few good-bye parties to mark Ms Cardis’s retirement including a BBQ on July 19, a dinner party with parents’ and staff and a former pupils event on July 4.