Wilburton teacher Robyn Dalby-Stockwell awarded MBE for work with children with learning difficulties

Robyn Dalby-Stockwell, from Wilburton, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday honours list.

Robyn Dalby-Stockwell, from Wilburton, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday honours list.

A teacher from Wilburton who championed a method of teaching reading to children with learning difficulties has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

79-year-old Robyn Dalby-Stockwell has honoured for her work with synthetic phonics – a method of teaching where children are taught to read groups of letters by the way they sound.

Over a 57 year career, Ms Dalby-Stockwell has worked with children from all backgrounds and abilities.

Ms Dalby-Stockwell has also written a number of books, including poetry books ‘Gnomes Pomes’ and ‘Pesky Poetry.’

Robyn, who is nearing her 80th birthday, said: “I dedicate my honour to all my kids who have worked so hard to fulfil their potential.”


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She was a pioneer teacher of synthetic phonics at a time when the method was considered unfashionable and irrelevant.

She was to see standards slip as a result of using inferior teaching methods and more and more children becoming unable to read. Determined to rescue those abandoned by their teachers and the education authorities she carried on teaching synthetic phonics using her own system with remarkable success.

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She accepted any child of any background for whatever fees the parents could afford and in due course Robyn was vindicated by synthetic phonics returning to schools and reading standards beginning to improve.

She says she is determined to continue helping her children attain the gift of literacy for as long as she is able. Robyn’s Queen’s Birthday honour of an MBE is richly deserved.

* President of the Cambridgeshire Chambers of Commerce, Iain Crighton, has also been awarded an MBE.

Mr Crighton, who is also chairman of Living Sport, has been recognised for his efforts in participation in sport across the county.

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