Strong in coaching

Our present day society is very demanding and every year more and more is expected of our young people. Our school wants to meet these expectations as much as possible with a wide range of interesting curriculums. Learning how to process knowledge is still very important, but also important are independence and the development of a critical mind with an interest in among other things culture, music, sports, social skills, ... That is why during and after the lessons, our school allows enough time to listen to its more than five hundred students, even if it is at times a bit more difficult. In that way our school wants to coach the youths – together with their parents - in their growth towards independence.
The Saint Aloysius College is a school with a heart for all of its students. This is what our school wants to pursue, every day!

For you, we will open our doors gladly
For many students the transition from class 6 of primary education to the first form of secondary education is a big step which, however, many of them are likely to have been looking forward to for a long time. On the first of September they arrive usually full of anticipation, sometimes on pins and needles. Especially for the freshmen our school provides numerous initiatives to make them feel at home as soon as possible. The first day of school is traditionally a welcome day for all freshmen. On this day there are no lessons and the form teachers take ample time to acquaint their students with their new school. They visit some special classrooms, the teachers’ room, the school administration, the room for student counselling ... and they are given information about the most important rules and agreements at school.
In the afternoon the godparents of our first formers organise an introductory game. The godparents are older students from the fifth and the sixth form who have a heart for our new students. These older students took a special training course the previous school year to prepare them for this important task. They take special care of some three or four first formers from the beginning of the new school year. During the introductory game the students have to find their own godparent. In the course of the whole year the godparents organise activities like ice skating or bowling. The use of godparents reduces the step to student counselling. Students are more likely to tell each other certain things, they also see each other much more and their shared activities create a growing feeling of confidence. In this way the school creates an atmosphere of caring for each other and when necessary the step to student counselling is not that big anymore.

The form teacher also has an important role in the school life of the new students. For the first time the young students are confronted with different subject teachers. Unlike in primary school, there is no familiar single teacher anymore. The form teacher takes time to listen to his students when things are a bit tougher, offers study advice or tackles problems like bullying. This teacher can help students deal with their problems. The form teacher also informs parents during the parent meetings.
In ‘a school with a heart’ student coaching is situated at the very centre. There is a student counsellor for students who have difficulties and for first formers there is also a ‘green hour’. During this hour the students can talk to the student counsellor. This hour also offers the students the possibility to study or to get a revision lesson to catch up again or they can take general study coaching.
Students are expected to be able to process a lot of information. For the new students this isn’t always obvious. That’s why our school tries to support the students in finding a regular study attitude in a lot of ways. There is the mandatory study hall in the evening under the supervision of a teacher. Both the form teacher and also the subject teachers put a lot of time into “Study how to study” during their lessons. The pupils can always ask for some study advice from all of their teachers. Each year a guest speaker is invited to lecture parents and students about studying and the way the brain works. Students also receive a brochure with a lot of study advice. During the classes of “leefsleutels” (keys to life) students discuss the different study methods.

An extra push in the right direction
A lot of time is dedicated to students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, ASS … These students get an extra push in the right direction. For students with dyslexia and dyscalculia special measures are taken in class. Dyslexia students can take their exams in a computer room with the program Kurzweil.
For French, Dutch and maths there are weekly revision lessons for weaker students.
Every week students can also seek personal help to improve their study method by asking advice from the study coordinator.
There is also a homework class.
When students have serious study-related or emotional problems they can be referred to professional services. Of course, this is only done in consultation with the parents, teachers and student counsellor.

Growth towards independence
Our school wants to encourage the growth towards independence of its students. Students are given a voice in the daily school life. There is the event "Students with an opinion”. At these events students can discuss rules and proposals with some teachers and the school management.
In the OLC (Open Learning Centre): students can use a lot of study materials (Internet, encyclopaedias, magazines) and do tasks and assignments.
The student council is responsible for the organisation of a varied range of sports and cultural activities. Students also take care of a small Oxfam shop. The class council of the sixth formers organizes some activities-including the School Prom, the Saint Nicholas Day, the 100 days and the London Party. In this way students can take a lot of responsibility and they can develop into independent young adults that are ready for their first steps at further education and adulthood.