What's on. Traditional Teaching

Education traditionalist to promote traditional teaching techniques at course in Ayrshire

An education traditionalist renowned for his success in implementing teaching methods discarded by UK mainstream schooling half a century ago is to share his philosophy at a course in Ayrshire.

Nevile Gwynne, educated at Eton and Oxford, gives modern-day classroom practices a wide berth, and holds that the traditional style of education is still relevant, appropriate and effective for all ages today. He will discuss the traditional approach and practices during a course entitled,Traditional TeachingTechniques that really work, which will run at Dumfries House estate from Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 August.

Gwynne has, through mainstream media, regularly bemoaned a “dumbing down” of education that he argues has formed part of a “child-centred” curriculum throughout British schools in the past 50 years. He is the author of books on Latin and grammar and appears twice a month for two hours on the BBC Radio 5 “Up All Night” to discuss the use of language. He acts as a private online tutor to many children all over the world.

This short course will be unique and that is not an exaggeration - Mr N. M. Gwynne

A number of education professionals agree with Gwynne’s principles and he has been regularly invited to schools to give lessons to pupils and mentor teachers on learning methods. While accepting that a wholesale introduction of his methods into mainstream education would not satisfy government inspectors, Gwynne is determined to impress on as many educators as possible the value of a more formal, non-child-centred way of teaching.

Recently, he was asked to give several instruction and demonstration lessons to the leading teachers of a new and successful free school that was then about to start up. By helping the staff there to understand and appreciate the best theory of teaching, he played an important part in setting up the teaching in that school as it is now being done.

Delivered by Gwynne and his daughter and teaching-partner, Chloe, the three-day course at Dumfries House can be expected to appeal to anyone with a serious interest in education, as well as those in mainstream education, home-schoolers, private tutors and mentors. Sessions will focus on a variety of subjects, including traditional teaching practices and principles, and how individual subjects are best taught.

Dumfries House Lodge: 5 star-rated country house accommodation offer a level of comfort and relaxation to ease away the efforts of the day. Facilities available include two sitting rooms, dining room and twenty-two bedrooms all refurbished to the highest standards. The Lodge has been reserved for the sole use of delegates attending the traditional teaching techniques 3-day seminar.

Dumfries House Lodge ***** Scottish Country House Accommodation


Day 1 - Monday 7th August


  • Arrival, introduction and course purpose
  • Afternoon

  • Discussion: Lost teaching techniques
  • Evening

  • Personal time
  • Dinner in the lodge
  • Day 2 - Tuesday 8th August


  • Teaching techniques with examples
  • Afternoon

  • Lost teaching techniques (continued)
  • Estate Education Tour (1 hour 15 minutes)
  • Development of a delegate 15-minute session using Gwynne's Principles
  • Evening

  • Personal time
  • Evening reception, House Tour
  • Dinner in the Dumfries House Library
  • Day 3 – Wednesday 9th August


  • Delegate delivery of 15-minute activity to peers
  • Afternoon

  • Feedback session, review and departures
  • Three-Day/Two-Nights

    Stay at the 5 stars Dumfries House Lodge

  • Breakfast and Lunch provided each day
  • Dinner on night one will be a relaxed family service in the Lodge
  • Dinner on night two will be Butler service in Dumfries House Library
  • Dress throughout: smart casual
  • Cost per delegate: £395.00

    Contact details for further information will be info@dumfries-house.org.uk

    Nevile Gwynne author of Gwynne's Grammar and Gwynne's Latin. Educated at Eton College and Oxford University, he graduated with a degree in modern languages.

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