It was with great sadness that we shared the news of Tricia Skilbeck’s death on the 1st May 2018. She had bravely fought a long battle with cancer. We would like to take this opportunity to remember and celebrate her life.
Tricia had been headteacher at Silkstone from September 2011 until Summer 2017. Following a career in nursing, Tricia came into teaching later in life after completing a degree in Psychology. She was passionate about teaching and the difference we, as teachers, could make to children and their learning. She ensured that they were at the heart of all that we did and looked not only to the educational but also the emotional well-being of all children. Tricia endeavoured to make Silkstone a school with soul where learning experiences and opportunities were inspiring.
Both in school and out of school Tricia’s love for life was huge. She was a keen runner, completing the Dublin marathon, whilst fundraising for school, just before her diagnosis in October 2013. Tricia also loved to bake and would bring different cakes and chocolates into school. Her greatest love though was for her family and during this last year she spent precious time looking after her grandchildren and being surrounded by their love and lightness. Tricia looked at life as a miracle and that each day brought its own memories and joy.
Tricia wrote that once she had gone she wished for us to:
‘Build a bonfire. It doesn’t need to be a real one. Imagine a bright, beautiful bonfire of the type we had when we were children, filled with tremendous excitement and potential. I want jacket potatoes and toffee apples to be eaten in celebration of life and with joyous abandon, free from all thoughts of consequences.’
We will celebrate her life in school on the 13th of July. This will be a non uniform day, with money donated shared between Kirkwood Hospice and Barnsley Hospice, who cared for Tricia and Avril Griffin in their final days. It is our intention that this will be a day filled with joy and an opportunity to celebrate lives well lived.