Why the St David’s College ‘Three Peak’ education model is so effective.
“Students don’t just receive education at St David’s College in North Wales,” the school’s headmaster Andrew Russell opens. “Established in 1965, St David’s College pioneered a ‘three-dimension’ vision for education, creating a living and learning environment where our young boarders can reach their academic potential, develop tailored physical fitness and conditioning, and explore a personal spiritual and moral framework.”
St David’s is set close to the mountains of Snowdonia, and three of its School Houses are named after the range’s three highest peaks, Snowdon, Cader Idris and Tryfan. The ‘Three Peak’ model is uniquely placed to prepare young people for their adult lives and to make a significant contribution to society.
St David’s boasts highly experienced qualified teachers with specialists in a variety of subjects. At its outstanding Cadogan Learning Centre, oneon-one and small group support is provided, plus Speech, Language and Occupational Therapy. “
The school’s students gain the skills and strategies needed to access mainstream qualifications to go onto further their education at university level,” says Andrew. “The ability of St David’s to integrate innovative and personally tailored learning with exceptional outdoor education with a spiritual and moral focus, makes the school a leader in its sphere.”
What’s more, the award winning range of extra curricular activities offered allows each pupil to grow in self-confidence, ensuring endless possibilities for all. Each year sees overseas expeditions developing personal resilience and life skills in students, while Link International Innovation – the school’s charity – provides them with the opportunity to reach out to others.
While St David’s is set in a serene and secluded location, the school is under three hours by train from London. It’s well located to access Manchester International Airport, with direct flights from Hong Kong.
St David’s is popular among Hong Kong residents, drawing particularly rave reviews from one Discovery Bay family: “We relocated to Hong Kong 13 years ago, when our son was two. Orin spent his early years struggling through the educational system with dyslexia. We tried various schools but constantly failed to get the proper support and educational tools required to fit his learning needs. We finally discovered St David’s in 2016.” Orin, now 15, has embraced being a boarder. As his mum says, “St David’s is so much more than a school, it’s a life’s education.”
St David’s is so proud of so many such success stories.
Attending an elite boarding school in the South of France may sound idyllic for some, but for Giulietta it was a miserable experience.
The Croatian 18-year-old said she lost all her confidence because despite being convinced she was dyslexic, three different French experts who tested her for dyslexia told her parents it was a linguistic problem.
“I was made to feel stupid, and I felt humiliated in the classroom as I found it so hard to keep up with the other students,” says Giulietta, who is fluent in Croatian, French and English. “The education system in France is very rigid and if you fall behind, there isn’t much help.”
In desperation to help her increasingly unhappy daughter, Giulietta’s mother Googled schools in the UK that could offer support in dyslexia, and St David’s College was the first one on the list. An interview was arranged and Giulietta said she fell in love with the school as soon as she saw the list of activities on offer (especially the 4X4 driving) and that pupils weren’t expected to get up at 6am and study until 8pm, as in her former school.
After being tested by a British dyslexic expert, it was discovered that Giulietta was indeed dyslexic.“In France they don’t really offer anything like BTECs, it’s all about sitting a big exam at the end, which is no good for someone like me who prefers continual assessment,” she says.
“When I first saw the school’s website I was interested to read Rachna’s story, and I thought I wanted to study business too, it was good to see a girl doing so well as I always thought business was a man’s world.”
Since joining St David’s College last September, Giulietta has thrown herself into school life, including bagging herself the lead role as Cinderella in her house play. She lives in Augusta House with the other female boarders and describes it as “one happy family;” she especially enjoys the soup and roll night on Sundays, brownie nights and movie nights.
“I love the British way of education, because in France as soon as you reach the sixth form you can’t study music, or drama or art unless you go to schools that specialise in these subjects – here you have a choice.
“The teachers at St David’s give up so much of their free time to help me, they are here to make sure I will succeed, and I believe that I will, I now have belief in myself.”
St David’s College, www.stdavidscollege.co.uk
Registration is open for September 2020 and beyond. Limited places are available for September 2019.
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