Headteacher’s Christmas Message

Another great term at St. Clare's

Dear Parents

I would like to thank all the pupils, parents and staff for another great term at St. Clare’s. The Autumn Term is one of the busiest but also the happiest in a school. There is nothing better than watching pupils from the age of three learning their lines and singing their hearts out in the Christmas Nativity.

I totally understand that as a parent it can be quite stressful helping your little ones learn their lines and then dashing around the town, trying to find a costume for a donkey or a sheep or even a clean tea towel for your little shepherd’s head. They are however, moments to cherish.

I am writing this after a week of fantastic concerts from Nursery to Senior School. Last night we came together to watch the ‘Blues Sisters.’ I am always amazed by the amount of talent we have in a relatively small school. Last night I was overwhelmed and so proud of the performances of pupils from the Infants classes through to the Sixth Form.

It has been a very busy term, with lots of events. We hosted the ‘Spelling Bee’ for the second year, organised by Mrs. Burns, our Head of English. It was a great success with so many talented Year 5 and 6 pupils on the stage. The way all the pupils managed the pressure and were able to spell extremely difficult words in front of a large audience, whilst trying to beat the timer was astonishing. We were very lucky to have Karen Pallauda, actress, writer, producer and LAMDA teacher here at St. Clare’s and Andrea Byrne, journalist and presenter as our guest judges. I would like to thank both judges for giving up their time to judge the evening and I would also like to send our very best wishes to Karen who is due to give birth to her second child this month.

We have also had great sporting success this term, with our cross-country teams from Years 3-6 all ranking in the top five in the Bridgend District. This could mean a shield for some of them in the new year, well done all, we are keeping our fingers crossed!

There have been many developments with the school buildings over the last few months and I have been extremely pleased to receive so much positive feedback about the changes we have made to the school. We have completed a beautiful restoration project in the Prep School, where now, thanks to very talented joiners and artisans, we have a beautiful main entrance once again.

We also completed a new art, graphics and textiles block in the Senior School over the summer and it is now a fantastic facility to match the quality of the work that is produced by the pupils in this department. The department has been recognised for outstanding quality of work by the WJEC and our pupils’ work is currently on display in the WJEC building.

We also have a newly renovated maths room in the senior school and we have implemented a new teaching strategy, recognised as best practice in the Wellington Education Festival which Mr. Evans and Mrs. Parker attended. All the walls are now covered in whiteboard paint and the pupils write their workings out and equations on the walls. This has been extremely successful in raising levels of engagement in the subject.

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome Dr. Jessica Webb to the English Department at St. Clare’s. Dr Webb completed her PhD in English Literature at Cardiff University and taught on the undergraduate course at this university. While completing her PhD, Dr. Webb was awarded the Robert C. Schweik Scholarship from Yale University and also gave guest lectures at Calgary University, Oxford University (Mansfield College), Exeter University and Bristol University.

After moving into secondary education, she was Head of English, Media, Drama and Psychology at Archbishop McGrath RC School and also taught at Christ College Brecon. Dr Webb has published numerous academic articles on Victorian Literature and produced WJEC digital resources for A Level. She also received Arts Council of Wales funding to publish her first children’s book, Jasper’s Tale, and has a new picture book scheduled for release in 2020. She is a senior A Level examiner/moderator for the WJEC and writes for the English Review.

I am delighted that we have been able to appoint Dr. Webb and I know that you will welcome her to St. Clare’s.

Finally, I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope you enjoy some quality with your families and we look forward to welcoming you back in January.

Kind regards


Helen Hier

01656 782509