Com­mu­nity ser­vice high­lights the value of ed­u­ca­tion

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS -

EMMA Lay­field, of Maindample, is an ad­ven­tur­ous soul - she re­turned re­cently from her first trip over­seas - a school trip to an un­der­priv­i­leged school in Van­u­atu as part of her year 12 com­mu­nity ser­vice.

“I worked with the Black Sands com­mu­nity school (a vil­lage on the out­skirts of Port Vila) that was dev­as­tated by Cy­clone Pam in March.

“They don’t have much, so it was in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing to help them build a class­room,” said Emma, a boarder at The Scots School Al­bury.

Emma was one of a group of 20 stu­dents who spent 12 days in July lay­ing stumps, build­ing a sub-floor, lay floor­ing and erect­ing walls – an ex­pe­ri­ence that one teacher de­scribed as life-chang­ing for each stu­dent.

The trip was the cul­mi­na­tion of 18 months of fundrais­ing.

“I never felt in dan­ger,” Emma said.

“Ev­ery­one was re­ally friendly and laid-back – they were all on ‘is­land time’,” said Emma, grin­ning.

“But the hard­est thing was meet­ing the kids – they were all very happy, but all so very dis­ad­van­taged.”

The trip cer­tainly high­lighted for Emma how grate­ful she is for the ed­u­ca­tion she has.

She started at Scots in 2014 be­cause she liked the strong lead­er­ship, and be­lieves it’s im­por­tant to have a good ed­u­ca­tion.

“Scots is a re­ally in­tel­li­gent school,” Emma said when talk­ing about her school.

“The teach­ers are amaz­ing - they email you ev­ery­day ei­ther dur­ing school or in the evenings to check if I’m do­ing okay, and are very dis­creet too,” she said.

As well as help­ing Emma im­prove her grades, her par­ents are happy with Scots be­cause Al­bury is peace­ful, safe and still has a coun­try feel.

Two other Mans­field boys - Flynn Bowker (year 10) and Sabas­tian Bolden (year 10) – also make the two-hour weekly com­mute to Scots in Al­bury, and of­ten car­pool.

Flynn was awarded the Pley­dell schol­ar­ship last year and strongly be­lieves it will broaden his ca­reer op­tions.

When Sabas­tian started at Scots this year and heard about Flynn’s schol­ar­ship, he too ap­plied and has just been awarded an aca­demic schol­ar­ship for the next two years.

“It’s such a tight-knit com­mu­nity here, it’s one big fam­ily where you make friends both at school and out­side of school,” said Sabas­tian.

“It’s ab­so­lutely a priv­i­lege to come here.”

Sabas­tian’s par­ents were drawn to Scots be­cause of the aca­demic dis­ci­pline and sup­port.

“We thought the rou­tine and prep would be good, and help­ful in get­ting Sabas­tian or­gan­ised and to re­alise his full po­ten­tial,” said mum Susie Bolden.

Ac­cord­ing to Scots’ head of board­ing, Adrian Lawrence (who is orig­i­nally from Mer­ri­jig), Al­bury is ideal for many fam­i­lies look­ing to board their chil­dren be­cause it’s co-ed and easy to get to - with good free­ways and lit­tle traf­fic - plus there’s a flat for board­ing par­ents to use overnight.

UN­DER CON­STRUC­TION: Emma Lay­field helped build a class­room for chil­dren in Van­u­atu while on a 12 day com­mu­nity ser­vice project.

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