St Davids College

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Pupil Profile: Zachary Valentine

Published: 17.05.2021 ( 3 years ago )

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Receiving straight A*/A’s in all 10 of his GCSE results was a particularly sweet moment for Year 12 pupil Zachary, who at the age of seven couldn’t read or write.

A teacher at his primary school in Wrexham had noticed that although Zach was clearly very bright struggled badly when it came to reading and writing. Following tests at Bangor University his parents were told he was dyslexic.

However, through sheer determination and his mother’s help by Year 6, Zach was one of the three top readers in his class but still struggled to write.

He joined St David’s College in Year 7, after spending just a week in his local secondary school.

Zach explained: “When I went up to secondary school, the first thing the English teacher did was give us an 80-word spelling test, which was to determine what stream we were to be put in.”

He continued: “Someone had told us about St David’s College. I came for a look around on the Thursday and by that Sunday I was unpacking my bags in Cader Boarding House.”

Zach immediately took to the school’s more creative style of learning, and soon thrived in the small class sizes. He pushed himself to take part in public speaking events such as House Reading, House Plays, and the school production.

“What I love about here is that the teachers want you to do well, and I especially love the open-door policy in the Sixth Form so that if I need any help from any of the teachers I can just ask.”

Zach said the school motto “Freedom to Flourish” captures his time here perfectly.

“I also have dyspraxia but that didn’t stop me from playing rugby. I really don’t think I would have done so well or been so confident if I had gone to another school,” he said.

“Being here allows you to have interesting discussions with your teachers, it’s not about just copying things off a whiteboard it’s about thinking your own thoughts,” Zach added.

Zach is now studying for his English Literature, Geography, and History A levels and said he wants to study History at Cambridge University. He also recently organised a ‘Mock Election’ with the aim of making his fellow pupils more aware of politics and is keen to form a debate society.

“I’d like to be a historian like Dan Snow, or have a career in the diplomatic service,” said Zach with a smile.

“My sister who has dyspraxia with ADD was offered a place at Oxford University, so there’s always been a bit of sibling rivalry,” he joked.

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