Kate Rodgers (CC2014) “didn’t ever want to leave” Cornish as a student, so it’s no surprise that she returned for her final teaching placements!

Kate commenced at Cornish in ELC3 and then completed VCE at the Brighton campus of St Leonard’s. She then spent two years working and travelling throughout Europe and Asia, before commencing a Bachelor of Education (Primary), which she completed in December 2020.

Kate completed seven weeks of placement at Cornish in 2020 and also volunteered, gaining online and face-to-face experiences throughout the year. Cornish teachers and her time spent coaching horse riding students inspired Kate to teach.

“I found a love for helping others and seeing them grow and progress.

“All of the teachers at Cornish have been so helpful, kind and caring. They’ve all inspired me to be an amazing teacher too.”

Kate will be qualified to teach the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme – something Cornish provided unique insights about.

“I was very excited to do my final placement here because Cornish is very different to other schools. The Dhumba-dha Biik program – where they go out to do outdoor learning – is so unique and an important part of learning for students. They should be outdoors and engaging with the environment, especially now when there’s so much technology. It’s awesome.

“Cornish also has a very strong practice of inquiry and the teachers are very giving. They’re always pondering, wanting to do more and always asking ‘How can we do this better? How can we change this?’ I’ve been very lucky to have amazing mentors here.”

Although it was “a bit strange” at first, Kate soon settled in. Growing up, Cornish “felt like a home and a family”, so she was glad to be back.

“The culture has very much stayed the same in terms of Make a Difference and sustainability. Some buildings have changed and it’s a lot bigger, but a lot of staff are still here and it feels very similar to when I was here.”

Kate has “a passion for seeing different cultures and diversity”, so she hopes to travel and teach in different schools, including in Western Australia, and pursue leadership roles to mentor other teachers. Wherever she ends up, she won’t forget her Cornish experiences.

“Cornish has so many people working here who were students as well, which shows the kind of people they create and that the school draws people back. Even the motto, Make a Difference, is exactly what the school is – they’re about helping students become amazing so that they can make the world a better place.”

This story featured in the Summer 2020/2021 edition of The Difference

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