An extract from this morning’s presentation assembly:

’22 years’ service represents an incredible commitment. Based on 480 pupils in school for 176 days per year for 22 years, Mrs Mallard has overseen the service of roughly 1,858,560 meals to Dixie students. But of course numbers don’t do justice to Mrs Mallard’s loyalty and dedication to the Dixie. I have been here a relatively short period of time, and so I only have a few Mrs Mallard stories. The snow leopard biscuits she produced every year for open morning – they used to take her two whole weekends to prepare. The home made Christmas minced pies that every year I joke with her come from Iceland, of course don’t come from Iceland – she makes them all, fresh, in school and again gives up her weekends to ensure we have nothing but the best. I was in school this weekend briefly on Saturday morning. Whose car was in the yard? Mrs Mallard’s. My favourite Mrs Mallard story relates to the beast from the east we all enjoyed last January. Mrs Mallard knew she would be able to make it home safely, but could not guarantee making it back into school the next day. So she booked into a local hotel at her own expense, to ensure that the few who could make it into school were served hot food. She single-handedly ensured the school could open. Our caterers Holroyd Howe have gone through the process of replacing Mrs Mallard, but of course Mrs Mallard will never be replaced. Not really. And so on behalf of the staff, Abi and Zach would like to present Mrs Mallard with a picture of the school for her to hang at home, to remind her of us all. A coaster with the picture on for when she has that well deserved cup of tea and a sit down, and some flowers and a card from the whole student body.’