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.
Parents’ Forum took place on 17th November 2021, providing an opportunity to share ideas to continue to drive the college forward. A number of topics were discussed.
Parents want the widest range of experiences for the children. Whilst working under the current restrictions, we have continued to run after college activities and are looking at ways to encourage even more students to get involved. Activities week for end of school year is starting to be planned as well as longer term/bigger opportunities for 2023.
Discussion about home learning and the impact of lockdown occurred. The college recognised the different approach needed for those who may not get it all right all the time and that some students were confused by demerits. The role of Progress Leader, and the monitoring that they are doing to better unpick and support some of our less engaged students was explored. Parent experience of EPraise was a very positive one; providing lots of information and a variety of ways to support understanding.
The reporting system raised many interesting points, including the use of language and how progress and achievement was recorded. Further discussion about wording for student reports in an on-going discussion amongst staff.
A question was asked about students reading in school and the accelerated reading programme as well as how to encourage further reading at home. The benefits and pitfalls of Accelerated reading programme as a system was discussed at length, and the College reinforced that the system, and other similar systems, were explored regularly to ensure we were providing the best support possible. Reading lists to be sent out to parents to support encouraging positive reading at home.
The forum explored how the college was supporting students with their wellbeing by providing tools to use for stress and anxiety. Wellbeing is regularly discussed in tutor time and assemblies and a range of services and places for advice is offered. The college is keen to encourage overcoming adversity for our students and developing resilience.
We hope that you are able to attend the next Parents’ Forum, coming together to discuss and share ideas to support the college moving forward.