Having served at the school for more than a decade, headteacher Jackie Eames bid an emotional farewell to staff and pupils.
Batley Girls’ High School gave Mrs Eames a big send-off as she stepped down from her role after 12 years.
After a hugely successful period at the school, she leaves Batley Girl’s top of the national league tables for results and attainment.
“It has been a fabulous 12 years and I am proud of everyone who has come through these doors,” she said.
“I had my last teaching lesson and the pupils bought me beautiful flowers and cup cakes, each with a little message on them. It was very touching.
“Without a doubt the school feels like a family and that is what I will miss.”
Born in Salford, Mrs Eames trained at Manchester University before taking a teaching job in London. Her ambitions to travel saw her teach English to disadvantaged children in Saudi Arabia and Morocco.
She returned to the UK to take a job at a newly built sixth form college in Oldham. Mrs Eames then successful applied for the headteacher role at Batley Girls’ in 2002.
Reflecting on her tenure, she said: “The biggest difference is the physical transformation. There were no social areas or a wellbeing centre when I started.
“The centre has been open for five years and it is staffed with nurses and councillors who give health advice and information. That is something I am very proud of because few schools have that.”
Mrs Eames now plans to use her experience to help struggling schools in Bradford reach and maintain the high standards achieved by Batley Girls’.
“I have been asked to work in a leadership role, which I am very looking forward to,” she said. “However it won’t all be work. I will be teaching zumba and ballet in the community and I was fluent in French when I started in Batley so I want to get that back up to speed.”
Pupils and staff surprised Mrs Eames by dedicating their annual summer show to her.
Deputy headteachers Ann McCall and Julie Haigh will take over as co-heads.