Add your testimonial to those below and support the future of education on the St Davids Peninsula.

What  has Ysgol Dewi Sant  done for you and your family?  Where has it led you in life? And why is it important that the school is at the heart of the community?

 

Read the testimonials below – it’s quite a school we have here!

I cannot express how grateful I will always be to have gone to YDS. A school where teachers really knew you, took the time to encourage you to follow your passions and believed you were better than you thought you were. A school small enough that you could know everyone, and feel like you were known.

Without a few choice conversations I never would have thought applying to Cambridge was even an option for me but thanks to those conversations I was lucky enough to get a place and find my way in to my current job working for the Department of Health in London.

All this in a school only 5 minutes from my childhood front door was an incredible gift and to think that future generations in St David’s might not have that opportunity is desperately sad. Young people need to be part of a community that is small enough to really know them, to encourage them and to gently push them that bit further than they’d push themselves.

Keep up the fight!

Heulwen Philpot (Lewis)

I first entered the then St. Davids Grammar School in September 1949, having been a pupil at Solva School. To us, in those days, it was a very big step, as they used to say, going from the little school to the big school. We knew nothing of the place, there were no visits beforehand then! Once settled in, we were happy there and the Staff gave of their best to ensure that we had a good quality of education, for example I believe that my love of literature was kindled by Mr. John Christopher, the then English teacher.

I also recollect the opportunities given for extra-curricular activities. Miss Mari Evans formed a Welsh Folk Dance group and, on one occasion, took a group of us to visit the International Eisteddfod at Llangollen which was then in its early years. There was also the opportunity offered by Mr. Islwyn Thomas, the History teacher, to participate in the Dramas he produced, such as Murder in the Cathedral – both the original play by T. S. Eliot AND Tom Parry’s Welsh translation. These experiences gave an added dimension and interest to our lives, including the confidence to speak in public.

Having been given these opportunities, it enabled me to take an interest in similar activities when in training college and also to encourage the participation of my pupils in activities suitable to their age group.

After a brief period teaching in Glamorgan, I returned to Pembrokeshire, originally to teach in Llanrhian School, from where I progressed to teach in Croesgoch. I later became Headteacher of the then St. Davids C. P. School.

During the whole of my teaching life Ysgol Dewi Sant was part of the lives of the pupils in its feeder schools. There were weekly visits to the swimming pool, the Primary Schools’ sports were held on Dewi Sant’s playing fields and, on occasion, inter-school concerts were held in the school hall.

All this enabled the children to familiarise themselves with the building and to get to know their peers from other primary schools, all of which eased their transition from junior to secondary education. Meetings were also arranged for the Staff of the schools to meet to get to know each other and to exchange valuable information and good practice, for the benefit of ALL pupils. HOW can this continue when the schools are such long distances apart?

Our local Secondary School, in my opinion, is essential for the well-being of the pupils living in the area. How can bussing pupils to schools a distance away from their homes be a better option when the standard of education here is acknowledged as being so good? I know that Ysgol Dewi Sant continues to offer good experiences to its students, both educationally and in extra curricular activities. Why disrupt good practice where it is to be found, even if 6th form education is to become more centralised. Pupils’ well-being should always be the first priority in any consideration of the future of our local education system.

 

Grace Davies, Solva

We were at the “Grammar” school in the 50’s and wore our navy and gold uniform with pride. We had excellent teachers whom we admired greatly. An opportunity to learn Welsh History and a thorough knowledge of English Grammar and literature which stood us in good stead for life, Cookery, Needlework and Woodwork, great assets for our future lives and Mathematics, which tested us! P.E. and tennis on the lawn kept us fit.

We had very happy school days, we felt part of a big family. A 6th form helped us to mature before college and university and prepared us for future education and careers in teaching and banking.

We spent many good years away from home and are now back in St. Davids, contributing to life and activities in the community. We will always be grateful for the opportunities available to us at Ysgol Dewi Sant. We do feel that it is best, as far as possible, for students to continue their studies within their locality, young people and the community both benefit.

 

Gwen Lyons nee Preece and Mary Chapman nee Preece

YDS was a great experience for me. The support I got gave me the chance to compete for my county and win a scholarship for the Tall Ships. Without the dedication of the teaching staff I wouldn’t have got the qualifications I did, enabling me to go to  university and ultimately work around the world.

Jo Adamson

I was privileged to attend YDS in the 1960’s. It was a school of about 400 pupils with an excellent teaching staff. The facilities were adequate for our needs at the time, and there was a deep sense of community and well being.
I was distracted by rhythm and blues music and played in a local band with fellow pupils.
I did, however, persevere  and  graduated from the University of London with a Law Degree.
I subsequently lectured in Law , and for 35 years have been practising as a Barrister specialising in serious and complex crime.
YDS is a school that has produced remarkable results and must be retained at all costs.
The bureaucracy of PCC  with its track record of nepotism and recent disgraceful examples of self indulgence must not be allowed to override the interests of local schoolchildren who look forward to attending their local school

Ieuan Morris

Ysgol Dewi Sant was the place I made friendships that lasted for life. I have many memories of taking part in school plays, ably run by Mrs Beer. The enthusiasm and drive of teachers like her have always been an inspiration to me. I am now a teacher myself.  Ysgol Dewi Sant is at the heart of St Davids. It allows the children to grow up in the hearth of their home and brings together the rural community. Lifelong friendships are born and because of the amazing location the opportunities are endless to learn about the community and its place in the environment.  It is unique and should be prized for bringing families together rather than closed and leaving a gaping hole in the heart of a beautiful place.

Nicki Sturrock

Where to start… generations of my family have attended YDS, My years there were a huge stepping stone in my life – it offers a personal almost 1 to 1 experience – teachers knowing your name as well as your face!
Old teachers are now friends.
Our daughter is due to start this Sept- our ONLY choice for her in Pembrokeshire is YDS, if a decision is reached regarding its closure before that my family will move out of pembrokeshire to an alternative secondary school of OUR choice.
A decision that we would be forced to make.
YDS IS the heart of St Davids like a beating heart-without it St Davids would become nothing but a shell.
We CAN  save OUR school it is OUR future.

Claudine Hayward

I have had two of my children choose Pembrokeshire College for their A levels. They both failed spectacularly. One hour on the bus for a first lesson, wait all day with no lessons till last one, then one hour back on bus. One child went on eventually to get into Camberwell Art School and got the highest grade independently and as a mature student, no thanks to Pembs college. My daughter who stayed to do A’s at YDS got top marks and was a much happier and well adjusted young person. My youngest is now at Hereford 6th form college. Same story, 1h20 mins on the bus, scanty timetable, leaves home at 7am gets back at 6:30pm to start homework.  This is rural deprivation, not disadvantage, deprivation.

Diana Hoare

I had the most amazing friends and still have them today,living so closely to all my friends in school was great. Having the school so close to home meant it wasn’t too long to get to school and the area kept its community spirit. It was lovely going to a small school I don’t think I would of had the same experience if we had to go to a big super school!!! We knew all our teachers and class mates and people in other years of the school as well

Natasha

It has so far given my two sons the education in their local area which I believe should be every child’s right.

Heather Nixon