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.
On Monday 3rd May, Year 9 students attended a talk from Holocaust survivor Michael Brown co-ordinated by the Holocaust Educational Trust and arranged by Miss Wright. Michael talked about his early life in Opole and Hanover as the eldest son of an aspiring lawyer and homemaker. He described the mounting persecution that he and his family faced during Hitler’s time in power from 1933 onwards, culminating in the disturbing events of Kristallnacht in November 1938.
Michael also entertained the students by recounting his obsession with football, and how this passion, however trivial it may have seemed, continued even during the dramatic increase in Anti-Semitic persecution. His testimony was immensely moving as it offered a deeply personal insight into topics that the Year 9 students have been studying during their lessons, and it was made all the more compelling by the numerous photographs that Michael was able to show as he talked. Michael went on to share his experience of his and his sister’s escape on the Kindertransport, in which Jewish children were accepted as refugees in Britain. Students and teachers were deeply moved when Michael shared the final letter that he received from his mother before she and her husband were murdered, in which she expressed how much she missed her children and how much she wished they could embrace again as a family.
After the talk, students had the opportunity to ask Michael several questions that they had prepared about his experiences, which he answered in great detail. Students have the opportunity to speak to their class teachers if they wish to ask Michael any further questions, and he will respond via email. At the end of the session, many students expressed that they were immensely grateful to have had the opportunity to hear the testimony of a survivor first hand. Students were aware that they may be the last generation to have the privilege of being able to pose questions to a survivor of the Holocaust. Learning of the personal pain and moving resilience of Michael Brown in his own words brought the traumatic events of his childhood into stark relief and heightened the resonance of his closing remarks that it is now more important than ever to be tolerant and understanding of the people around us.