New Zealand – an ambition fulfilled

P1020749 by you.

Ever since our youngest son Lewis was ten years old he’s been telling people that he would go out New Zealand to play rugby when he left school.

In the intervening eight years we’ve humoured him with the good old Scottish double positive “aye right”.

Well the boy has proved us all wrong as he sets out for eight months in Christchurch, NZ at the end of this month to work and play rugby with Christchurch Old Boys. Following on from his brother’s example he’s organised the entire thing himself and the hospitality and support shown by the people out there has been nothing short of remarkable.

I suppose we shouldn’t really be surprised as he has an amazing ability to focus on his goals.  If his experience is as successful as his brother’s then my support for gap years – particularly for boys – will be stronger than ever.

We’re really going to miss him but I’m hoping that we can get out there next summer.  Anybody looking for a speaker on Scottish education?

12 thoughts on “New Zealand – an ambition fulfilled

  1. On Tuesday, our daughter Sarah is off to NZ for a year. Your older son’s experience of the hospitality and friendliness is reassuring.
    It’s a huge step for her, but one which will, I am sure, allow her to boaden and deepen her understanding of herself and others.
    I’ll miss her terribly though! If you get a speaking engagement, can I please come as your caddy?

  2. Don, that picture looks remarkably like Twin Law Cairns!

    I am all for a gap year before going to University as it seems to make youngsters appreciate home more and also allows them time out to think what they realy want to do.

  3. Liz

    I see the resemblance but it’s the summit of The Three Brethren just above Selkirk and Yair Valley. I can recommend it as an outstanding Borders walk.


  4. Hi Don
    Thanks, that’s really kind of you. She’s going to Bali for 2 weeks on the way, but will be in Aukland from the 10th December. She’s staying there for a bit to get orientated and plans to tour around a bit from there. As a rough plan, she’s thinking that when it’s winter in NZ she’ll go to the South Island hoping to get some skiing. As she’ll probably have run out of money by then, she reckons she’ll get a job there in a hotel or somesuch. Is that realistic?
    her email’s sarahDOTcoeATlineoneDOTnet

  5. Purely personal but having taught in schools for many years and raised two sons I reckon boys are at least two to three years behind girls in being able to get the most out of university life. Hardly scientific but we are all allowed our own opinion.

  6. Also anecdotal, but, having taught in Secondary and Primary and having 2 girls and 2 boys myself, now aged between 25 and 18, my experience echoes Don’s.

    I am impatient for the time to come when we give parents the opportunity and information to choose a later start to formal education for their children (boys or girls) if they wish.

    And I now realise it’s Auckland with a “c”. I’m a good speller but was making an inappropriate generalisation. You live and learn!

  7. I’ve boys, a 14 and a 16 year old and I think they would love to do something like this-I hear mixed meassages about gap years, especially for boys, as there seems to be a feeling they don’t capitalise on them, and lose focus before restarting full time academic study. I am interested to read what people are saying about gap years here! I think my 16 year old would happily fly out tomorrow!

  8. Interesting comment, Jim – I too have 14 & 16 yr old boys. I was sort of hoping our eldest might find some focus if he takes a gap year. I certainly plan on kicking him out on one! He couldn’t have less academic focus than he has at present, and this is his Higher year. I would agree with Don in that I think it will be 2 or 3 years yet before he figures out what he needs to do to move on in life.

    Interestingly, if he were in the English system, he would be doing GCSEs this year, not Highers and would have 2 more years of school plus maybe a gap year before thinking of University. As it is he has his main exams this year, then 6th year (for resits?) and then maybe a year out.

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