A TEACHER known for his love of sport and stories is bidding a fond farewell to the school he has taught at for nearly three decades.

David Wells is retiring from St Mary’s Primary School in Yate following 29 years’ service.

He said: “I am going to miss the children obviously as I really have enjoyed working with them.

“And I am going to miss my friends and colleagues. I think it is going to be a bit strange to start with.”

Mr Wells, 58, began teaching at Abbotswood Primary School, also in Yate, where he worked for three years before moving to St Mary’s in 1983.

He has worked in a number of different roles, teaching most year groups and head of a variety of subjects. He even took up the headship for a short time during a period of illness.

The father-of-two from Chipping Sodbury coached the school’s football team as well as the South Gloucestershire district squad but he will be best remembered for his storytelling abilities.

“I really think it is important to read stories to children,” said the Fulham supporter, also a runner with the Hogweed Trotters. “A lot of parents don’t anymore.

“Parents and people I have taught have told me they will always remember me for the little stories I make up.”

Overseen by four different head teachers in his time, Mr Wells has seen many changes at the school not least when the buildings were damaged by a devastating arson attack in February this year.

“Some of the biggest changes in teaching have been the introduction of technology, that has made a really big different,” he said. “The school itself has grown slightly and actually I think the fire made us stronger. Everyone came together and helped.”

Head teacher Mary Baskerville said: “He has been really adaptable and I have always known I can rely on him to be flexible and versatile to teach the different year groups.

“He is more than part of the furniture at St Mary’s and we will all miss him.”

Mr Wells may return occasionally to teach part time otherwise he will be concentrating on playing golf, DIY projects, travel and running.