Interaction and growth in focusJohn Blois
When she joined the Trinity Support Staff in March, 2021, Ms Laura Bray jumped headlong into Trinity life. It’s not compulsory for Support Staff to get involved with Co-curricular, but Laura is one of many who give up their time in order to help Co-curricular programmes. Her role as the IB Curriculum Administrator brings her into contact with many students and their families as they consider the different options available to them, but her background as a teacher made her appreciate student interaction and seek it out through Co-curricular.
“I’m a qualified and experienced teacher,” Laura says. “I enjoy working with the students. In the role I’m in at the moment, I don’t always have as much interaction with the students in terms of engaging and learning but being involved in Co-curricular gives me the opportunity to be involved in that space.”
Not satisfied with just one Co-curricular pursuit, Laura is committed to two programmes, both of which run right across the year.
Each Wednesday and Friday afternoon, as well as Saturday mornings, she is involved in looking after the Year 7 and 8 boys in TFit, a programme that runs parallel to the Cross Country Co-curricular. Throughout this programme the boys explore elements of Cross Country including running, coordination skills, strength and conditioning and getting familiar with using Fitness Centre equipment and gym etiquette.
“The boys enjoy plenty of fun and games that help them develop these skills. In the programme, we have boys who may have additional support requirements that may prevent them from participating in other team sports. There are also plenty of boys who have chosen to do TFit because they enjoy the programme we have developed this year.”
Her background as a P.E. teacher for over 10 years means that Laura was positioned well to take on this commitment. Her experience with Cadets during her time as a teacher in the United Kingdom was also an advantage for her second Co-curricular commitment.
Packing more into her Wednesday afternoons, Laura is the member of staff for Bravo Unit – 08 Platoon. She supports them each week as they work through incidents that may have occurred, helps them prepare for camps that occur throughout the year and readies them for promotions.
“I really enjoy it,” Laura says. “The programmes I’m in give me the opportunity to progress with the same group of boys. There’s a lot of stability in that and you learn how to engage with a certain group of boys.
“I’m really seeing the benefit of that, especially with TFit. Last year, we had boys who were disengaged from TFit, but this year we are noticing them coming to TFit happy and ready to participate, and to engage with staff and their peers.”
Laura isn’t the only Support Staff member getting involved with Co-curricular, although there is no doubt that her commitment is significant. She says that opportunities are everywhere at Trinity, for anyone who’s willing to take them.
“Working in the Curriculum office, there’s always stuff going on. I just put my hand up for anything, it doesn’t really worry me! Everyone mucks in and a lot of Support Staff are probably doing more than they realise, even if they’re not assigned to something specific – they’re often working with the students more than they realise they are.
“Find something that you enjoy doing and involve yourself with it. The boys really respond when they know you’re enjoying yourself and that’s how you build strong relationships.”
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