An English teacher at St Francis' College in Letchworth, who helped pupils 'fall in love with learning,' is retiring after 33 years' service.

Clare Moore, head of English as a foreign language at the college, started in September 1989. Her primary role has been to teach English to overseas students boarding at the college, but her time there has also seen her form tutor to all year groups.

Mrs Moore has taught students from countries all over the world, including Japan, Russia, Spain, France and China, and many have paid tribute to her.

Irina Myasova said: “One of the very first people I met in England was Mrs Moore and, from the start, she always tried to make us feel at home.

"She has influenced my life in numerous ways, from the way to take a photo - always stop and don’t hurry - to the choice of my profession. I became an English teacher myself when I returned to Russia and have been teaching English ever since.

"I have my own tiny school of English and try to teach my students the way Mrs Moore taught us."

The Comet: Clare joined Letchworth's St Francis' College in 1989Clare joined Letchworth's St Francis' College in 1989 (Image: Emilee Shaw)

Maria Semikina said: "Clare was truly our foster English mother, who helped us to get as close to mother tongue in English as we could over the years. I recall most of our lessons to this day, as Clare helped us fall in love with learning. We laughed and we worked very hard, because she did too.

"Clare changed the trajectory of my life, as I was very homesick for the first two months and used to cry in every lesson, until one day Clare asked me to face up to it and make a choice - stay in the UK or go back home to Russia. As harsh as it sounds, and after all other softer approaches failed, it was necessary, and it truly worked for me, as I am still living in the UK, have a wonderful family and a truly exciting career."

Ada Kwan said: "As a foreign student, Mrs Moore is more than a teacher. She is our friend, sister, careers advisor and love counsellor. She has been very patient and always encourages us to learn and practice English through different ways. I wish her a very happy retirement."