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.
In years 7 and 8 homework consists of a set task for each subject based on the Knowledge Organiser, 20 minutes maths and 20 minutes reading each week. (Some subjects may only be taught fortnightly and will set homework accordingly.) Reading home learning will be set using the Accelerated Reader programme that can be found here.
As students move up through the College, the length and complexity of the homework will increase. At KS4 all examined subjects will set a weekly homework appropriate to the stage of study.
All homework is recorded on e-praise allowing parents and carers easy access to help support and monitor home learning. Currently, e-praise only shows a week ahead so it is important to check the ‘classnotes’ section for longer deadlines.
A friendly and well-resourced homework club runs Tuesday-Thursday 3:35 to 4:35 to provide a positive, supported learning environment for students to complete homework.
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.
Knowledge Organisers will be made available at the start of each unit to help them remember what they’re learning and to help them to see the bigger learning journey in their subjects. Instead of forgetting previous learning, pupils continually revisit and retrieve prior learning from their memories.
All Knowledge Organisers can be found here.