Work in Progress - A teacher in New Zealand

Andrew Pilkington has been teaching at the St James Senior Boys School in Twickenham for three years. He decided to spend his summer teaching at the Ficino School, Auckland (left), to see how the education philosophy worked in another country. Andrew was sponsored by an ERT travel bursary, and wrote to thank us afterwards. Here is an extract from his letter.

Upon arriving I was quite tired from what was a very full summer term at St James and was completely unaware of what to expect. What I found was a beacon of hope on a small island in a large ocean! I worked extremely hard teaching each day and holding fine conversations with the headmaster, Mark Broadwith. I remember asking myself at times, why was I working so hard - it being the holidays. The answer came very simply: the children. I was astounded at how the philosophy could shine through such young children.

I ran an assembly on "you're not too young to make a difference". This was extremely uplifting because, not only did the pupils open their hearts up sharing their aspirations with each other, but they also realised that there is no end to their potential. I ran a further assembly on how we develop such an ethos of questioning and opportunity in the Senior Boys School.

As a geography teacher and sports teacher I really thrived in the surroundings of Auckland…This was a magical experience that has nourished my teaching, reinvigorated my passion for Geography and more importantly brought me closer to the truth and reason behind the St James education.