PE teacher to swap school minibus for a dumper truck in Christmas career change

Sheringham Primary School pupils Finn and Evie with PE teacher Matthew Groves, who is embarking on a

Sheringham Primary School pupils Finn and Evie with PE teacher Matthew Groves, who is embarking on a new career as a builder.Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

A much-loved Norfolk PE teacher will be swapping football boots for safety shoes, when he leaves his job of ten years to embark on a new career as a builder.

Sheringham Primary School pupils Finn and Evie with PE teacher Matthew Groves, who is embarking on a

Sheringham Primary School pupils Finn and Evie with PE teacher Matthew Groves, who is embarking on a new career as a builder.Photo: KAREN BETHELL - Credit: Archant

Matthew Groves, who is PE co-ordinator at Sheringham Primary School, said goodbye to staff and pupils at the start of the Christmas holidays this week, and will be starting work at Beeston Regis-based company Alto Construction in January.

As a former Sheringham Primary pupil himself, Mr Groves followed a family tradition when took a job as a teaching assistant at the school after a five-year stint working as an instructor at Hilltop outdoor activity centre.

His father Tim became chairman of the parent teacher association not long after the Cooper Road school opened in 1986 and went on to teach there for nearly 20 years, while his mother Jackie spent many years as chair of governors.

After being encouraged by the then head teacher Dominic Cragoe to train as a teacher six years ago, Mr Groves, 33, gained a degree in childhood studies, but, after going on to complete a specialist PE course, decided he would rather be based on the sports field than in the classroom.

'It is fantastic to see how children shine doing PE,' he said. 'And I'm very passionate about giving everyone the same opportunity, from children at an elite level, to those with disabilities.'

As head of PE, he has taken boys and girls' football teams to county championship tournaments a number of times, also accompanying a Year 6 girls' team to London when they represented Norfolk in the East of England championships.

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He has run hockey, football, rugby, cricket and cross country lunchtime and after school clubs, as well as organising school holiday activity events and accompanying pupils on residential trips.

Mr Groves, who received hundreds of messages, gifts and cards, said he would miss teaching staff, office staff and pupils, but is looking forward to having more time to spend with sons Timmy, 6, and Teddy, 3.

'There are absolutely no negatives about my time here, but school is quite a stressful environment and I just felt it was time for a change,' he said. 'It will be nice to be able to finish work knowing I'm done for the day and to be more involved in my boys' school lives.'

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