THE executive head teacher is just one week into the job.

Even though she is still finding her feet, the mission of Claire Charlemagne at St Mary’s Independent School is clear.

‘We nurture. We inspire. We achieve.’

With 235 students spread across year groups that start educating those at age three, Claire says it's the small groups that ensure pupils keep coming back with strong results.

The Catholic school boasted a 100 per cent pass rate with English and Maths last year, with the school taking in more students in the younger years.

With a host of clubs ranging from a mixed football team to warhammer, the inclusivity of the curriculum keeps both staff and students happy.

Claire said: “Our pupils definitely feel included, which is what we aim to do.

“I am just beginning to find my feet but I already knew what a special school this is.

“We have students from a host of nationalities and that’s something that we’re pleased to offer. Everything comes with our Catholic belief system here and we are increasing in numbers.”

Despite the current exam results, Claire said that maintaining those standards is their prime focus.

Claire added: “Of course you always want to strive to do better.

“Our results though are so high, well above the national average, that we want to make sure they stay there, and that’s our target at the moment.”

Pupils said that they enjoyed the small year sizes, which made the school feel more like ‘a family’.

Eleni Anna Papadakis Kotsardou, a year 11 prefect at the school, said the smaller year groups meant that everyone knew everybody and could help welcome the new additions to the school.

Eleni, 15, said: “We all each other and everyone’s talents and what they like.

“Of course new students have come in so we aren’t there yet, but there’s so many groups here and we all feel like a family.”