Tributes have been paid to a "kind" and "vivacious" former primary school teacher who has died aged 101. 

Lifelong Redditch resident Margaret Cole taught at St Stephen's CofE School for nearly four decades and taught more than 1,200 local children to read. 

She joined the staff in 1945 and retired in 1983 having taught groups of up to 49 six and seven-year-olds. 

She heard all the children read every day and was proud to say that all pupils left her class able to read at a useful level. 

The former teacher was described as outstanding and having a "natural gift with children" by a commendation made in March 1960 by the chairman of the school managers. 

Margaret was born in Banbury on February 5 1923 with her parents both being school teachers.

When she was five, her father was appointed headmaster of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic primary school and the family moved to Easemore Road in Redditch. 

Margaret attended Mount Carmel before going to Redditch County High with her brothers John and James where she was a school prefect, house captain, editor of the school magazine and a member of the debating society. 

She also played hockey and obtained her Higher School Certificates in 1940 and 1941 as the Second World War raged. 

She later attended Birmingham University where she read Social and Political Science and graduated with a BA with Honours in July 1943 under War Degree Regulations. 

Her first job was as a speech therapist treating soldiers who had lost the power to speak due to the trauma experienced on the battlefield. 

Margaret had a large extended family in the UK and the US and travelled across most continents. 

She loved the arts and was an active member and one-time chairman of the Redditch Theatre Club and TheFeckenOdeon Cinema Club. 

She was a life member of the National Trust, Friends of Auxerre, and a Friend of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra where she regularly attended local concerts and talks. 

Her family said she was an enthusiastic golfer and a member of Redditch Golf Club, which was close to her Headless Cross home where she lived most of her life. 

Margaret passed away on June 14 after a short illness.

Her family said she would be greatly missed by everyone who knew her and they would remember her as a great listener and knowledgeable woman. 

On behalf of the family, Sarah Coggon, Margaret's niece, said: "Margaret was a kind, vivacious and knowledgeable woman, an example to everyone about how to live a life well.

"Margaret was a great listener. She was always interested to hear about whatever any of her many friends and relatives had to say.

"As well as her many friends, Margaret had dozens of nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews. She loved them all and was loved by them."

Her funeral will take place at 11.15am on Thursday, July 4 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. 

A vigil service will be held the previous evening at the same church. 

Donations are being gratefully accepted for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Roman Catholic Parish Hall renovation fund.