A NEWPORT infant school which closed yesterday after 75 years is also waving farewell to four members of staff who are retiring.

Gaer Infant School, on Melfort Road, Newport, lost its fight against the merge with Gaer Junior School last year and shut its doors for the last time yesterday.

After 20 years, head teacher Marilyn Biddle is retiring from the school ahead of the merge to form Gaer Primary School in September.

Also joining her in retirement are three colleagues: office manager Geraldine Granger, caretaker Roger Hollyoaks and foundation years classroom assistant Lesley Parratt.

Reception teacher Stacey Saladino said: “We have been fighting passionately to keep our school but we will be amalgamating and losing the building.

“It is exciting times in the sense that we are coming together as a whole school but it is sad because of all the fundraising that has made the school what it is and we will lose the fantastic grounds.”

Staff and pupils celebrated the life of the school with a fortnight of commemorations including a Mary Poppins-themed school trip to Tredegar House in Newport on Wednesday, July 9.

Mrs Granger, 60, who is retiring after 15 years of working at the school, said: “It’s fantastic seeing children come in at nursery as tiny, tiny children and then leaving in Year Two with so much more confidence.”

She said is particularly looking forward to spending more time with her seven grandchildren and looking after the youngest, who is just three months old.

Mrs Parratt is taking early retirement at 54 to finish off her MA in Therapeutic Developmental Play at Swansea University.

She said: “I’ve been here for 14 years, started as a parent helper and because of the school I studied for a foundation degree in early years.”

A party was held for the retiring staff at the school last night as a final farewell to the school and its people.