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.
‘All About Me’ was successfully run at Dawlish College during the summer term in 2021. Over the past few weeks, we have delivered this programme again, this time to all of our Year 9 students.
‘All About Me’ is a programme which coaches students on communication and presentation skills, leading to the students delivering short self-introductions to their peers and an employer. The programme has really helped students develop their spoken skills which are so important for work but also key for education, e.g., it helps prepare them for the compulsory spoken language part of GCSE English. Students find the programme to be a very helpful self-reflective tool that can uncover their skills and experiences. In addition, they have really enjoyed it!
The programme has involved each student from Year 9 having a short online 1:1 session with a trained business coach from the world of work to help them discover their strengths and skills. The programme is run by the Careers Lead in school, Amanda Moore. You can see details about the programme and all matters to do with safeguarding at https://all-about-me.org/. It is jointly funded by the Careers and Enterprise Company and the Heart of the Southwest Careers Hub.
The programme ran successfully with students being polite, courteous, and well behaved. Employers gave positive feedback on our students being fully engaged with this programme.
Do you think it worthwhile to the students?
• Yes, you can see their confidence grow during these sessions and the light bulbs come on as they start to understand what they have achieved.
• Yes, I really enjoyed the conversations I had with three of the students, who grew in confidence through our conversation, and by the end of it were doing a good job at articulating what they are good at.
Students describe the experience as meaningful, informative, positive, surprising, and inspiring. Comments include, “I am now not scared what other people think”, “I realise I can be anything I want to be”, “It’s important to believe in yourself and be proud and positive about what you do.”
Employers we have worked with over the past two weeks were dynamic and great fun to work with. We refer to them as trained business coaches. They have a wealth of experience and come from a variety of backgrounds and professions, including:
• Tess Read, writer, Green councillor, founder of ‘All About Me’
• Owner of Bar Nova, Exeter, events business
• Retired Ofsted teacher
• Nu Heat, underfloor heating company
• Director of The Talent Pool, recruitment business
• Met Office Marketing Manager
• Chair of Armstrong Transaction Services, consultancy business
• Head of Investment, Now Pensions
• Accountant for the NHS
• Stem Ambassador, Engineering UK
• Entrepreneur and scientist at the Exeter of University
• National Highways
• Nichols, consultancy company working with the Houses of Parliament
• Author and former stockbroker