Spelling Lists and Times Tables Take Pupils to the Top of the National Class

Article excerpt

BRYN Williams is an old-fashioned teacher - and proud of it.

When he was a youngster, children sat in rows facing the blackboard. If they wanted to speak they raised their hands, and waited for permission.

In more than 30 years as a teacher, Bryn has seen different methods tried out in schools.

So-called modern teaching involved children sitting around tables facing each other, talking when they wanted to, and discovering things for themselves rather than being told.

But not at Dingle Primary School in Kingswinford, Dudley, which has 204 pupils.

Bryn, who teaches the school's 11-year-olds and is also deputy head-teacher, always stuck to the traditional ways.

And he is not surprised that now the wheel has turned full circle - and they are coming back in fashion.

Because he puts the school's success in helping pupils achieve top marks down to its emphasis on the tried and tested method of teaching.

An average of nine out of ten youngsters hit the Government targets in English, maths and science.

Bryn said: "This is not an affluent area. The school is sandwiched between a former council estate and private houses.

"There is crime here. The school was regularly vandalised by people coming into it at evenings or weekends, until we erected fencing around it.

"And of the 20 11-year-olds I taught last year, five had special educational needs. But the problems we face are mild compared with some schools.

"We are very proud of achieving such excellent results this year.

"It's not all down to me. If anything I have the easiest job in the school, because I only teach the children when they are older and more grown-up. …