The Archbishop of Wales joined pupils, parents, teachers and governors to celebrate their school’s 30th birthday this week.
Dr Barry Morgan re-dedicated All Saints Church in Wales School, Barry, and cut the birthday cake after a short service which was based on the original dedication service in 1986.
He said, “This is a school which is not just interested in how well children perform in tests but cares about how they grow emotionally and spiritually – how they look after each other, respect other people and learn about faith. It may have reached the ripe old age of 30 (!), but it is a school which does not stand still and is looking to the future with as much anticipation as it had when it opened.”
Welcoming the guests, headteacher Clare Lewis described the school as a treasure chest whose jewels were the children, staff, parents, governors and friends in the wider community.
“We teach our children to value their education, too, as they would a precious jewel, to value all the opportunities they have. We also teach them to love God as well – our school is based on strong Christian principles and our faith is at the heart of our school.”
She added, “It’s been an absolutely amazing journey to where we are now and I know there are many more exciting times ahead. I feel very privileged to be headteacher and I can’t wait to take the school forward.”
Among the guests was the former Rector of All Saints, the Revd John Oeppen, who arrived at the parish weeks before the opening of the school in 1986 and served as the school’s chair of Governors until his retirement 22 years later. Describing the challenges the new school faced, he paid tribute to the vision of its three headteachers – Mrs Lyn Allen (1986-90), Richard Ware (1991-2013) and Miss Lewis – and the dedication of the staff: “This is a school which has been well loved over the years and which gets things done,” he said.
Another of the school’s first governors was also present. Richard Gibbon had been a church warden at All Saints Church at the time and a well known businessman, having set up the PrintMet engineering company. Now aged 93, he and his wife, Mabe, have seen their three grandchildren go through the school.
Following the service, guests were treated to a tea party at which the Archbishop cut the birthday cake.
Archbishop Barry with from left, Revd Kevin Lake, priest in charge of All Saints church; Susan Williams – vice chair of governors; Clare Lewis, headteacher; Aled Williams, dept head; Revd John Oeppen, former chair of governors.