Phuket no holiday for Murdoch pre-service teachers

August 8, 2016

The British International School in Phuket welcomed Murdoch's pre-service teachers.

The British International School in Phuket welcomed Murdoch's pre-service teachers.

Other people may visit Thailand for the beaches, but Murdoch University student Liana Perrella was delighted to spend two weeks in Phuket teaching sport to primary school students.

Liana, who is undertaking a double degree of Secondary Physical Education and Sport and Health Science, was one of four lucky Murdoch students to recently immerse themselves in two of the best sports schools in Asia. The students were accompanied by former Hockeyroo player Nicole Arrold who now teaches in Murdoch University’s School of Education.

Thanks to New Colombo mobility grants from the Federal government, the group spent two weeks working in the British International School and the Phuket International Academy, two schools which are renowned for teaching physical education and health.

The schools’ facilities include Olympic sized swimming pools, undercover tennis courts, full athletics tracks and equipped gymnasiums where children are taught by professional coaches for golf, soccer and swimming.

Sport has always played a major role in Liana’s life, having competed in state-level netball, as well as basketball and swimming. She currently works as a lifeguard, swimming teacher and aqua aerobics instructor while completing her studies.

Liana said the opportunity to teach sport to students who have joined the schools from all over the world was invaluable.

“This experience has definitely helped me develop as a more diverse and well-rounded pre-service teacher,” Liana said.

“Just like mathematics, I feel sport is a universal language and is the same in every culture.”

After completing her undergraduate studies, Liana hopes to pursue her sport and health sciences degrees a little further and to eventually help people with their personal fitness and wellbeing through personal training and rehabilitation.

Murdoch University’s Associate Dean Engagement and School Partnerships Dr Sue Ledger said that New Colombo scholarships provided an invaluable experience for pre-service teachers.

“By attending some of the world’s best schools, Murdoch students can bring innovations back to WA schools as they begin their careers,” Dr Ledger said.

“As well as our specialist sports program in Thailand we send pre-service teachers to experience one of the best early childhood programs in Singapore.”

Following Murdoch University’s recent two week visit, both the British International School and the Phuket International Academy have expressed interest in creating a position for a longer term intern relationship with the University.

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