Meet our UK Boarding School team: Sports and Social Coordinator
Katie Brick has been working at Saint Michaels since 2011 when she began as a sports & social assistant on the summer school. After she graduated from university with a degree in sports science Katie began to consider her career opportunities. Her desire to work with young people was behind her decision to look for work at a boarding school in England. Katie grew up in the area and so when Saint Michaels had a vacancy which suited her qualifications, she joined in a full-time role co-ordinating all of the sports and activities.
For a boarding school in England, the role of the Sports & Social co-ordinator is absolutely vital in ensuring international students are happy and enjoy their experience in a new country far from home. Katie’s daily routine involves planning excursions, organising sports fixtures against other local colleges and boarding schools in the UK, and arranging main events throughout the year such as the graduation dinner. She also co-ordinates a number of international excursions and sports tournaments for which the logistics can be quite demanding.
One way a boarding school in England differs from a local state school is the duty it has to provide a rounded education for each student. As most students study far from home it is not possible for them to travel home frequently to see their family. Therefore it is the responsibility of any boarding school in England to ensure students feel safe and cared for and do whatever possible to reduce the risk of students feeling homesick. Katie lives on the campus in one of the boarding houses and spends a lot of time with the students during the evenings and on weekends. For many international students it is very reassuring to know that they can speak to staff outside of normal school hours.
“I love my job, especially getting to know the students and making sure they are happy and enjoying their time here. As quite a small boarding school in the UK, we offer a surprising amount of excursions and activities and there is something to do off-campus virtually every week. When our sports teams go abroad to play in international tournaments my peers from other schools are often quite amazed at how much a boarding school in the UK of only 120 students manages to fit in to the school year!
Many of the excursions that we offer are called ‘reward excursions’ which means that they are included in the fees for the year and students do not need to pay any extra costs. They are called reward excursions as students must behave well to join them. I believe it is essential for a boarding school in the UK to offer lots of excursions which are already included in the fees as we have a duty to ensure students are gaining knowledge from their wider surroundings. Education isn’t found only in the classroom”
Since Katie joined Saint Michael’s the school has expanded the size of its gym and she has also created training programmes for many of the students. Joining a boarding school in England – particularly one set in the rural countryside like Saint Michaels – often encourages students to become more active and health-conscious as not only are they surrounded by vast open spaces, but it also provides them with a new routine and a fresh start.