CLYTHA Primary has a lot to be proud of after its former head teacher Ann Picton was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s new year honours.

Mrs Picton retired at the end of the summer term last year and was succeeded by the school’s deputy head Ann Price.

Mrs Price, who joined the school as deputy head in 2007, said her predecessor will hopefully be visiting the school in the future to talk to the children about receiving the MBE.

Mrs Price said the school sees itself as a village school in the centre of a city with a ‘family feel’, where many of the families have been with the school for generations.

She said the school has a rich and diverse community with its multiculturalism celebrated at every level.

“Festivals and significant events from all religions are part of the children’s education as we believe it is important for children to understand the thoughts and beliefs of others to help our children to live together in a community and a multicultural society,” she said.

She said the children’s wellbeing, literacy and numeracy skills are the school’s priorities.

Welsh has a high profile in the school and it has recently taken part in providing some examples of good practice for Estyn documentation.

The school’s motto is not to say anything in English which can be said in Welsh.

It has a Criw Cymraeg which is made up of pupils from years one to six who meet once a week and come up with ways to promote the use of Welsh in school.

This includes coming up with a phrase of the week and the committee reports back to the school at assembly about what they have been doing.

Children are awarded for speaking Welsh with points added up at the end of the week.

Mrs Price said: “It really helps raise the standard of Welsh with children and the staff. We all enjoy learning Welsh and standards are really high when they leave.”

Despite being a city school Mrs Price said Clytha makes use of every available inch of its grounds.

This includes a gardening club which is responsible for planting and maintaining shrub beds and there are also several raised beds where vegetables are grown.

It also has a forest school area for years two and five.

Pupils take part in activities such as shelter building, environmental art and use whittling sticks to toast marshmallows.

Clytha’s work in sport is another of its strengths which was recognised when it gained the PE Active Marc Cymru last year.

The school is a member of the London 2012 Get Set Network and it is already carrying out activities in the countdown to the Olympics.

Tournaments are already lined up with other schools for hockey and netball.

Clytha has a sports council, made up of year five and six pupils and staff, and was set up to promote sport in the school.

The school, which was built in 1901, had recent visits from Newport Harriers Athletic Club and has set up a link with Stow Park Lawn Tennis Club which provides an after-school club with expert coaching by Chris Lovett. Clytha has a series of groups and extra-curricular activities with around 75 percent of its pupils attending an after-school club on a Wednesday.

The arts play an important part of children’s education at Clytha with weekly singing sessions from Gwent Music Service and also has a Welsh folk dancing club.

Music activities also include Japanese Taiko drumming which year five pupils will be taking part in over the next ten weeks before performing in front of parents.

Mrs Price said the school has strong links with the community.

“We are so lucky to have extremely supportive parents who play a large part in the life of the school,” she said.

The school has an active Parent Teacher Association, Clytha Friends, which raises money for the school with activities such as quizzes.

The association recently bought a recorder for every child in the school and each class has a weekly lesson where they are taught by their class teacher.

It also paid for new reading books and trim trails for outdoors.

All of the school’s year six pupils have monitor roles which they take seriously.

This could be organising playtime activities or selling fruit at the school’s fruit tuck shop The year six pupils also each have a buddy which is a child in reception class who they support throughout the year The school also has an ecocommittee and a school council and is working towards renewing its green flag status.

The grounds also host the early years unit.

This is for pre-school children set up and run by a school-based management committee.

Links are created between the unit and the reception class at the school with both classes involved in many joint projects in the spring and summer terms, including a beach party in July.




ESTYN inspectors said: “The quality of teaching is excellent.

“The school is very well ordered, inclusive and caring with clearly understood expectations where everyone is valued and respected.”