A NEWPORT headteacher is retiring after more than 40 years in the profession.

Anne Sweeting has been deputy headteacher and headteacher of Caerleon Endowed Infant School for 21 years.

Yesterday, at the school’s fourth annual Easter service and procession she thanked the pupils, staff and parents for all their help and hard work over the past two decades.

She said: “Teaching has been my life. Working here has been hugely rewarding, and while I am reluctant to leave I feel it is the right time. I wouldn’t change a moment of it, it has been wonderful.

“I would like to thank the pupils, staff and parents at this school for all their support over the years and helping to make this school one of the best infant schools in Wales.

“I would also like to thank the governors, the diocese and the community for their support and love over the last 21 years. It is thanks to the hard work of everyone involved in the school that I have been able to bring it up to being one of the best performing schools around.”

She added: “I’m definitely leaving on a high.

Mrs Sweeting plans to spend her retirement travelling, walking, going to concerts and continuing her involvement in choirs, and in September she hopes to find part-time work in education.

Around 500 pupils, parents and grandparents gathered in the school yard before re-enacting Palm Sunday with a procession remembering Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem days before the crucifixion. They were joined by three donkeys from Cwmbran’s Greenmeadow Community Farm.

They then gathered for a service at St Cadoc’s church in the High Street.

Mrs Sweeting said: “It’s a wonderful way to celebrate the Easter story, and taking part like this with their singing and the donkeys makes it more of a ‘real life’ experience for the children – they love the donkeys.”

The most recent Estyn Report of the school, from 2009 said: “Caerleon Endowed Infant School is a good school that has improved rapidly in recent months. The head teacher is providing effective leadership and members of staff have made significant contributions to recent developments. The school is working closely with the local authority to secure improvement.

Mrs Sweeting was appointed as headteacher in September 2008. She had previously been the acting head teacher from January 2008 and the deputy head teacher before that. Her last day at the school is today (Friday).