Laura Hunter

North Walsham High School
10A's and a B.

Paston
English Language and Literature A-level: B
History A-level: B
Photography A-level: A
Psychology AS-level: B 

University of Kent
2:1 BA Hons in English and American Literature

Who do you work for, and what projects have you been involved in?
I’m currently working as a GAP Student at Christchurch Girls’ High School and their boarding house Acland House. At the school my main role is as a teaching assistant so I help in the classes wherever I am needed. At the boarding house I work alongside the matrons as another member of the boarding house staff. One example of a project I have been involved in is my work with my assigned year group. Each term the matrons at the boarding house are assigned one of the five year groups and in the term that we have just completed I organised a ‘Best of British’ themed supper for my year group.

What is a ‘typical day at work like?
I start work at 7am supervising the girls at breakfast time, then I do room checks and make sure all duties have been completed before the girls leave for school.
At 8am I walk either the Year 9 or 10 girls to school. Between 8:30am-1pm I work at Christchurch Girls’ High School as a teaching assistant; helping in English classes, Learning Support and ESOL classes (classes for students who have English as a second language). I also help as a Reader/Writer for students who require extra help during exams, as well as working in the library and helping with general admin. Between 5:30pm-8:30pm I’m back working at Alcand House, where I supervising dinner and prep - which is the girls’ homework time. During this time I also help in the office with any general admin that needs doing.

What did you study at Paston? How did that course help you progress upon your career path?
I studied English Language and Literature, History, Photography and Psychology at Paston.
As I was unsure of what I wanted to do as a career I was able to make the decision about what to study at university based purely on the subject I enjoyed studying the most, which was English. I think choosing to study something I enjoyed doing, rather than something I needed to study for a career, allowed me more freedom and flexibility when planning for the future. Studying English has enabled me to have a gap year and take the opportunity to go and work aboard for a year.

What are the important skills you have had to develop and hone to be successful in your job?
Some important skills I need to use and have developed are: confidence, independence, organisation, leadership and being able to clearly explain things to students.

Did you ever envisage doing this while you were at Paston?
Whilst I was at Paston I wasn’t really sure about what career I wanted, but teaching was one of the professions I was considering as a career. I think because of this uncertainty about what career I wanted, I always knew I’d end up doing some travelling after I had been to university. However, I don’t think I ever thought I would end up working in a school on the other side of the world for a whole year.

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating?
I’m taking a year out to work as a GAP Tutor in New Zealand.

"Some important skills I need to use and have developed are: confidence, independence, organisation, leadership and being able to clearly explain things to students. "