A Global Staff Exchange with Australia

As part of the Global Staff Exchange Programme, we were delighted to welcome Ms Debra Coyne from our Australian partner school, Methodist Ladies’ College for a two and a half week stay at Downe House.

5 February 2020

Based in the Maths Department, Ms Coyne has had the opportunity to visit the boarding houses, go out on trips with colleagues and girls, join in with extra-curricular activities and most importantly, spend time observing and teaching in the classroom. The aim of the Global Staff Exchange Programme is to give staff the opportunity to get first-hand experience of different educational systems, share good practice and hopefully acquire a few new ideas to bring back to enrich their own teaching.

Ms Coyne tells us about her Downe House experience,

My visit to Downe House has been a wonderful opportunity to learn about the British educational system, which in so many ways is similar to my school in terms of high expectations and a strong work ethic but there are certainly some differences too! What has struck me about Downe House is the way that boarding is really right at the centre of everything and that it gives the girls personal, academic and pastoral support throughout the extended day and at the weekends. The girls are confident, friendly and welcoming and I have really enjoyed getting to know them.

The Maths Department is a wonderful place and I have very much appreciated their collaborative approach and for allowing me to ‘take over’ their classes. I have taught a variety of year groups from Remove to Lower Sixth and, although the content is very similar, there were of course different approaches and activities that I will be taking back to MLC. I was particularly interested to see that the Remove, Lower Fourth and Lower Fifth are taught in a paperless classroom with the adoption of the Microsoft Surface device. I was impressed with how well these girls are working with these devices and it is an excellent medium for teaching Maths.

As a teacher, I am always looking for the next challenge to enrich and expand my teaching practice. My time at Downe House has definitely given me lots of ideas and a few new techniques to take back to MLC. I would like to thank everyone for their warm welcome and support and hope to see some of my new Downe House colleagues at MLC in the not too distant future!

Want to know more?

Sixteen partner schools across six continents – find out more about our Global Schools Exchange Programme


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The best way to find out more about Downe House is to experience it for yourself. Book a personal tour or join us at one of our Open Mornings, available throughout the year.

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