Saint-Dominique Savio is a private school (ASBL Relay Group) which welcomes pupils in difficulty (+ or – 75 %) and children from Christian families. Situated in Mouscron, there are around seventy children enrolled in the nursery and primary school, thanks to the hard work of its seven teachers and many volunteers. The school, which is neither recognised nor subsidised by the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, is under the direction of Mrs Marie-Dominique Hillewaert. The project began in 1991 as a school in an attic, then one thing led to another until fifty children were being schooled under one roof, both those with schooling difficulties and without. Today one of the objectives is to welcome children who have failed or dropped out of school in order to help them overcome their difficulties and succeed in their schooling, whether their failure be due to a particular difficulty (dyslexia, high-level autism, physical disability, high potential, illness, cultural poverty…) or to the way in which our school system is currently organised. The school is also open to those families desiring an education for their children which respects Christian values. A financial aid was obtained from Alcuin Funds to assure the salary of three people working part-time. (We have received a part-time salary for three years.)
The Saint Dominique Savio school seeks to provide every child with a quality education in an environment which invites each child to give the best of themselves. The pupils are taught to respect one another, to accept each other as they are, to accept themselves with their own limits and talents. To ensure an individualised teaching which respects the rhythm of each child, every year is split into ten modules. The “normal” rhythm followed by most pupils corresponds to one module per month.
The school wants to give each pupil a good level of study: not only to acquire the required base skills that we rigorously strive to attain, but also to study systematically certain subjects such as spelling and conjugation and to drill certain others such as mental arithmetic. It is perfectly possible to help every child succeed, avoiding the detrimental impact that an unnecessary failure at school would entail. Each year all the pupils of the sixth year of primary school pass their official exams (CEB) with great results. The same can be said for the results of the second grade of secondary school (CE1D). The school does not cater for students any older than this.
The children are also given opportunities to acquire learning strategies, notably thanks to the practice of N.L.P (Neuro Linguistic Programming). Far too little-known, N.L.P is a very effective tool for helping children to succeed.
Singing, dance, music and circus skill workshops are organised at the school and plays and performances are put on. Every morning at 8am the children go to the kitchen to help with the preparation of the meal. Sport (swimming, psychomotor skills) is equally important in the curriculum.
- A high-quality musical theatre production is put on every three years (cancelled in 2020.)More information on the project is available on the website: (www.ecolesaintdominiquesavio.be)