For the past few years, the idea of going off to Australia has been one which seemed highly desirable, yet extremely unlikely. It was only when given the opportunity of choosing the International Baccalaureate module at University that it appeared this could my opportunity – study abroad, gain experience in an international school and receive an insight into the different culture in which so many people love!
Since arriving on Friday 10th March, the experience has already been incredible. The first trip prior to starting placement of course had to involve being a complete tourist: a visit to see the awesome Australian animals – and of course getting photographs and selfies with them too!
Monday 13th March brought about my first day of my 2nd year placement at Somerset College in Mudgereeba, a private college located in Queensland, Australia for both myself and my fellow student, Lauren. This college caters for over 1500 students, all the way from pre-prep up to senior school. The college has a huge emphasis on students actively participating in extra-curricular activities such as sports, music, technology and art.
One day has been enough to show the visible differences in the school environment, from which I have been used to in Scotland. From the readily available classroom teaching assistants to the variety of specialist teachers, it is a completely different environment in which to be working in – it’s almost a dream place, with plenty of time for personal planning!
As the end of our first day approached, the Junior School congregated together in the Great Hall to have an assembly – this was chaired by the Head of Junior School (HoJS), the school Headmaster and also the school captains, who had a extremely active role in the assembly and were constantly given the opportunity to lead the assembly, and give the HoJS a back seat to enjoy the assembly being student led. Lauren and I were both welcomed to the students and staff by being introduced, and it has given a great first impression for the next 8 weeks which we will be lucky enough to complete our placement (or ‘prac’ as it is known here!) and hopefully bring over a huge new approach to our teaching styles back in Scotland.