OUR PUPILS - INDIVIDUAL, UNIQUE, TOGETHER
Does the school make the student or does the student make the school? At St David's College, we believe it is both. Developing an individual's character is an important element of our education. As a community, we remain together and celebrate each other's unique personality.
The most frequent questions parents ask are, "How will my son/daughter develop at St David's College? What will they turn out like? What will they go on to do?"
We hope these stories will help answer these questions.
"I will always be grateful for the skills I developed at St David's"
Chloe Edwards-Thomas, 23, studied a BA (hons) fashion, buying and merchandising at Manchester Metropolitan University, and graduated this summer with a first class honours degree and a 93% percent average.
In her third year of university Chloe had to apply for 12 months of paid work experience within the fashion industry.
Chloe, originally from Caernarfon, completed a seven month internship in New York, working on the Macy's designer collaboration range and also getting to work on a Victoria Beckham collaboration.
Chloe said: “I was then lucky enough to secure a second placement of six months moving from New York, to Amsterdam for the fashion company Tommy Hilfiger- within the underwear division.
“From this paid internship I was offered a full-time role as merchandiser within the underwear division, creating the new Calvin Klein Performance range for Europe which launches next autumn.
“I love my job and I am able to combine my creative side with the maths and business elements whilst also having the opportunities to travel to Hong Kong, Milan, Paris, Copenhagen, and so on.
“I will always be grateful for the skills I developed whilst at St David’s from computer aided design (CAD) lessons with Mr O'Leary to technologies we learned in physics with Mr Lomas.
“For me it demonstrates how St David’s provides you with an 'adaptable' education, as the school helps to develop your confidence, and gives support so that you can you reach your full potential.”
Hugh Hutchinson Smith
"Without the opportunities St David's College provided for me, I would not have got GCSEs, let alone A Levels."
Hugh Hutchinson Smith joined St David’s College severely dyslexic and under confident.
But he was quick to take part in the outdoor education programme and for the first time in his life found success representing the school in sailing, climbing and skiing.
He also won a place in the Welsh Sailing Squad. He benefitted from the school’s excellent learning support department and achieved good GCSE and A’ level results enabling him entry to Bangor University to read Product Design.
Whilst there he was given the opportunity to work for several design companies in different areas including Silver Lining, an exclusive furniture design company and ISC, a climbing equipment manufacturer.
At the end of his three years he achieved a First Class honours degree. Hugh is now the design manager at Air Covers, a leading company which manufactures textile products for the aerospace industry.
His role includes overseeing all design and manufacturing. The company exports worldwide, which enables him to travel extensively.
Hugh said: “Without the opportunities St David’s College gave me, I would not have got GCSEs, let alone A Levels and achieved a great degree which opened the door to a fascinating career.
“One day I am working on a Typhoon and another on an Apache helicopter.”
Pupil from 1996 until 2001
Ben arrived at the doors of St David’s in 1996 as a fresh-faced but educationally frail individual.
The inability of his former school to recognise / deal with Ben’s dyslexia and dyscalculia served only to exacerbate his lack of confidence.
Fortunately, Ben comes from a very loving and supportive family whose roots are firmly in the engineering sector.
Over the years, Ben flourished into a confident and engaging young man. His interest in design technology, computer-aided design (CAD) and a myriad of activities (4x4, powerboating, sailing etc) further developed his confidence and self-esteem.
Ben went on to obtain a great clutch of GCSEs - all at grade C and above and went on through the school’s sixth form, concentrating on CAD and DT earning enough points to embark upon his first choice of degree – Information and Illustration technology - emerging with a BA(Hons) degree in 2004 from Blackpool and The Fylde College.
2004 - Having gained a good academic tooklit, Ben started work for TVR car company in Blackpool working on the power train division / chassis division until 2005. During this time, the seeds of a new and potentially lucrative project of his own began to take shape.
Before Ben could embark upon his project, he needed some more mechanical engineering experience, so he joined the family business (Helical Technology Ltd., Lytham) where he started ‘on the tools’, working his way up through the procurement of parts and heading towards a managerial role.
