Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Wendy Thomas 1944-2012: News

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Obituary - Wendy Thomas 1944-2012: News

Article excerpt

The adjectives that colleagues use to describe Wendy Thomas tend to reflect her diligence. She was modest, they say, and efficient, and dignified. But the Suffolk primary teacher also approached her job with a constant smile and an obvious sense of fun.

Wendy Morris was born in Blackpool in November 1944. Fourteen years later, the family moved to her father's native South Wales. There, Wendy enrolled at Caerleon College in Newport, to study needlework. The work, however, offered little outlet for her natural liveliness and love of children. And so she decided to work as a primary teacher.

Her first post was at her own Blackpool alma mater, Norbreck Primary. Here, she demonstrated a talent for order and firmness. But she also exuded warmth and affection: she seemed always to be smiling.

She worked with reception pupils and relished the hands-on elements of this job: the painting, drawing and moulding with play dough. And the job provided an outlet for her sewing skills, too. Her classroom walls were often bedecked with colourful fabric collages.

Before long, she returned to South Wales, taking a job at Newport's Eveswell Primary, and then at nearby Monnow Primary. Here, her landlady offered to introduce her to a nice young man. That man was Alan Thomas (coincidentally a former Eveswell pupil). The pair married in 1965 and Mrs Thomas gave up work to raise their two children, Robert and Alison.

In 1975, Alan's work took the family to Suffolk. Ten years later, Mrs Thomas returned to work, this time as reception teacher at Felixstowe's Langer Primary. …

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