Nina Celebrates 20 Years at St Clare’s
Our amazing, brilliant and nutty Course Director for the Junior Summer Course Nina Ward celebrated her 20th year with us at St Clare’s! Her daily tasks involve running the busy and fun packed Junior Course as well as ensuring students settle in happily and smoothly. She is a huge asset to St Clare’s and we were able to catch up with her to find out her best memories, her reasons for returning every year and the reasons she loves being Course Director
Hi Nina, congratulations! How does it feel to have completed your 20th year at St. Clare’s?
Well to be honest it was a bit of a shock to realise I’d reached that milestone! I didn’t realise I was so old!
What first attracted you to St. Clare’s Junior Summer Course?
I’d heard about St Clare’s and knew it had a really good reputation for its International Baccalaureate Programme. In fact I’d been to Oxford the previous year to visit the school as I had a student who was interested in going there. I remember being really impressed with the friendliness of the staff and the welcoming atmosphere. Then the following summer I was offered the opportunity to take over as Course Director in their junior campus. I was so happy!
Has anything changed over the years?
Oh yes, lots of things! The course has evolved and we have added a lot of new activities and trips. We now have a talent show which is very popular and it’s wonderful to see the variety of talents which our students possess – the Chinese students especially are amazing pianists, and last summer we had a family of Jordanian students with incredible magic tricks! I’ve seen gymnasts from Poland, ballet dancers from Russia, break dancing from Germany, poets from Indonesia and fantastic singers from all over the world!
The number of different nationalities has increased so we now usually have over 20 different countries represented on our courses!
That’s hard to say, I have so many happy memories of my years at St Clare’s. I have met so many wonderful people both among the staff and students and it is great when they come back and tell us how they are doing.
What is your proudest moment at St. Clare’s?
I don’t know if proud is the right word, but I certainly felt quite emotional when I was presented with an engraved vase to mark my 10 years at St Clare’s and Lawrie Coupland made a speech.
What makes you come back year after year?
The family atmosphere we have created over the years both among staff and students. I work with some amazing people who are very supportive and it is the team that make it all possible. Staff who return year after year are so important in maintaining continuity and the new staff bring different ideas and a new energy every year!
If you could change one thing about St. Clare’s Junior Summer Course, what would it be?
I’d send everyone to bed at 8pm so I could sleep more!!! It’s quite exhausting!
What 3 words describe your time at St. Clare’s?
Dedication. Satisfaction. Hilarity!
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