Well into the third week of being here at such an amazing place as Haileybury, and I can already see why so many people appreciate all that it has to offer. The people: teaching staff and pupils alike are so kind and welcoming – apart from the dormitory banter based on who won the Ashes and the traditional "shrimp on the barbie", which we Australians treasure so much.
The catering staff last week went to extra measures to make us feel right at home by celebrating with an Australia Day themed lunch. Not sure that "outback chicken" is exactly a classic back home, but a barbecue was unfortunately not appropriate for such weather that England has to offer currently. It hasn’t rained much, and luckily there has been no flooding like back at home, but the sun just hasn’t managed to break through as of yet. And apparently this is not nearly as cold as it can get.
The IB programme that I am enjoying has been very exciting, especially the Latin class – I am no longer the only pupil in the entire school taking the subject. As the IB Diploma programme continues to develop in the Haileybury College in Melbourne, I can now comment on how similar the classes are for the IB, no matter where you take them in the world. Such a streamlined programme has made my time settling in at Haileybury England very easy.
This is my first time in England, and I am delighted to be sharing my time, even my Australian summer holidays in England, to get ahead and reinforce the knowledge required to get me through my final year of schooling. Also, in addition to this, I am able to attend photography classes as an activity on Wednesday afternoons. We have been spending a few weeks now on producing prints, which will be a feature of an art exhibition in the coming weeks. This has inspired me to even consider taking up photography classes back at home!
As for the sporting side of school, I am loving every moment in the hockey squads, especially when I was fortunate enough to share my short stay here with the first and second hockey teams. The group effort of all the boys on the field, no matter the scoreboard or the opposition, ensured three convincing wins, two in the seconds and last weekend, in a tough battle against the strong-sided Kings Canterbury team. I can’t say that the long two-hour coach ride was to our advantage, but we didn’t let the home side get the better of us, and we were victorious on one of the coldest days I have ever experienced.
I am now a proud member of Edmonstone House, sharing a room with Mark Xuereb, who has made my stay that much more enjoyable. The boys of the House, from Removes to the Upper Sixth, are so kind and fun to be around and I appreciate them allowing me to share a short time in their busy lives. The Lower Sixth boys have even given me the opportunity to see the locals of Hertford and enjoy a lovely Thai dinner two weekends previous.
I have also been lucky enough to visit London on two occasions, firstly on a school outing to Westfield shopping centre, and to be honest, I don’t think the Westfields in Melbourne quite compares to the large size of this particular shopping town. I don’t think I managed to walk around to see even half of the shops! On the second occasion, I spent my time with Charlie Carr, who I had known from the hockey team a few weeks before, and he and his family were so kind in letting me spend the night before experiencing the thrill of riding the tube all around London and snapping a few shots of Big Ben!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank both the school for organising this amazing experience! Ailsa and I are both very appreciative.
As I continue to enjoy every moment that Haileybury England has to offer, even visits to the Sanatorium today to meet the nurse and doctor on campus, I feel as though I am coming to the end of such a trip that will only leave me begging to stay longer.