Work in Progress - Pupil turning into teacher

Writing from John Colet School in Sydney, Australia, Olivia Buchanan, a recent leaver St James in London wrote us this letter. She was part-way through her gap year, sponsored by ERT.

“An update on my adventures and to thank you again - I am having a fabulous time! Working at the school has been really educational and I now think that some experience in teaching is compulsory to building a person's character. I have loved working all day and all week in a practical and constantly changing environment, working alongside really brilliant teachers who work super hard, and now I realise how hard it is and how skilled you must be to be a good teacher. The longer I stay, the more I get to know the children, so I am very glad I am spending so long out here.

The school is gorgeous with the occasional outdoor school lunch barbeque, event days, whole school singing and possums living in the roof (along with very poisonous snakes!).

I really enjoyed the Shakespeare festival earlier on in the year, and the sports carnival, speech day, class holidays and excursions.

Aside from the school I am really benefiting from living away from home, by myself and learning proper independence and confidence. I have travelled a lot already - the Blue Mountains, a sheep farm, snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef, exploring Brisbane and Perth and to the Northern Territory where we went on a camping tour and explored Uluru, Kata-Tjuta and Kings Canyon. Next, Melbourne - not to mention exploring the amazing city of Sydney and the surfing life!

I went on a Youth and Young Professionals week long residential in January and I found it inspiring - the material has been very helpful. I also made some good friends, and learnt a lot from the eclectic bunch of people.

Hope everything is going well back in the UK and thank you for helping out with this brilliant opportunity. I have done and learnt so much already and I still have 5 months to go!”