"WHIZZES and bangs" and a good teaching style helped a Cwmbran science teacher win a top award for his work.

Jack Lewis (pictured), a chemistry teacher at the town's Fairwater High School, won the title Welsh Science Teacher of the Year at the recent Welsh Teaching Awards.

Hundreds of teachers from across Wales had been put forward for a range of awards to recognise the important role they play in the future of society, but only a lucky few made it through to the finals.

Mr Lewis said "In chemistry all pupils love whizzes and bangs." He says that's what he gives them.

Mr Lewis was nominated for the award by Mark Wilton, a sixth form student.

Mark, aged 17, of Brynonnen Court, Henllys, said: "I nominated him because he's the best teacher there is.

"I think everybody in school will agree. He has a unique way of teaching which appeals to everybody. He manages to adapt lessons so we can all learn. He also tends to use jokes to help us remember things."

Mr Lewis, who was born and bred in Bedwas and who still lives in the village, said he was both surprised and pleased to have been nominated, and to have won the award.

The former assistant chemist at a Machen paints factory said he became a teacher because he wanted to contribute more to society.

"It's been what I expected it to be - extremely challenging but very rewarding. The challenges are to capture the interests of the pupils and for them to get the relevance of what they are studying."

Mr Lewis, 37, has taught at Fairwater High, which has 1,100 pupils, for the last nine years. He now teaches all the A-level chemistry pupils and is also deputy head of the sixth form and head of year 13.

He said the award ceremony in the St David's Hotel, Cardiff Bay on Thursday was an overwhelming but enjoyable experience.

He said: "I never thought I'd get an award like this. It's nice to be recognised and appreciated. I also got £3,000 of Information and communication technology equipment for the school by winning the award and that should be of benefit to the school and staff." Mr Lewis, who became interested in chemistry after buying a chemistry set as an 11 year old, said his pupils are "probably more pleased than anybody" at his success.

He said: "I dedicated the award to them.

"They put the work in to get good exam results that formed part of my success in teaching." Stephen Cocks, head teacher at Fairwater High School, said he is proud of Mr Lewis's achievement.

He said: "Mr Lewis, who mainly teaches chemistry, has brought the subject alive and made it a very popular subject for everyone.

"The whole school is pleased and proud of him."