Joanna Barfield former member of staff (1983-1987)

It is with regret that I share the sad news that a former member of staff in the Modern Languages Department, Joanna Barfield, died on Wednesday 29 May, 2024.  Joanna was only at Bancroft’s for a short time but made a big impact.

Joanna was very touched to receive messages of good wishes from former colleagues during her illness.

Her Head of Department, John Dunston, has written the following tribute which will bring back memories for both pupils and colleagues who knew Joanna.

Being able to appoint Joanna to the Modern Languages Department at Bancroft’s was one of the best things that could happen to a Head of Department. Joanna brought vivacity, enthusiasm and total commitment to her role. She inspired her pupils with a love of learning languages, but much more than that, a love of experiencing friendships with those from another culture not least through her involvement in the school’s European Evenings and the exchanges with Regiomontanus Gymnasium in Hassfurt, Bavaria. She had a natural gift for communicating, in whatever language, and brought a sense of fun and dedication to all she undertook at the school, even to Department Meetings (which are not always the most exciting of events in the life of a teacher!). Joanna’s friendship was such an enriching part of being on the staff at Bancroft’s with her. I will always remember how, as a member of the renowned Bespoke Buffets partnership with Chris and Anne Taylor, she helped to make my late father’s 70th birthday particularly memorable and enjoyable for him through the wonderful dinner they prepared for over sixty people, and just at a time when he had recently lost his wife. That was just one of the innumerable acts of kindness and love that characterised Joanna, and by which we will always remember her.

On behalf of Bancroft’s and the Old Bancroftians’ Association our sincere condolences to Joanna’s family at this difficult time.