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News > Alumni stories > Finn Taylor's Experience of Being a 'Gappie' at Moulsford

Finn Taylor's Experience of Being a 'Gappie' at Moulsford

What was special about returning to Moulsford, and why Finn would wholeheartedly recommend it.
4 Jan 2022
Alumni stories

Returning to Moulsford, a place that I grew up in and shared many memories, was an extraordinary opportunity for me. I felt I was able to give back to the place that had given me so much. I was so glad to see some staff members still around from when I was a student and that their sense of humour hadn’t changed. I felt instantly welcomed as soon as I stepped foot in Moulsford, the staff were (I think)  pleased to see me and the students pleased to have another ‘gappie’ to talk to as a potential bridge between student and teacher. As always with Moulsford, it was and still is a place I hold dear and a place that oozes excitement and enjoyment which can be seen every day through both the boys and the staff.

I wasn’t expecting there to be much change at Moulsford, I had two older brothers go through the school before me and we all thought that if we ever returned, the same tiles that we displaced (accidently with a football or rugby ball) or the same artwork that we produced would still be there. I was wrong. While still keeping its core values and architecture, Moulsford has modernised and surfed the same wave as the ever-growing/modernising world. Smart technology runs throughout the classrooms, updated teaching methods are in place, school trips to amazing places including the Tate Modern (a trip I had the privilege of attending) and other educational yet fun places, new indoor and outdoor sporting equipment and many other activities and educational advancements. 

My fondest memories of being a Junior Teaching Assistant (a title which we were extremely happy to have) was the Year 5 play “Plastic Pirates”. Drama was one of my favourite subjects at Moulsford, taught by Mrs Jordan and then Mr Fowler, and I went on to take it for A-level at Marlborough College, so being asked to help with the play by Ash Edwards was very heart-warming. The whole process of helping the boys learn their lines and interacting with them on stage made me recall how much drama meant to me as a boy and how I was taught with the same enthusiasm which continued with me throughout my time in education. Sport was obviously important for me, being in love with sport and being able to share my passion with the boys was a major highlight of my JTA experience. I coached the U11B Football team as well as assisted with coaching the U11A Rugby team. Gaining experience of coaching and the associated medical experience was hugely uplifting, especially watching my teams win most of their games… but I’m sure that was down to the boys and not my INCREDIBLE coaching!

The main thing that I have taken away from my experience as a JTA at Moulsford is the sense of community in the workplace, the notion of all the teachers working together to educate the boys in the best way that they can. The atmosphere in the staff room is something that, I am sad to say, I will probably never have again. The camaraderie of the staff and the constant strive to be the best school really inspired me to reciprocate the energy that I saw day-in-day-out. I am so glad that I went back to teach at Moulsford, it is a place where I would want and feel safe for my children to go to. Being a JTA is not just rewarding monetary wise, but every day you know that you are making a positive difference to the lives of a group of boys who may one day return to Moulsford as JTAs and do the same. I now have the experience on my CV and every skill that I have been taught makes me more employable. It is the best job to do on your Gap Year as it gives you an understanding of what a workplace is and how to manage your time accordingly. I would strongly suggest this to anyone wanting to get involved in teaching or anyone who wants to gain further qualifications that they otherwise wouldn’t in other workplaces. Thank you for having me back Moulsford!

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