Elin has been at SDC for just over a year, studying A’ level Art and BTEC’s Applied Science and Production Arts.
Since joining the school she has blossomed, her confidence has soared, and the reason why is all down to St David’s.
Here is Elin’s story, in her own words.
I didn’t find out I was dyslexic until I was 18. At the same time, I was also diagnosed with autism. For the first 18 years of my life I felt stupid and that people didn’t understand me. To be told I was dyslexic was a relief, it meant I belonged to a new family.
When I started my first day at SDC it wasn’t as overwhelming as I thought. Everyone was so helpful and welcoming, it really did make me feel like I was home. That’s the difference between St David’s College and other schools. It isn’t just a school, it’s a home, as stated by the headmaster Mr Russell.
Growing up I had no confidence, I couldn’t communicate with new people and I didn’t really understand the world around me. I was always a quiet child who only spoke when necessary. My journey has been long and tiring. Trying to find who I am was the hardest part.
So, how did St David’s College help me? I’ll start with everyday life at St David’s College. The small things make such a big difference. Everyone smiles at you in the corridor and says hello even if they don’t know you, but really everyone knows everyone in the school. What is also nice about the school is it’s small so you can’t really get lost. When you get up in the morning and you feel down and you come to school your energy just changes dramatically, it’s because the energy is so uplifting in the school.
How did I gain the confidence I have today? It’s simple, not only does the school provide the academic side of things but the outdoor education really pushes the boundaries. Going out on an expedition with a group of people is really life changing. You get to know people, you learn to talk to people and you make friends for life. My confidence has improved dramatically by taking part in these activities. You go out with a group of people and you come back with a group of friends. What’s nice about the school is everyone is friends with everyone, you can never be alone. The school even organises team building days so your year group can bond and get to know each other, these normally happen at the beginning of the year in September.
How did I learn to communicate with people? Everyone talks to you here at St David’s College. Communicating with others really isn’t a problem. Even if you are struggling to start the conversation don’t worry, everyone has ‘got your back’ here.
Who am I? Thanks to St David’s I am now a confident, bright, a little loud, young lady. I will admit before I came here my grades were low and teachers didn’t really know how to teach me. Here teachers know exactly how to teach me, I learn hands on and my grades have never been this high. I now have a high chance of getting into university. Which I’m hoping to do next September. I have high aspirations for myself. I’d like to study Occupational Therapy in university. I am currently in the middle of my UCAS application which I get plenty of help with.
I have 1:1 lessons, and my teacher Mrs Harris really helps you with everything. She even helped me with my CV and now I have a part time job on the weekend, in a shop where I talk and answer customer questions and I do it without difficulty, something which two years ago would have been unthinkable.
Before I came to SDC I never really liked school, I hated it but now I feel totally different. I now love learning and I love waking up every morning and coming to school. Being here is a privilege.