Welcome to Dawlish College.
It continues to be an absolute privilege to be the Headteacher at Dawlish College – the staff and students are second to none and take all of life’s challenges in their stride. Despite current uncertainties as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we continue to hold onto our core purpose in all that we do. Behind all of the decisions taken and measures put in place sits the balance between keeping staff and students safe whilst also providing them with a varied and exciting school experience.
Dawlish College is a vibrant and exciting place to be, where we have the highest expectations of staff and students alike and seek to provide challenge at every available opportunity. As a small school, we have a very proud record of holistic support, care and individual attention: the happiness and well-being of our students is of paramount importance and is a vital foundation for their growth and development. Our college has an atmosphere of creativity and positivity that is generated by the provision of excellent opportunities for every individual thereby maximising the outcomes and improving the life chances of the young people in our care.
As a parent myself, I understand that you want your child to be inspired, supported and challenged to be the best version of themselves within an environment that knows them and values them as an individual. Thank you for entrusting me with the care and education of your child, present or future, and I look forward to unlocking their ambitions as I get to know them and work closely with you.
At Dawlish College we believe that home learning enhances student achievement and progress by reinforcing classwork and consolidating learning. It is vital for developing students’ study skills and independent learning ability.
Our structured approach and use of adaptive technologies gives students every possible opportunity to maximise their learning and therefore their knowledge and understanding so that they can fulfil their potential.
In many subjects across both key stages we use on line platforms that are able to adapt to students’ areas of strength and weakness ensuring that the work is more tailored to their needs. The main two to be aware of are Sparx (maths only)and Seneca. All home learning is posted on epraise.
For real learning to happen knowledge has to be gained and so the purpose of the home learning at Dawlish College is not to simply ‘get it done’ but to do as well as possible and persevere over time to get better.
For this reason there are two markers of success: achieving 100% or persevering for the time set by the teacher. More details and the schedule are available here.
We also provide knowledge organisers to support students’ learning. A Knowledge Organiser is a set of key facts or information that students need to know and be able to recall in order to master a unit or topic. Typically an organiser fits onto one page of A4– this helps students to visualize the layout of the page which in turn helps them to memorise the information better.
GCSEs and BTECs are becoming increasingly challenging. Most subjects have lost their controlled assessments (previously known as coursework) and these have been replaced with additional exam papers. The focus of these exams is the retrieval and application of knowledge which puts increasing pressure on our young people to know and retain even more information for longer.
Typically, most young people leave their revision until a few weeks (best case scenario) or days/hours (worst case scenario) before the examinations. This presents a problem because our short term memory is designed to be just that and has limited capacity. Students find themselves unable to retain the information, they become stressed and often give up, convincing themselves they are no good at revising or that they “can’t do subject ‘x’ ”.
The secret to success is to regularly revisit the knowledge to be learned (known as ‘spaced retrieval’). This helps transfer the knowledge from the short-term memory to the long term memory. This not only helps to make ‘learning stick’ but it also frees up our short-term memory for day to day learning and experiences. It is important that students learn how to do this from their first week in Year 7, not the last week of Year 11!
All Knowledge Organisers can be found here.