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Dyslexia Week at St David’s College

Today marks the first day of the BDA Dyslexia Week and at St David’s, we are wearing red to celebrate “Dyslexia Creates”.

Our SENCO Dr Favill gave a whole school assembly and spoke about the amazing qualities of the dyslexic mind. She explained how at St David’s, we understand the difficulties that pupils may have in being dyslexic, help them to access learning and then give all pupils the ability to access their gifts. Dr Favill spoke about Old Davidean Jerry Moffatt, the world class rock climber who used his problem solving and 3D spatial skills to work out complicated climbing routes while in school. His resilience and determination enabled him to be the person he is today. She also spoke about Old Davidean Nick Elphick, who is now a well-established artist and sculptor. Nick visits St David’s frequently to speak to our pupils in the Art department. 

There was a mention of famous dyslexics who have contributed greatly to our society, to the Arts, Science and Sport: Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Stephen Hawking, Kiera Knightly, Richard Branson and Lee Byrne. 

“We’ve got a beautiful school in a lovely setting and you have so many opportunities here to be creative and to find your gift...So just go for it!”  - Dr Favill

She also spoke to Rev Tim Hall about his Lifetime Contribution to Dyslexia Award that he was presented last year at the BDA dinner. This January, Mr Hall will have been teaching dyslexics for 50 years. He reflected on this in a short talk:

“I guess in that time, I have become very used to how dyslexics learn and how they function. Currently, I work with dyslexics more in terms of young adults who are in my team in the Chaplaincy much more than actually teaching dyslexics in the classroom. And what I’ve come to realise more and more is that so often we think about the issue with dyslexia being to do with reading. Clearly, it’s inconvenient not being able to read easily but it’s more understanding the gift of the ability to think in a different kind of way that a dyslexic has that brings the real assets to the team. And so in terms of gifting, I see so much in the sense of being able to communicate in different ways in order to be able to work through different ideas in a creative way and to be able to have that compassionate understanding of other young people that learn differently. So, I see the gifting in dyslexics much more than some of the barriers to learning. I don’t know any famous dyslexics but what I do know is that every dyslexic is a celebrity in my eyes.” 

While also being interviewed, our Residential Assistant and Old Davidean Jemima Soutter described her understanding of dyslexia in the most visual way, demonstrating her 3D way of thinking by choosing the analogy of a tree with roots:

“It’s like a spectrum...but that spectrum is so much more than just that one line. It’s kind of like the root of a tree: you’ve got the main root and then you’ve got these tiny little roots coming off it and each person is down a different kind of root.” 

We are looking forward to a week of more conversations and to seeing all of the creative talents of our pupils, especially in DT and Art (some of the Inktober sketches are already incredible!) 


St David's College

- Est. 1965 -

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