Having ‘sat’ upon his idea for the new project for several years, the time came for commitment, so in 2008 Ben and his associates started a new company called Global Energy Systems which would design, manufacture and sell Air Source Heat Pumps from a new purpose built factory on the banks of the river Ribble in Lytham.
The business started off very small scale - supplying to friends and family in order to test the products and evaluate efficiency.
In 2009 the first batch production cells began to sell to the general public. Interest and sales increased at an exponential rate and there are now over 600 Global Energy Systems Air Source Heat Pumps in use throughout the UK - and sales continue to rise.
Pupil from 2009 until 2014
"The teaching at St David's set me up to get into an excellent university."
Simon Costello, who left us in 2014 with 4 top A’ levels and notably A* in Maths and A in Further Maths, who graduated this summer with a double first in Maths and Economics.
Simon said: "After being at St David's, I went on to study mathematics and economics at Trinity College Dublin.
“I immediately became involved with various societies focused on finance, and here I found my passion for financial markets.
“This lead me to successfully complete summer internships trading interest rate swaps at JP Morgan in New York, and later FX options trading at Goldman Sachs in London.
“I graduated from Trinity College with a first class honours in both mathematics and economics, and since then have started as a full time analyst on the FX options trading desk at Goldman Sachs.
“The teaching at St David's set me up to get into an excellent university, and the extra-curricular activities gave me both the confidence and CV content to pursue my desired career."
Pupil from 2010 until 2017
"We both fell in love with the school and I begged my father to send me."
Rebecca Lawrence-Jones, 18, has just completed A-Levels in English literature, business studies and design technology.
She hopes to get into marketing, and St David’s has decided to offer her an internship in the school’s marketing department.
“I’m from Aberdeen in Scotland, but have a grandmother in Llandudno.
“She always wanted to know what was up the mysterious St David’s driveway and so she and I went to an open day-she was just being nosy really.
“We both fell in love with the school and I begged my father to send me here as a boarder and luckily they agreed!
“I’m not dyslexic but I enjoyed the school’s way of teaching, lessons are conducted in a creative and visual way.”
She added: “I’m really looking forward to working in the marketing department, and hoping to make a difference.”
Pupil from 2011 until 2017
"The school has changed her from a cripplingly shy girl to someone who is full of confidence."
Megan Griffiths, 17, came to St David’s College, after she was told by a teacher at her primary school that she wouldn’t pass any GCSEs, and taking A’levels would be out of the question. She has certainly proved her doubters wrong. Megan passed all her GCSE exams achieving either ‘B’ or ‘C’ grades in all her subjects. After completing A ‘levels in Business Studies and Fine Art, this determined young woman is travelling to Greece to do humanitarian work. She says the school has changed her from a cripplingly shy girl to someone who is full of confidence.
Pupil from 2011 until 2016
"I can't thank St David's enough for changing my life."
"I came to St David’s College 6 years ago. When I arrived, I had so little English; my schooling had been very badly interrupted. I could understand only about one word in fifteen! With the help of the special language provision at St David’s College, supporting both spoken English and subject key words, I soon began to be fully involved in lessons. I got lots of individual help, even in the main subjects. The school motivated me so much that I worked really hard and achieved good GCSE results. I went on to do BTEC L3 Subsidiary Diploma in Business Studies as well as Science and A Level Geography. I was so successful that I won the National BTEC Business Award which was presented to me by Peter Jones of "Dragon’s Den" and gained two scholarships from Bangor University, where I am studying Business and Law. As well as this academic success, I took every opportunity available to me in sport and Outdoor Education. I achieved my Duke of Edinburgh Award and won Bronze and Silver medals in two British Kickboxing Championships (WAKO)"
Pupil from 2007 until 2013
"I wouldn't be who I am today without St David's."
Tim is a sponsored climber and is currently studying Product Design in Bangor University having spent time in America doing an internship with an L.A. based climbing shoe manufacturer. Tim climbs and skis all over the globe with the backing of his sponsors.
During the 6 years Tim spent at St David's College, he was able to pursue his passion for climbing whilst receiving support for his dyslexia. "I climbed 5 days a week, fitting it around my lessons with the help from the Outdoor Education team".