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Achieve ambitious goals, live life to the full

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Q & A From Our Pupils

As the Principal, Mrs Drayton ensures that she is visible and available in school on a daily basis to answer any questions that the young people may want to ask when they are feeling anxious or need reassurance.  The following questions are actual questions asked by our young people:  

 

I can’t go into classes because I don’t understand, I can’t do the work and then I get told off.   What would you do if I was too anxious to go in?

St Dominic’s is a school for pupils and students with special needs and we treat everyone as an individual.  We would start by assessing your needs and difficulties and putting together a personalised programme to settle you in until you felt more confident.

Why did you allow someone like me to come to your school?

Because we knew that we could help you to fulfill your potential and prepare for life beyond St Dominic’s.

Sometimes I get very frustrated and lose control and swear; would you exclude me if I did this?

No, we understand that behaviour is a form of communication and we would work with you to help you understand your frustration and anxieties and give you strategies to help you reduce inappropriate behaviours

Would you exclude me if I didn’t understand the homework?

No, we would take the time to explain the work, identify exactly what you are finding difficult and give you the support to undertake the task.

I don’t like doing homework because the work should be done in school and then I get angry with my mum because she tries to make me do it. Would you make me do homework?

Some pupils find it very difficult to do their school work at home.  This work is an important part of learning and is set to check understanding and prepare pupils for the next topic.  We have a ‘Homework Club’ straight after school which is supported by staff.  Some pupils choose to go to ‘Homework Club’ rather than doing the work at home as they find the school environment easier to work in.

I sometimes get really wound up and need to go outside to calm down; would I get a detention if I ran out of a lesson?  And would I be followed because I don’t like it?

No, we have a number of pupils who need to have time out to settle themselves down.  They are worked with on an individual basis and given time out cards and other strategies to support them.   If you left the classroom you would be followed at a distance, we have to be able to see you to keep you safe.

What if I don’t understand or disagree with the school rules?

You can talk to any member of staff about the rules and ask them to explain them to you.  If you are not satisfied you can take your concerns to the student voice or follow the complaints procedure.

What do I do if I am bullied or hurt by someone?

All members of staff are trained to safeguard you and we have a team of six Designated Safeguarding Leads who are here to listen to you and keep you safe.  If you wanted to speak to a person outside the school you could contact our Independent visitor.

I don’t like teachers and lessons, they are pointless; what would you do if I didn’t want to learn?

We have had many pupils and students who have had terrible experiences in school and are frightened of failure.  We would work with you to identify your interests and difficulties to help you back on track.

I don’t want to be on this planet or in this school; why do I have to come?

We are all on this planet and whether we like it or not we have to learn to operate in a socially acceptable way.  We pride ourselves on preparing children and young people for the world of work and life beyond St Dominic’s by giving you coping strategies and a holistic education that will prepare you for life and enable you to ‘live life to the full’.

I don’t want to have special needs and be different; can you teach me to be like normal people?

At St Dominic’s we celebrate difference and accept you for who you are.  We do not try to make you ‘normal’ because ‘normal’ does not exist. We work with you and your needs to enable you to find out and accept who you are and assist you in constructing who you want to be.

If I get things wrong and behave badly will everyone hate me?

No, we all get things wrong and behave badly at times, we accept people for who they are and treat them with the kindness and respect we all deserve.