Jane Wright (Class of 2015, Wilberforce) is currently studying Engineering at the University of Cambridge. Her main interests are renewable energy and clean transportation, she is specialising in both the Mechanical and Electrical branches of engineering. Currently, she is doing an internship at Arup Group Limited to gain experience in transport planning. Jane is interested in career options related to automotive and transport engineering. In Year 11, Jane went to Baiwan for Quest Week; here she shares the invaluable and rewarding experiences she gained from her trip.
Island School’s involvement in Baiwan is twofold: money is raised to help support students’ education in the local schools, and Island School students go to teach English to primary and secondary students.
I chose to go to Baiwan in Year 11 because the charitable activities were core to the trip, and I was keen to gain some teaching experience. It also helped that Ms Chiu was trip leader! My CAS weeks in Years 7 to 10 had all been enjoyable, but I hadn’t been able to get involved in much charitable work.
Some of my best memories of the trip were playing basketball and football with the students, and the walk to the local schools from our hostel. The landscape is beautiful which made the early mornings really quite enjoyable.
I learnt a lot working together with my group to come up with lesson plans and during the actual teaching itself. This made me more sure of my strengths and made me challenge my weaknesses. I was out of my comfort zone, but that only made me more proud of my group’s achievements at the end of our teaching. The experience I got could never have been replicated in a school environment and definitely made me more confident in my soft skills.
I’m glad that I had the opportunity to teach, although I was definitely nervous going into it. I’m a self-proclaimed admin queen so while lesson planning was a new experience, it at least largely played to my strengths. Being in front of and controlling a class of primary school students was an entirely different ball game. While the first few lessons were challenging, by the end of the week we were largely able to manage the lessons well.
If there was anything I learnt from that week, it’s that if you throw yourself out of your comfort zone into the deep-end you will eventually learn to swim, so go for it! I’ve definitely lived by that for the last few years and it’s served me well; I’m learning a whole host of new skills from my internships and university course by signing myself up for things that I’ve had very little knowledge about.
Baiwan is right on our doorstep, and Island School now has a really great relationship with the local schools which means we’re able to build on each year’s work. It’s clear to see how much the students benefit directly from the equipment we bring, and how much they enjoy the teaching, which is a really rewarding and worthwhile experience.
By Julia Mulrooney, Communications and Data Officer