Starting school for the first time can be a terrifying prospect for a child.
But the process has been made easier for two and even three generations of youngsters from Pole Moor and Upper Slaithwaite.
Hundreds of children over the past decades knew they would see a friendly face familiar to their family as they took their first tentative steps into the classroom at Wilberlee Junior and Infant School.
But things are about to change.
For the reception class teacher for the last 38 years has been Mrs Susan Crowther, who has finally decided to retire from the village school.
Sue, 57, joined the school straight from teacher training college and has taught the reception class ever since.
She has become a local legend and one former pupil summed it up by saying: “Wilberlee is Mrs C.”
Mike O’Connor, the school’s chair of governors, said: “Mrs Crowther’s 38 years of service to Wilberlee have been exemplary in that she has always put the children’s education first, despite the paperwork.
“She has made an incredible positive impact on the hundreds of children she has taught and that can be seen in the many ways that pupils, parents and staff, past and present have come together over recent weeks to show their appreciation.”
Colleague Hazel Roebuck added: “The school has had an amazing amount of well-wishers who have called in over the last two weeks.
“Sue cares for all who come to Wilberlee: children, parents and staff and has a real community attitude towards people and the environment.
“She has a genuine interest in people, and greeted everyone with great affection. Sue always has a .ready smile and dry wit and is a superb raconteur.
“We will really miss her.”
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